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GCSE coursework lost in cyber attack on Bridport school

Hackers have used ransomware to encrypt files at a school, causing it to lose some students' GCSE work. 


The Sir John Colfox Academy in Bridport, Dorset, said a member of staff mistakenly opened an email containing a virus. The email claimed to be from a colleague at another Dorset school and infected the computer network. Because of this, coursework from one subject submitted by Year 11 students, which was saved on the school' system, has been lost.

Head teacher David Herbert said: "We are liaising with the relevant exam boards about this specific issue." Mr Herbert added a police expert "has advised us that it is very unlikely that any school information has left the building and we are not compromised in that way". He also added that, "personal data relating to staff, students and parents is not held on this system and is secure," he said.

Last week school leaders were urged by the government to take action after a "significant increase" in cyber attacks on academy trusts were recorded. The school in Dorset said specialists were working to try and rectify the issue, which also means Year 9 and 10 reports will be delayed by at least a week.

Dorset police said no money had been exchanged.

Top Tips: 

  • Back-up data on an external drive
  • keeping anti-virus software up to date
  • educate anyone who uses the network to not open unsolicited emails or click on suspicious links.