Henry County Schools begins another week without internet access

Internet services remain offline for Henry County Schools.

Internet services remain offline for Henry County Schools.

Henry County students are back in class today, but they won’t have access to the internet for almost a fourth week.

Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis said in a YouTube video Sunday that the district is still working to bring its network back online after it was shut down in mid-November because of “suspicious activity.”

“It has been determined that the suspicious activity we detected has been deemed a cyber incident caused by an unauthorized user with the intent to harm,” Davis said.

The district and security officials worked on the issue last week while students were on break for the Thanksgiving holiday, but the problem remains unresolved, she said. The school system’s investigation has determined that none of the district’s important programs have been impacted, including those operating payroll, human resources and email.

She said the investigation could lead to criminal charges.

“This coming week, I will have a better sense of what, if any, impact this incident has had on our digital resources, historical files and network applications,” she said in the YouTube post.

To prepare for the district’s eventual reboot of its network, Henry plans to roll out in the coming days a new systemwide password change, she said. Different programs and applications will also go back online on a rolling basis after it is deemed safe.

“While I must acknowledge this had the potential to be a serious event, early indications give me confidence that the containment we have confirmed is a good signal that there is limited, if any, impact and full restoration is in sight.”