Ponca City Schools said it’s working with the FBI and rebuilding the data that was lost, after the district’s network was attacked by hackers over the weekend.
“We are working with a special agent with the FBI, who focuses on cyber attacks,” said Superintendent Shelley Arrott during a Youtube video update. “ They cannot help us retrieve our data but what they can do is try to target the criminals and hope that they can thwart future attacks.”
Superintendent Arrott said the district discovered ransomware criminals attacked PowerSchool, the system the district uses to determine schedules, contain information, and keeps parents informed.
“Our PowerSchool data is encrypted. Luckily we had a back-up on an external server that wasn’t online and we are working now to restore PowerSchool.”
The district said it did not pay the ransom and no student information was exposed, but any changes added last week will need to be rebuilt.
“At this point, we are going to have to rebuild our PowerSchool from all of last week. From August 10th through the end of the week to the 14th,” said Superintendent Arrott.
The district pushed back the first day of school to Monday August 24th, instead of Wednesday the 19th.
“It’s going to be a challenging year as it is with COVID-19, so we felt it was the safest thing to do and it was the most fair thing to do so that our kids start with a great smooth year,” said Arrott.
The Superintendent is urging parents to download the PCPS app for any updates.