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K-12 schools in crisis as data theft spikes after holidays

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TLDR:

  • K-12 schools in the U.S. are experiencing a surge in cyberattacks and data thefts following the holiday season.
  • Multiple schools, including Butte School District in Montana and Edmonds School District in Washington, have reported data breaches.
  • Ohio’s Groveport Madison Schools is recovering from a ransomware incident.
  • Security researchers have discovered vulnerabilities in the software used by schools, exposing sensitive data.
  • School security company Raptor Technologies exposed millions of records, including school incident response plans and background check systems.

Schools across the U.S. are facing a wave of cyberattacks and data thefts in the wake of the holiday season. Butte School District in Montana, Edmonds School District in Washington, and Fullerton Joint Union High School District and Glendale Unified School District in California are among the schools that have reported data breaches since the start of the year. Ohio’s Groveport Madison Schools is also recovering from a ransomware incident that caused damage to several Windows devices, security cameras, and printers. The district was warned of the attack by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and was able to restore its systems within a month.

As schools become more connected to cloud-based platforms, researchers are uncovering vulnerabilities in the software they use. vpnMentor cybersecurity researcher Jeremiah Fowler recently found millions of records exposed by school security company Raptor Technologies. The exposed database contained sensitive information such as school incident response plans, school layouts, and documents on malfunctioning cameras or physical security gaps. Background check systems, emergency drills, and data on at-risk students were also exposed. Lawyers are now seeking individuals who may have had their information exposed, and the Washington, D.C. public school system has notified parents of the situation.

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