Cybersecurity

Attacks against computer networks in the Morehouse, Ouachita and Sabine parish school systems have prompted a special alert in Louisiana.

Someone has breached several government-operated computers in North Central Louisiana, prompting Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards to issue a statewide emergency declaration as a response.

Louisiana officials say the cybersecurity incident is affecting several local government agencies. The declaration makes available state resources and allows for assistance from cybersecurity experts from the Louisiana National Guard, Louisiana State Police, the Office of Technology Services and others to assist local governments in responding to and preventing future data loss.

The cybersecurity incident has already impacted school systems in Sabine, Morehouse, and Ouachita parishes in North Louisiana. The state is in contact with parish school systems and governments across the state to assess further areas that may be at risk.

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) has activated its Crisis Action Team and also the Emergency Services Function-17 to coordinate a response.

Louisiana officials are coordinating with the FBI, state agencies and higher education partners.

“The state was made aware of a malware attack on a few north Louisiana school systems and we have been coordinating a response ever since,” Gov. Edwards said. “This is exactly why we established the Cyber Security Commission, focused on preparing for, responding to and preventing cybersecurity attacks, and we are well-positioned to assist local governments as they battle this current threat.”

This is the first activation of Louisiana’s emergency support function relating to cybersecurity.

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