ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools are still closed while trying to recover from a cyber attack. They take this time to develop a plan to get children back in class. APS is not the first county in the state to fall victim to this type of attack. Las Cruces Public Schools, the second-largest county in New Mexico, had its own experience in 2019.
Cyber attack in Albuquerque recently on public schools
“It’s been a lengthy process for our IT department,” said Samantha Lewis, a spokeswoman for Las Cruces Public Schools. “They scrubbed between 25,000 and 30,000 devices in the district, one at a time.”
According to APS, the hack breached the student information system schools use to record attendance, contact families and authorize designated individuals to pick up a student from school. They say that operating without this system would put the students at risk.
Las Cruces Public Schools said their 2019 attack was similar to what APS is currently experiencing and it took them months to recover. LCPS did not close the school, they switched to a pencil and paper teaching method. APS says it’s not that simple.
“Before you can even go to pen and paper, you must have access to the information that you have been excluded from,” said Monica Armenta, a spokeswoman for APS. “They need to be able to collect the names and information of over 75,000 students in this district in order to arm schools with that information to use when we reopen.”
Armenta says there is no timetable for when the system can be restored, but they are confident at this point that school will resume on Tuesday. These two days are considered Cybersecurity Snow Day. They will be made up for at the end of the year.
APS is working on backing up all of their online recordings so they can manually track attendance and student records.