The Central New York Regional Information Center has recently experienced cyberattacks that have resulted in several internet service disruptions since the start of the 2018-19 school year. These disruptions have affected school districts across Central New York, including Fayetteville-Manlius.
On Oct. 4, OCM BOCES District Superintendent Jody Manning released the statement below, stressing that all confidential and personal information related to students and employees has been protected.
Text of Dr. Manning’s letter
To all School Leaders, Educators, Parents and Students:
For the second time in one week, a cyber attack directed at our Central New York Regional Information Center (CNYRIC) disrupted the network today and created a huge inconvenience for all of you in our districts and at OCM BOCES. First and foremost, I want to extend my deepest apologies for this inconvenience and offer the latest updates on how this problem is being addressed. Please know that our staff at the CNYRIC has been working non-stop and around-the-clock to address this problem. They are committed to solving this issue as quickly and effectively as possible. All of us at OCM BOCES understand that a secure, reliable network is critical to nearly every operation within a school district, which means it is essential to the education of our students. Right now, our top priority is to make sure we can provide that reliable network for you.
Despite the inconvenience of these disruptions, I want to remind you that all confidential and personal information related to our students and employees has been well-protected. None of these cyber attacks has resulted in a breach of confidential information. They did not penetrate our internal network, which ensured the integrity of the information. While the disruptions are frustrating and difficult to deal with, they are essentially doing their job to protect what is most important — personal information.
We are not alone. These cyber attacks are not only targeted at our local school districts, they are also affecting several Regional Information Centers (RICs) across the state. Needless to say, we have been working closely with other RICs to share information, help each other minimize disruptions and hone in on the best solutions.
Because this problem has extended beyond OCM BOCES, I have reached out to a variety of lawmakers and law enforcement to see if they can be of assistance. I spoke recently with U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer’s staff to brief him about the problem. We have also notified and shared information with the FBI.
As you may already know, we have been working diligently to institute a large-scale and long-term solution with a third-party vendor that specializes in identifying and preventing cyber attacks. That effort will involve a two-fold solution, utilizing both cloud-based and hardware strategies.
Finally, I am deeply apologetic for this ongoing problem and continue to appreciate your patience as we devote all of our time, attention and resources to resolving it. The protection of our student and employee information has always been our top priority.
Please share this update with others and reach out to me with any questions or concerns. I will continue to keep you up-to-date on our progress.
Jody Manning, Ed.D.
District Superintentent & CEO, OCM BOCES