New South Wales’ education department has been hit by a cyber attack.
The Department of Education said on Wednesday that some of its internal systems were temporarily deactivated as a precautionary measure.
The closures have created considerable challenges for staff preparing for the start of term 3:
“The timing of this creates considerable challenges for staff as we prepare for the start of Term 3,” NSW Education Secretary Georgina Harrisson said. “Thankfully, our teams have been able to isolate the issues and we are working to reactivate services as soon as possible.”
The Department of Education has taken its systems offline due to safety concerns. Harrisson said the safety and security of its student and staff data is the department’s priority.
Due to an issue with Cyber Security NSW, normal access to schools has been suspended. Department of Education and Cyber Security NSW teams hope to restore normal access in time for the start of Term 3.
NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos said the attack is having “an incredible impact” on teachers and principals.
“It means that they cannot access any information, not even the guidelines for operation next week, they can’t access their emails, can’t access their calendars, can’t access teaching materials, can’t access Zoom,” Gavrielatos said, adding the attack had left school staff in “a state of paralysis”.
Most of NSW is currently in a three-week lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Department of Education has been working with Cyber Security NSW to resolve an issue and reported the attack to the NSW Police and federal agencies.
“I am confident we will have the issue resolved soon and want to reassure teachers and parents that there will be no impact on students learning from home next week,” Harrisson said.
“Whilst we are confident all systems will be back online before day 1, Term 3, we are making information to support home learning available on our public website so that preparations for the start of term can continue.”
The department said it was inappropriate to make any further comment