Canadian school board hit by ‘cyber security incident’

One of the biggest public school boards in the country suffered what it called a “cyber security incident” earlier this week that encrypted some files.

The Peel District School Board, which covers the Ontario cities of Mississauga, Brampton and the town of Caledon serving about 155,000 students from kindergarten to grade 12 at more than 257 schools, made the admission in a tweet Thursday evening.  The district is part of Peel Region, which is immediately west of Toronto.

As of last night, it had no evidence that “personal or sensitive information” was compromised.

On Friday morning the board’s website was still unavailable, but it’s online classes were continuing.

“The Peel District School Board is in the process of resuming normal operations following a cyber security incident that resulted in the encryption of certain PDSB files and systems,” the statement said. “PDSB Visual Learning Environments have not been affected and classes are continuing as normal. Students and teachers can find login instructions for virtual learning platforms as shared by email.

The board says upon the discovery of the incident Jan. 26, PDSB got Peel Police Cyber Security Services involved to conduct an investigation.

“At this stage there is no reason to believe that any personal or sensitive information was compromised as a result of the incident, and we are confident that we will be able to restore the affected systems and files. Should the investigation determine that personal or sensitive information was at risk, PDSB will notify affected individuals as soon as possible.

“We apologize for any inconvenience the incident may cause and would like to thank the community for their ongoing patience. We appreciate that these are already challenging times for educators and students, and are grateful to our teachers, parents students and staff for their adaptability during this incident.”

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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