SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Western Mass News is Your School Authority and we are getting answers following an attack on the Springfield Public Schools IT network a few weeks ago.
A Springfield public school grandparent wrote in to our School Authority hotline and asked “Could you do an update on the cyber-attack to the Springfield public schools in early October?"
The grandparent is referring to the cyber-attack that happened on October 8, which caused school to close early for the day.
Officials told Western Mass News that the decision was made to close schools out of an abundance of caution and to prevent the attack from spreading.
"We are really in the process of essentially restoring all of those different servers and applications using backups. It certainly was not a good thing,” said Paul Foster, chief information and accountability officer for Springfield Public Schools.
Foster said the district is still working on fixing the issues.
"Our IT department is continuing to work on restoring other systems and applications,” Foster explained.
The district help desk was flooded with calls when the attack first happened. The grandparent who reached out to our School Authority hotline said her grandson is still missing an application and repeated help desk calls have ended with failed downloads with the official response "the server is still down."
Foster noted, "It takes time to do the work to bring those applications, to bring those servers back online and restore them…and there may be some lingering challenges for certain students."
However, Foster said any issues related to the cyber-attack should be resolved soon.
"Within the next two weeks, I think we'll have back to the way they were pre-cyber-attack and at this point, the only things that are remaining shouldn't effect students. The things that are remaining are really effecting staff and the central office,” Foster noted.
Schools officials said they don't really know who or what caused the attack, but their team is working to prevent it from happening again.
"To be totally honest, there's no way to 100 percent, but there are certainly things we are going to put in place to try to secure our network,” Foster said.
The Springfield Public Schools help desk is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.