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Alabama Department of Education thwarts major cyberattack, investigation ongoing

The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) announced it responded swiftly to a recent cyberattack, restoring services and implementing enhanced cybersecurity measures while an investigation continues over potential data breaches.

“On June 17, our Information Services team interrupted an attempted hack on the department. They did interrupt and stopped the hack, and the hackers were not able to fully access our system, or to lock us out of our system. However, before our information services professionals were able to interrupt and stop the hack, some data were breached,” Alabama State Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey said at a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

Following the breach, ALSDE reports they immediately began working with state and federal law enforcement, including the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and the Alabama Office of Information Technology.

“This is an ongoing criminal investigation. And therefore there’s limited things that we can say, and limited information that we can give out at this time. We’ll be able to say though our services, all services have been restored. Additional cybersecurity protocols have been deployed.”

Mackey confirmed that ALSDE has not negotiated with the hackers.

Superintendent Mackey acknowledged that the hackers might have accessed both student and employee data, including personally identifiable information. ALSDE is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other experts to monitor the situation. A dedicated landing page has been set up to provide updates as the investigation progresses.

Grayson Everett is the state and political editor for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

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