Phones back online for Wood County Schools

PARKERSBURG — Phones have been restored and most offices in the Wood County School System will have Internet access today after a nearly week-long technology shutdown caused by a computer virus, the superintendent said on Monday.

Crews have been working since Wednesday to detect and remove hard drives infected by ransomware that corrupts Windows-based files, Superintendent Will Hosaflook said. Officials were forced to take the entire system offline to stop the spread of the virus.

As of Monday, the district’s phone system had been restored, Hosaflook said.

“It’s a slow and steady process,” he said. “You can’t risk bringing potentially infected computers online. They fix a few machines, verify they are OK, and then copy those onto other systems.”

Most school offices will be up and running today with internet connection, but it may be several more days before classroom and teacher computers are brought back on line, Hosaflook said. Wireless access will be among the last systems to be turned back on, he said.

Technology specialists with the school system have been working with a third-party vendor to install programs to detect and prevent malware, which can often bury itself in a system’s code and lie dormant for weeks or months before being activated, Hosaflook said. The school system also has received help from area business and industry.

Crews Monday were working on computers at Parkersburg South High School and will go school-by-school throughout the week checking and repairing machines, he said.

“They’ve been working non-stop since Wednesday,” Hosaflook said.


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