Minneapolis Public School data released on dark web after ransomware attack

The Minneapolis Public School District announced data stolen in a cyber attack was released on the dark web amid a looming ransom deadline on Friday.

MPS was facing a serious deadline after cyber criminals threatened to release more highly sensitive information if the district doesn’t pay a $1 million ransom. The most recent data was released on the dark web, an area of the internet that requires special software to access and allows users to be untraceable. 

"We are working with cybersecurity specialists to quickly and securely download the data so that we can conduct an in-depth and comprehensive review to determine the full scope of what personal information was impacted and to whom the information relates," MPS said in a statement. 

The hackers had previously released some of the stolen information including personal records of students, parents and staff in the district. One document leaked included an alleged sexual assault with students’ names and victim’s statements.

The school district said they would contact people directly if their personal information was impacted, but warned the process could take some time. The district previously announced it would offer all potentially affected individuals free credit monitoring and identity protection services. 

MPS said it had "taken a stance" against the cybercriminals and has since fully restored its systems without needing to corporate with hackers. The district did not elaborate on how much data was released on the dark web Friday.