Lodi Unified School District on Wednesday morning took to social media to announce it experienced a computer network disruption on Oct. 3, which rendered staff unable to access certain files and systems.

A third party was brought in to assist district technology department staff investigate the scope of the shutdown and restore access to the impacted systems, the social media post said.

The district’s website was unavailable as of Wednesday morning, telephone phone systems at five school sites were inoperable, and staff was unable to use email accounts.

Phones lines at the James Areida Educational Support Center were restored at about 10 a.m.

“Our technology department is diligently working to protect all student data and personal records,” the district said. “We do not have an estimated timeline for when our network will be back in operation.”

The district’s website was back online by the end of the day Wednesday.

Lodi Unified’s network shutdown came just days after Monday’s Facebook outage, though the two events were unrelated. Facebook’s outage lasted about six hours and prevented users from refreshing feeds or sending messages.

The social media giant’s vice president of infrastructure, Santosh Janardhan, said in a blogpost late Monday that the outage was caused by “configuration changes on the backbone routers,” but did not go into further detail as to what those changes were.

Facebook, as well as its subsidiary networks Instagram and WhatsApp, stopped working just before 9 a.m. Monday.

In April 2019, the City of Lodi was the victim of a ransomware attack that hindered its phone lines and data financial systems.

The attack occurred after an employee opened an email attachment that sent malware through the city’s computer network. It encrypted critical files that knocked several key phone lines out of service, including the Lodi Police Department’s non-emergency number, Public Works’ emergency outage line, and the main numbers for City Hall and the Finance Department.

Hackers demanded the city pay 75 Bitcoins — or $400,000 — in exchange for the encryption keys that would release the servers.

The city did not pay the ransom, instead rebuilding its systems from back-up servers.

The following December, the City of Galt experienced a similar attack that knocked out several phone lines and blocked employees’ computer access.

That attack was also triggered by a Galt city employee opening an email attachment that sent ransomware throughout the computer network. It disabled the same phone lines — Galt Police Department’s non-emergency number, Galt Public Works’ emergency outage line, and the main numbers for City Hall and Galt Finance Department.

And like Lodi’s attack, hackers demanded a ransom from the City of Galt, which was not paid.

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