5 schools in NJ district close for days over internet ‘safety concerns’
MONROE TOWNSHIP (Gloucester) — Schools in the Monroe Township school district in Gloucester County are closed again Thursday because of internet problems.
All five schools in the district have been closed since Tuesday, parents told 6 ABC Action News. At first it was blamed on a problem with the school's wireless service.
A message from superintendent Susan Ficke said the problem was caused by an “unauthorized third party,” according to 6 ABC Action News. There would be “logistical and safety concerns” if classes were held without an internet connection, according to Ficke's message.
A sign on the door of Monroe Township High School said school was closed "indefinitely."
Ficke on Thursday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information.
Who's investigating the issue?
Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office Chief Tom Gilbert told New Jersey 101.5 his office was not directly involved in the investigation and referred questions to Monroe Township police. Chief Craig Monahan also did not respond to a message.
The FBI's Philadelphia office would neither confirm nor deny an investigation per its policy.
"However, the FBI takes all cyberattacks seriously and when we learn about intrusions, it’s customary that we offer our assistance in these matters," spokeswoman Carrie Adamowski told New Jersey 101.5.
Parents told CBS Philadelphia they were concerned about whether or not any personal information was exposed.
Not the first school to be attacked
Several New Jersey government agencies have fallen victim to cyberattacks including Somerset County, whose entire IT system was taken down in May. East Windsor Township's system was attacked in March.
The Tenafly school district was also the victim of a ransomware attack in June.
A township in Union County and an accounting firm in Morris County were targeted by three Iranian citizens in 2021 and were indicted by US Attorney Phillip Sellinger in September.