170713-nrr-schoollibraries-01 (copy)

A Melrose Elementary School student works at a computer in the school’s library in 2017. Schools around Douglas County are preparing to do distance learning for the remainder of the school year after the Oregon Department of Education said Monday it was likely school campuses may not open for the forseeable future.

A ransomware attack targeted Roseburg Public Schools Monday morning, blocking access to the district’s email, website and software, school officials said.

Superintendent Gerry Washburn said IT personnel are working to restore encrypted files that were affected by a computer ransomware attack. Washburn said the district took steps to “neutralize” the attack and said it didn’t appear student, staff or parent information had been stolen or compromised.

As of Tuesday morning, the district websites were still down. In an effort to repost calendar information, Roseburg High School published a temporary website.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. Washburn said the district can’t release information about the ransomware demand due to police’s investigation.

“We are making every effort to ensure that our systems are brought back on line (sic) and to minimize disruption to our schools. We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available,” Washburn said in a statement.

Sgt. Dennis Chrisenbery, a spokesman for the Roseburg Police Department, said the Roseburg police department is not investigating the matter.

Earlier this year, a Massachusetts school district paid a $10,000 bitcoin ransom to hackers following a cyber attack on its system, according to CBS News. The local police chief, Michael Goldman, said he advised the district to pay the ransom and had a brief negotiation with the hackers. Goldman said when the district agreed to pay the ransom, hackers sent passwords to unlock certain files to prove the files could be salvaged.

Goldman told CBS Boston it is “impossible” to track cyber extortionists down.

Saphara Harrell can be reached at 541-957-4216 or sharrell@nrtoday.com. Or on Twitter @daisysaphara.

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Crime and Natural Resources Reporter

Saphara Harrell is the crime and natural resources reporter for The News-Review. She previously worked at The World in Coos Bay. Follow her on Twitter @daisysaphara.

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(9) comments


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st paddy

so, is the high school computers still messed up???


If R.H.S. computer systems are protected by Kaspersky Lab, maybe it's the Russians?

Willie Stroker

with ransomware attacks who have a specific amount of time to pay the ransom or the information will be erased. If the school website was compromised that means all information related to that website (databases, etc.) is most likely compromised also. The Roseburg school district should have training in place to prevent this. The IT department should also regularly perform tests to test employees. Create fake phishing emails and see which employees/students open those emails then make them go to a 2 week training.


The harm that can be done by a computer hacker with an evil mind is unimaginable. The death penalty needs to be abolished for people committing crimes of passion and re-established with a vengeance for those who deform the thoughts of people by tampering with computers.


When a business does this, it’s third party advertising.


"Washburn said the district took steps to "neutralize" the attack..." Does that mean they paid the ransom?


Try to see this as an opportunity to discover how talented the school district's IT dept. is, and how knowledgeable the police dept. is with their investigation of the hack. Looking forward to more information on this.

st paddy

220p and still down? looks like they'll have to pay

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