Computer virus is impacting the network at several Morgan County Schools

MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. - Students and teachers in at least two Morgan County Schools went to work this week without internet, after an aggressive virus infected computers in the school.

District leaders tell us the Trojan Horse virus infected the school system's network through a single email. All it took was one click for the virus to start spreading to devices throughout the building.

“If in doubt about the email, you should just throw it out," says Lee Willis, the Director of Information Technology for the school system.

The most important thing to know, Willis says, is your child's personal information is safe.

"At no time was any of our data breached or in jeopardy because it’s all housed in a more secure location with a partnership of the Alabama supercomputer and Microsoft Endpoint Services," he says.

The specific strand of Trojan Horse virus is called Emotet.

The virus is known for attacking computer networks like ones you could find in Morgan County Schools. Willis was first alerted to the problem on Tuesday.

"As soon as we were notified, we dispatched a technician who then realized what the situation was. We then dispatched our entire technology team and they’re in the process of trying to eradicate the virus off those individual machines," says Willis.

To limit computers infected, they've cut off the schools affected from the larger network, leaving at least two schools without internet access in the classroom.

"It does cause them issues and problems but as usual teachers teach no matter if they have technology or not," he says.

Willis says, they know this is serious and will continue to hold training seminars about phishing scams through emails, because as this whole episode shows us, you can cause a lot of problems with just one wrong click.

"We put a lot of money and time and effort in securing our network because we do have a lot of data and we take the security and safety of our students, to the utmost concern," says Willis.

Students at the impacted schools will have to deal with another day without internet on Friday.

Next week is Fall Break for the district, so Willis hopes everything will be back online by the time students return.