Finalsite, an internet software company that provides website design, hosting, and content management solutions to school districts, announced a ransomware attack impacting 5,000 of its total 8,000 global customers.

“On Tuesday, January 4, our team identified the presence of ransomware on certain systems in our environment,” the company said. “We immediately took steps to secure our systems and to contain the activity. We quickly launched an investigation into the event with the assistance of third-party forensic specialists, and began proactively taking certain systems offline.”

School districts that were impacted by the by the attack were impacted by website outages. It also prevented some schools from sending email notifications about school closures from COVID-19 outbreaks, according to one Reddit user.

“We know your website is a critical communication hub for your schools and sincerely apologize that we are not fully online this morning as promised,” Finalsite Chief Client Officer Tim McDonough said on Jan. 6. “Websites are beginning to go back online, however full restoration has taken us longer than anticipated.”

In its most recent updates, Finalsite said that the vast majority of sites are back up and running on the front end, but “still have work to do to bring everything back to normal” and that the company is continuing to work on restoring admin access with haste.

As of this morning, one of Finalsite’s customers—Holy Ghost Prep in Pennsylvania—said its website appears to be running, but links, registration forms, and its email system is still down.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is MeriTalk SLG's Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.