The NSW Department of Education has suffered a cyber attack just days before the school term resumes and students in Greater Sydney are forced to rely on remote learning.
The department said in a statement on Thursday that the attack had forced it to deactivate “a number of internal systems as a precaution” late on Wednesday.
Online portals used by both staff and students are both impacted, as is email and the staff intranet.
NSW Education Secretary Georgina Harrisson said the decision was made as a precaution while it investigates the incident, with the security of student and staff data the first priority.
The attack came on the same day the NSW government confirmed students in lockdown areas would learn online until at least July 19 in response to the state’s Covid-19 outbreak.
"The timing of this creates considerable challenges for staff as we prepare for the start of term three,” Harrisson said in a statement.
“Thankfully, our teams have been able to isolate the issues and we are working to reactivate services as soon as possible.”
The department is currently working with Cyber Security NSW to restore normal access in time for the start of the term, and has also referred the matter to NSW Police and federal authorities.
“I am confident we will have the issue resolved soon and want to reassure teachers and parents that there will be no impact on students learning from home next week,” Harrisson said.
She added that to ensure preparation for the start of the term can continue, information would be made available on the department’s website to support home learning.