This week, the websites of thousands of schools were down and unreachable for days, due to an issue with the common service provider for all of them.

The platform in concern is FinalSite – a website service provider that suffered a ransomware attack earlier this week and resulted in the outage of its systems. FinalSite has restored the network and made all its services live once again.

Affecting Thousands of Schools

FinalSite is a popular website services provider, offering website design, hosting, and content management solutions for over 8,000 schools and universities across 115 different countries. The platform’s services are mostly used by K-12 districts.

On Tuesday, FinalSite notified its customers that several issues arose in its systems, mainly in their Composer content management system, causing the network outage. This resulted in the downtime of thousands of schools’ websites.

And the bad thing, FinalSite didn’t specifically mention a timeframe for restoring the network, which led schools to apologize to parents’ via emails, describing the incident. Aside from websites, few have complained about issues in FinalSite’s emergency alert too.

Thousands of school websites have been down for 3 days due to a Ransomware attack from sysadmin

This system is used by schools to notify updated parents in case of emergencies like COVID-19 or weather. While the issue is gradually triggering more anger among the customers, FinalSite has finally shown up with the truth of a ransomware attack on its network!

Revealing the incident, FinalSite today said;

“On Tuesday, January 4, our team identified the presence of ransomware on certain systems in our environment. We immediately took steps to secure our systems and to contain the activity.”

While launching an investigation, the platform is said to have hired third-party forensic specialists for checking and taking off affected systems offline. And finally, it worked on the situation and brought all the websites running back up, thus restoring services once again.


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