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Nantucket Public Schools closed Wednesday after ransomware attack

Downtown Nantucket. The island's schools became the latest district to get hit by hackers.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Nantucket Public Schools will be closed Wednesday “out of an abundance of caution” after a ransomware attack on the district’s computer system caused an early closure Tuesday, officials said.

“Together with outside data security experts, our Information Technology Department has been working very hard all day to restore our computers and internet service,” according to a message sent by Superintendent Beth Hallett Tuesday afternoon to families and staff. “However, out of an abundance of caution, we will be cancelling school tomorrow, Wednesday, February 1, for all staff and students.”

The message said athletic practices and games, as well as the Nantucket Community Pool and the Early Childhood Center at Nantucket Elementary School, will “continue as scheduled.”


On Tuesday, all students were dismissed at noon, although athletic events were scheduled to continue as usual.

“All student and staff devices have been shut down, and our safety and security systems, including phones and security cameras, are also disabled,” Hallett said in an earlier e-mail to parents.

School administrators said all school-issued devices have been forced to shut down, as well as school security cameras and phones.

“No school-issued devices should be used at home until further notice, as it could compromise home networks,” Hallett said.

She said the school will provide parents with more updates when they become available.

Schools are a frequent target of hackers. On Jan. 4, Swansea Public Schools were hit with a ransomware attack, forcing the cancelation of classes districtwide in the southeastern Massachusetts town.

Globe Correspondent Matt Yan contributed to this report.

Ashley Soebroto can be reached at Follow her @ashsoebroto. Matt Yan can be reached at Follow him @matt_yan12.