The hacker used encryption to make it impossible for Pekin representatives to access information stored in the system.
In return for unlocking it, the saboteur demanded a ransom — $37,000, according to Owens.
It was not paid."I can't say that I've seen this before," said Billie Ingles, the Pekin Police public information officer. Among inaccessible files were contact information for the 2,000-some Pekin students, academic grades and lesson plans, among other things, Owens said. Teachers were doing that by hand."We're in a day and age where a lot of teachers do things electronically."There was no identity theft, nor misappropriation of personal information or student records, according to Owens.
The computer system that regulates the school's door system, heating and air conditioning and food service also were affected."It definitely impacted teaching," Owens said. A Pekin network administrator and an outside consultant have been working to restore the school's technology, which should be back to normal in the next few days, according to Owens.
There is no current criminal investigation, Ingles said.