In the past few years, the cases of schools and universities becoming victims and targets of ransomware are becoming far too common. Recently news reports spanning worldwide are proliferating. It seems strange that cybercriminals would dare go after the institutions that protect and educate our children – but they do. In some cases, the cyberattacks stem from former students bent on revenge (as was the case last year in a Japanese school district), but in most cases, it is not personal – cybercriminals gauge weakness in a network and just go after it.
Aside from straightforward ransomware, K-12 Schools have also drawn the attention of cybercriminals interested in identity theft. As children are less likely to apply for credit until college, the use of their identities for obtaining fraudulent credit can go undetected for years and thus becomes a valuable commodity in the black market.