(The AEGIS Alliance) – A teenage student, age 16, was arrested for orchestrating a number of cyberattacks and network outages that happened in Florida’s largest county during the first week of school, according to authorities on Thursday.
Police in the district believe other people were involved in the cyberattacks that are plaguing the Miami-Dade schools since their reopening on Monday and students started receiving online instructions during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“We will not rest until every one of them is caught and brought to justice,” Edwin Lopez, police chief for the schools said.
Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho stated the attacks are “disheartening that one of our own students has admitted to intentionally causing this kind of disruption.”
Lopez said the South Miami Senior High School student told police he is responsible for eight attacks on the school computer system “designed to overwhelm district networks.” The teen is charged with using a computer in an attempt to defraud, and it’s a felony; the teen is also charged with misdemeanor interference with an educational institution.
The name of the student was not released because he’s a minor. It’s unclear if he has an attorney to represent him.
Officials previously revealed that Carvalho had never signed a contract with the online platform for $15.3 million that’s at the center of the crisis. The Miami-Dade County school district’s chief financial officer named Ron Steiger announced on Wednesday at a school board meeting that discussed the failures of K12′s online platform and My School Online, according to The Miami Herald.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic delayed officials from starting classes between mid-August to August 31. But many teachers and students have been unable to access the online system and the school board is being overwhelmed with complaints.
The school district’s chief academic officer named Marie Izquierdo said problems with the K12 platform are happening throughout the U.S., and officials are working to resolve the problems. The company emailed a statement to the Herald that network outages were affecting the platform.
Izquierdo said that in the meantime, one option is to revert to the plan that was working when the pandemic started earlier in the year this spring when all teachers used whichever online platform they were most comfortable with using.
Parents made complaints at the time, saying it was too confusing to navigate multiple platforms. Also, the district was only able to measure one-time log-ins, not sustained participation, which is one of the features that My School Online offers.
Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has requested a briefing with the Department of Homeland Security regarding cybersecurity that relates to school districts.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.