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  • Writer's pictureThe Eagle

The Hack Attack of 2023

Quinn Goransson -- Staff Writer

The hack attack incident from last spring affected FCHS a lot more than many people might think. Impacts were felt at the division and administrative level, but the attack also took a toll on students' learning experiences and teachers’ ability to teach the way they were most comfortable.

Some teachers lost everything they had on their computers, making it difficult to teach the way they did in the past. “I lost everything on my computer that I had created: all of my warm-up activities, review activities, and alternate activities that I had not backed up into Canvas,” history teacher Taylor Irish stated.

Technology across the division was affected by the ransomware attack this past spring. (Photo by Quinn Goransson)

Even day-to-day operations were affected. West Campus Administrator Curtis Bumgardner explained, “As you can imagine, pretty significantly a lot of our resources, testing, instructional materials, things that we do on a day-to-day basis without even thinking about it, like plugging in our lunch money, our lunch numbers, or even morning announcements, all of those things are affected by this when the entire computer system is down. We were wondering if we could even have bells. It was a pretty significant impact for us. “

In the beginning, many thought the technology issues were simply due to internet or wireless problems. Within a few days, it was clear that the problem was significant with major impacts. “It severely affected day-to-day operations. Teachers and students were unable to use technology that we have been depending on,” said Jon Crutchfield, campus principal.

Not all technology was affected equally. “We quickly discovered that we could use Chromebooks and Google Docs which helped some,” Crutchfield commented.

Other devices were severely affected and had to have all files removed.“I do wish that we would have been told our computers were going to be completely wiped,” Irish recollected.

“I was able to save a few things that I had previously sent in emails to various people, but no, I never got anything back,” said Irish.

Forced to go old school, teachers brainstormed and figured out workarounds. Some brought out old laptops they thought they would never see again or that hadn’t been used in a long time. Others brought in their own resources. “Ultimately I had to bring in my personal computer and utilize a thumb drive and an old overhead projector for my students to take their notes,” Irish explained.

Although things are slowly going back to normal, the effects of the attack continue to be felt well into this school year. The attack is still under investigation but FCPS is already taking steps to ensure it doesn't happen again.

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