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'Our first cyber snow day'

Students in Baltimore County, Maryland, got an early jump on the Thanksgiving holiday last week, after a ransomware attack against the county's 114,000-student school district prompted the cancellation of classes last Wednesday. While the type of ransomware used has not been identified, the incident added Baltimore County Public Schools to a growing list of large K-12 systems where extortion malware has disrupted an already tenuous year of mostly remote learning. "Looks like we’re getting our first cyber snow day," a football coach at one of the county's high schools wrote. Benjamin Freed reports.

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Atlanta CIO Gary Brantley to step down

Atlanta Chief Information Officer Gary Brantley plans to stepped down from the city government last week after more than two years in the role, city officials told StateScoop. Brantley, who was hired in September 2018, is credited with leading the city's recovery from a massive ransomware attack earlier that year, and overhauling Atlanta's IT governance. Brantley's new role will take him to a "c-suite" private-sector job, though he told StateScoop he could not yet name his new employer. Ben has more.

Are states relenting on municipal broadband during the pandemic?

The pandemic has forced government to figure out new ways to expand broadband access with so many people stuck at home. But attempts to do this at the local level have been mixed in states that limit investments in municipal internet service. Yet more cities are leaning into publicly owned broadband as the health crisis continues, say guests on the newest episode of StateScoop's podcast, Priorities. “They see this as taking their economic future in their own hands,” says Teresa Ferguson, a broadband engagement director in Colorado, where more than 140 communities have opted out of a 2005 state law banning municipal internet service. Ryan Johnston hosts.

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