The city’s school district suffered an internet outage this week that lasted hours and prompted the postponement of a public meeting on Wednesday, according to multiple school district officials.
School board president Kenneth Simmons said he was made aware of an outage yesterday. However, the school board meeting was postponed because he wanted to give his colleagues more time to review last-minute documents provided by superintendent Eileen Shafer’s administration.
School board members were expected to virtually meet to discuss setting goals for the district on Wednesday at 5 p.m., but the meeting was cancelled. Some board members said they were told the meeting was cancelled because of the internet outage.
Simmons said internet was restored by 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. “My cancellation had nothing to do with the outage,” he said.
It’s not clear whether the outage was the result of a cyber attack.
It’s also not clear how long the outage lasted or what caused it.
Superintendent Eileen Shafer’s spokesman did not respond to a message for comment on Thursday morning.
“I’m waiting for a report on that,” said Simmons of the outage.
The school district’s website was offline for a good part of Tuesday. A trace route of the district’s website suggests it is run out of a dedicated server housed at 90 Delaware Avenue.
Simmons said he was not aware about the website being offline. He said he plans to seek an explanation from the superintendent and her team.
The district was hacked in 2018. Thousands of passwords were taken during the intrusion. Shafer hired firms to investigate after learning about the hack from the Paterson Times, but has so far refused to make the findings public. The district’s information technology department came under scrutiny following the data breach. None of the IT staff had any cyber security skills listed on their resumes in 2019.
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