A school district in Iowa canceled a day of classes after a network breach allowed hackers to send hateful messages to families from the public school. The messages contained personal details about students and threatened to do harm to them and their families. Apparently, the threats weren’t credible except to stir up fear and make a show of their ability to access the information. There is a theory that this could be an attempt to threaten people as to warn the FBI to stop investigating them.
The group is called “thedarkoverlord” and they’ve been responsible for recent info leaks and hacks of organizations like Netflix and Larson Studios. They have been under investigation for these hacks and could have performed this recent “attack” as a warning. They even tweeted out links to the contact information of the students from the school district, stating that predators can now use that information to plan their targets.
With the student directory from JCSD we released, any child predator can now easily acquire new targets and even plan based on grade level.
— thedarkoverlord (@tdo_hackers) October 5, 2017
What Parents Should Know
Network security is becoming a more and more serious issue. We live in a world where all of your personal information is available in multiple locations online. If you, as a digital citizen, aren’t thinking about important tools like passwords and usernames your information can end up in dangerous hands. The best advice I can give you is to ask your school district if they have someone responsible for the security of their network and if so if they can keep something like what happened in Iowa from happening at your school. Then make sure you follow some simple network security rules yourself. Use different passwords for different sites. Use passwords or passphrases that, while easy for you to remember, aren’t easy to guess, and don’t ever use default passwords on websites, routers, modems, or computers.