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Why Are Ransomware Attackers Targeting Local Towns And Schools?

Christiaan Colen
Wikimedia Commons

As students head back to school, teachers and administrators in Wolcott, Connecticut will start the school year without access to important files.

The Wolcott Public School system computers were attacked by ransomware, a type of computer virus that holds essential data hostage unless the school agrees to pay attackers a ransom.

This hour, we take a look at why hackers have increased attacks on local governments and schools for ransomware. What does this mean for Connecticut, a state with hundreds of separate municipal governments and school systems?

Plus, we take a look at the issue of releasing school-by-school vaccine data. A Bristol couple has argued in a lawsuit that releasing the information violates their privacy, but the state says it plans to make the data available. We ask a legal expert to weigh in.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.


  • Linn Freedman - Chair of Data Privacy and Cybersecurity at Robinson+Cole (@RobinsonCole); She advises municipalities and school systems about cyber risks
  • Chief Edward Stephens - Police chief of Wolcott, Connecticut
  • Rudy Marconi - First Selectman of Ridgefield CT and the president of the Connecticut Council of Small Towns (@CT_COST)
  • Andrew Neblett - Information Technology manager for the town of Ridgefield
  • John Cogan- Associate Professor at UConn Law School, focusing on health law (@JACoganJr)

Chion Wolf contributed to this show.

Lucy leads Connecticut Public's strategies to deeply connect and build collaborations with community-focused organizations across the state.
Carmen Baskauf was a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show Where We Live, hosted by Lucy Nalpathanchil from 2017-2021. She has also contributed to The Colin McEnroe Show.

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