eLearning Cyberattacks And Issues With Microsoft Exchange

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ZDNet recently noted that “15 schools in the United Kingdom have been unable to provide online learning due to a cyberattack.” (, 2021) The cyberattack affected multiple schools across the same area, Nottinghamshire, and required the schools to shut down their IT systems completely to respond to the attack. “According to Nova Education Trust, a threat actor was able to access the trust’s central network infrastructure and while an investigation took place, all existing phone, email, and website communication had to be pulled.” (, 2021) These precautions greatly impacted the school days for students of all 15 schools, as they were unable to continue eLearning as expected, and teachers were unable to upload their teaching materials. The aftermath of the attack is still being sifted through, the systems are still being restored, and schools are expected to reopen on March 8th.

Earlier this week Microsoft released updates “to address four previously unknown or ‘zero-day’ vulnerabilities in Exchange Server that were being used in limited targeted attacks.” (, 2021) Microsoft has strongly urged Exchange Server customers to immediately apply the updates. “Microsoft is urging customers to apply the updates as soon as possible due to the critical rating of the flaws. The flaws affected Exchange Server 2013, Exchange Server 2016, and Exchange Server 2019. Exchange Online is not affected.” (, 2021)


With the world around us still in a very virtual state, it’s that much more frustrating when a hacker or cyberattack takes us offline. With so many schools either being fully remote or using a hybrid model for eLearning, the last thing students and faculty need is to feel disconnected. While the cyberattack noted above targeted the UK, there is no reason to think this can’t happen to our schools in the U.S. The flaws with the Exchange Server were unfortunate, to say the least, but the bigger issue is whether or not your business was ready to respond to them if they placed you in jeopardy.

Hodgson Consulting & Solutions specializes in the IT infrastructure of schools, and we want your students and their educators to feel safe a secure! And as a Microsoft Partner, we monitor your IT solutions to make sure you’re never behind on critical updates.


Hodgson Consulting & Solutions specializes in securing data and information loss prevention for companies with multiple locations and/or a remote workforce. We offer full solutions for your IT needs, not just quick or Band-Aid fixes. Contact us to receive a FREE Dark Web Scan and also learn more about our Managed Security Service Plans. Contact our office today at 847-906-5005.


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