BlackSuit Ransomware Attack on School District of Colfax

Incident Date:

May 24, 2024

World map



BlackSuit Ransomware Attack on School District of Colfax


School District Of Colfax


Black Suit


Colfax, USA

Washington, USA

First Reported

May 24, 2024

BlackSuit Ransomware Attack on School District of Colfax

Overview of the School District of Colfax

The School District of Colfax, located in Colfax, Wisconsin, is a public school district providing education to students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. The district is known for its strong student-teacher ratio of 13:1, which fosters a supportive learning environment. It consists of two schools: Colfax High School and Colfax Elementary School, serving a total of 746 students. Despite being a small district, it is recognized for its above-average educational standards.

Details of the Ransomware Attack

In a recent cyber attack, the ransomware group BlackSuit claimed responsibility for targeting the School District of Colfax. The attack involved penetrating the district's systems, encrypting critical data, and demanding a ransom of $150,000 for the release of stolen files. The breach was publicly disclosed on BlackSuit’s dark web leak site, highlighting the vulnerability of educational institutions to cyber threats.

About BlackSuit Ransomware

BlackSuit is a relatively new ransomware group that emerged in 2023, closely associated with the notorious Royal ransomware gang. The group has rapidly gained notoriety for targeting both Windows and Linux systems, including VMware ESXi servers. BlackSuit’s ransomware encrypts files with the .blacksuit extension and drops a ransom note named README.BlackSuit.txt in affected directories. The ransom note directs victims to a Tor chat site for negotiations.

BlackSuit operates similarly to Royal ransomware, sharing a high degree of code and functional similarities. This has led cybersecurity experts to believe that BlackSuit could be a rebrand or a splinter faction of the Royal gang. The ransomware group employs sophisticated methods such as phishing emails, malicious torrent files, and advanced frameworks like Empire and Cobalt Strike to deliver its payloads.

Impact and Response

The attack on the School District of Colfax underscores the increasing trend of ransomware attacks on educational institutions, which often lack the robust cybersecurity measures found in other sectors. The district’s reliance on digital infrastructure for educational and administrative purposes makes it a prime target for cybercriminals seeking to exploit these vulnerabilities for financial gain.

BlackSuit’s focus on critical sectors such as education, healthcare, and government highlights the need for enhanced cybersecurity protocols across these industries. The attack on Colfax is part of a broader pattern of ransomware incidents that have seen significant increases in both frequency and ransom demands over the past year.


Recent Ransomware Attacks

The Recent Ransomware Attacks (RRA) site acts as a watchtower, providing you with near real-time ransomware tracking of attacks, groups and their victims. Given threat actors’ overarching, lucrative success so far, ransomware attacks have become the most ubiquitous, and financially and informationally impactful cyber threat to businesses and organizations today.

The site’s data is generated based on hosting choices of real-world threat actors, and a handful of other trackers. While sanitization efforts have been taken, we cannot guarantee 100% accuracy of the data. Attack updates will be made as source data is reported by reputable sources. By viewing, accessing, or using RRA you acknowledge you are doing so at your own risk.