CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Chicopee Public Schools have been hit with a Ransomware attack.
That's software that denies access to specific files within the computer system until a ransom is paid.
The Ransomware demanded the school to pay up $300,000 in order to gain access back into their system.
We spoke with one student who said it's nothing her or her classmates ever expected.
It's been four days since Ransomware, also known as Ryuk, infiltrated some Window computers in the Chicopee Schools District.
The criminals behind the software are demanding the district pay $300,000 to regain access to their system.
Students say they found out Monday morning when they were in class.
"Within probably twenty to thirty minutes, my teacher had some issues and her screen just froze, and she couldn't access her files and this weird name, I want to say galaxy quest or shadow galaxy...it was something odd like that, popped up on her screen," Chicopee High School senior Ashley Chimelis tells us.
Asheley Chimelis says her fellow classmates were nervous that the Ransomware stole their information.
"We were all afraid that our emails had been hacked or that our information had been leaked and that was something definitely very scary for everyone in the whole school," stated Chimelis.
School officials say data in the school district was not compromised or put at risk.
A big question raised is how the Ransomware got into the school's computer system in the first place.
Western Mass News spoke with the chief information officer for Chicopee Schools.
He says they're not exactly sure.
"Ransomware gets its way onto a network and/or work stations. In this case, by way of a few different vectors. For example, one way is through a spam email that the user unknowingly clicks on. Another way is through an external storage device, like a USB drive that is connected to a machine," Chicopee Schools Chief Information Officer Andrew Vernon explained.
I.T. experts are now working hard to regain all access.
"So our focus is recovery right now and bringing the school district back to operation on Monday. We restored all of the servers and the basic infrastructure in the school district, including the network itself," continued Vernon.
Since the Ransomware only affected some of the Windows computers, students have still been able to use other devices.
"Today, we were able to use the Chrome books and iPads, because they had not been infected," said Chimelis.
Chimelis says even though this is a setback, the school system is handling it well.
"I think a lot of the teachers in our school are well prepared to teach without the technology. I think they do a good job," added Chimelis.
The school is not paying the $300,000, but it is unclear when all Windows computers will be up and running.