NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A potential cyber hack was reported within the New Haven Public Schools on Monday.
Superintendent DR. Ilene Tracey says the cyberattack so far has been contained to the Christopher Columbus Family Academy, but the district has some assistance now from law enforcement to contain the threat.
“Someone is hacking into students’ Google accounts and sending inappropriate messages to other kids, students and parents,” Dr. Ilene Tracey/ Superintendent, New Haven Public Schools.
The district says it’s all come down to online learning – a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s related to students using Google classroom to access online learning. Emails are being sent not only to students but parents and teachers, so someone has access to an email account and is using that to send this information.”
Experts say these kinds of cyber attacks have become more common.
“It’s not because the schools are doing anything wrong, the problem is the software and the tools that they use for remote access has potential software vulnerabilities in it and hackers are out there studying these things,” Professor Fred Scholl, Cybersecurity Expert, Quinnipiac University.
For New Haven Public Schools, the FBI, local police and city IT departments have their work cut out for them as they attempt to stop the threat from spreading to other schools in the elm city.
Professor Fred Scholl says additional safeguards against cyber attacks come from state and federal funding, but for now he has advice on how to lessen the likelihood of a cyber attack.
“I think the key thing is making sure your passwords are complex.”