A SCHOOLS chain which has schools in York, Selby and Scarborough has been hit by hackers in a ransomware attack.

The incident has affected schools at Hope Sentamu Learning Trust which includes Manor CE Academy, Vale of York Academy, Barlby High, Graham School, George Pindar School, Poppleton Ousebank Primary, Burton Green Primary, Forest of Galtres Anglican Methodist Primary and Skelton Primary.

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Hope Sentamu Learning Trust said in a letter to parents on Monday (January 9) it had turned off some of its systems, but that some have already been brought back online.

It was part of a ransomware attack where hackers target an IT network and often disable it or take it offline, before demanding money or a reward for turning it back on again. Experts recommend never caving in to these demands.

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In the letter Helen Winn, the Chief Executive Officer of Hope Sentamu Learning Trust, said the trust has not received a ransom demand and if they did they wouldn't pay it out of principle.

She said: "As a precautionary measure some IT systems will remain offline while we continue to investigate the issue, protect our IT infrastructure and restore services.

"Thanks to strong back-ups we are hopeful systems will be up and running in due course. We are also pleased our systems alerted us quickly allowing us to take the necessary action.

"I want you to know that we take the security of our IT systems very seriously and we are working with highly experienced partners to secure our systems, resolve the issue, and minimise the temporary disruption.

"We remain in contact with the relevant authorities including the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and police and we will keep them and parents undated on any new developments."

York Press:

Hope Sentamu Learning Trust which has 15 academies across York, Hull, Selby and Scarborough was formed in 2021  following a merger of York-based Hope Learning Trust and the Hull-based Sentamu Academy Learning Trust.

The Sentamu Academy Learning Trust currently has five academies in Hull: Archbishop Sentamu CE Academy, Aspire Academy, The Compass Academy, Newland St John’s CE Primary Academy and St James’ CE Primary Academy.