LIVINGSTON, NJ — More than 100 Livingston parents attended a meeting at Livingston High School on Monday night to hear from Superintendent Dr. Matthew Block and members of the technology department who are working the Livingston Police Department and other appropriate law enforcement agencies to restore its computer system following Friday’s cyber attack.
Due to the nature of this criminal investigation, there have been minimal updates since the superintendent’s letter to the community over the weekend. However, the district continues to do everything it can to make as much technology available to students as possible and to ensure that daily operating logistics are as smooth as possible as well.
According to Chief of Police Gary Marshuetz, Livingston Sgt. Chris Reinhardt is working with county, state and federal agencies to further the investigation, and several investigators with experience in cyber crimes are also involved.
“I thank the many residents who reached out to us and offered assistance,” said Marshuetz. “Community members with cyber-security-related careers offered their assistance without fee, and it was another example for our caring township.”
The district remains confident that the servers, which have been compromised and infected with a software designed to encrypt data called Ransomware, were compromised by an entity that is not associated with the Livingston community of Livingston Public Schools.
During Monday’s meeting, several parents inquired about sum of money involved with the ransom and what the district plans to do moving forward. However, because this is a criminal investigation, many of their questions could not be answered.
The district reiterated that the data has not been lost or stolen, but has rather been made inaccessible. Block also noted that other districts have recently been the victims of similar crimes and that attacks like this are becoming more and more common. Although no data was stolen in those districts, he said that the district intends to conduct a full forensic investigation to make sure no information was compromised.
Livingston students had a two-hour delayed opening on Monday so that the administration could meet with all district staff in order to “ensure clarity and consistency with [the district’s] plan moving forward.”
Administrators said it would take several weeks for things to begin feeling normal within the schools, as many of the classes utilize technology for assignments. The superintendent said he intends district staff to be flexible and understanding during this time.
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The district thanked all Livingston Public Schools students, families and staff members for their patience and cooperation as the investigation continues.
The following Email addresses have been created for attendance, dismissal and non-emergency student matters:
- Burnet Hill Elementary: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Collins Elementary: email@example.com
- Harrison Elementary: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hillside Elementary: email@example.com
- Mt. Pleasant Elementary: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Riker Hill Elementary: email@example.com
- Mt. Pleasant Middle: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Heritage Middle: email@example.com
- Livingston High School: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the event of an emergency, parents are asked to use the following phone numbers:
- Burnet Hill Elementary: 973-422-2703
- Collins Elementary: 973-422-2709
- Harrison Elementary: 973-422-2718
- Hillside Elementary: 973-422-2712
- Mt. Pleasant Elementary: 973-422-2714
- Riker Hill Elementary: 973-422-2727
- Mt. Pleasant Middle: 973-422-2701
- Heritage Middle: 973-422-2706
- Livingston High School: 973-422-2711
- Monmouth Court: 973-422-2705