Ransomware attack cripples NYC DOE’s teacher disciplinary system

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A ransomware attack has crippled the city’s teacher discipline system, The Post has learned.

A contractor that provides hearing transcripts for the city Department of Education, the Ubiqus Group, said it “was hit by a  ransomware-type cybersecurity incident” on Dec. 4.

 “As a precautionary measure, we have shut down all our IT systems across all our operating sites,” the company announced on its website. 

In a ransomware attack, hackers seize a user’s data, folders or device until a “ransom” fee is paid. A DOE spokeswoman would not say whether a ransom had been demanded.

Pending a probe, the cyberattack shut down NYC termination hearings for tenured  educators accused of incompetence or misconduct.

 “This is serious. Transcripts are the lifeblood of these hearings,” said Betsy Combier, a paralegal who defends teachers and a blogger who first reported the malware attack. “You can’t do anything without the transcripts, you can’t do a closing. You can’t decide a case.”

Combier said she called the state Education Department and was told that a “forensic cyberteam” is investigating.

The city DOE said Ubiqus is contracted by the state. A spokeswoman could not immediately say how many hearings have been held up.

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