New details on ‘Trickbot’ computer virus that forced Coventry Local Schools to close

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COVENTRY, Ohio — We’re learning more about widespread technology issues that led to Coventry Local Schools being closed on Monday.

The district’s network and computers were infected by the “Trickbot” virus.

According to Coventry Local Schools Superintendent Lisa Blough, they noticed there was an issue Friday on a few computers and then later in the day it spread district-wide.

It was impacting phones, security, internet, and building access. Blough said this is the worst malware they’ve ever come in contact with.

School was canceled because they couldn’t guarantee the security system was working properly.

Monday was to be the seniors last day of school. The superintendent is working to see if seniors can do their “Senior Walk,” where they say goodbye to teachers, another day.

The decision on whether or not to cancel classes Tuesday will be made later Monday.

It’s not yet clear how the district got the virus, but Blough says it was likely through an email attachment.

The cyber criminal division of the Cleveland FBI is assisting in the investigation.

What is a Trickbot virus?

The Trickbot malware attempts to steal money by gaining access to bank account login information or cryptocurrency.

David Mastny, Director of Information Security at Cuyahoga Community College, said it is typically spread through a phishing email.

“Phishing is very, very common. It’s the number one used technique because it works,” he said.

A phishing email may look legitimate but actually contains malware that infects a computer when a link is clicked or an attachment is opened. He said the emails often ask users to ‘enable macros,’ which users should avoid doing to prevent infection.

“You have to be aware of phishing, you have to make sure you don’t click on links or attachments you aren’t expecting,” Mastny said. “You should take a little extra time to scrutinize that.”

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