NEW BEDFORD — New Bedford officials are reassuring residents about cybersecurity preparedness after a ransomware attack in Swansea downed networks and left schools closed across that district Wednesday.

Schools in Swansea reopened Thursday after the cyberattack earlier this week, which took place days after a similar incident at Bristol Community College.

But according to Chief Technology Officer at New Bedford Public Schools Robert Tetreault, district officials are doing what they can to lower the risk that something similar could happen here.

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“We have security measures in place to reduce the risk of exposure to cyberattacks at all levels of our systems," Tetreault stated.

"We have also been providing ongoing cyber security training to our employees for several years in order to educate our staff on how to recognize and protect the school district from threats."


The city's police department was hit with a cyberattack last January, and New Bedford's city government itself was targeted in 2019.

In an update to students and families in Swansea, Superintendent of Swansea Schools John Robidoux said yesterday that no personal information is thought to have been compromised in Tuesday's ransomware attack.

According to Robidoux, the district's cybersecurity contractors, Hub Technology, were able to isolate the attack and shut down the network within minutes.

A preliminary investigation found that the attack likely took place after someone in the district ran an encrypted download, but it is not believed to be a malicious incident.

Training in security awareness and phishing attacks will continue, the superintendent said.




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