Public school systems around the country have been targeted by cybercriminals and their families for years, but a recent wave of attacks has made the problem more severe and complicated.
It’s a problem that’s made for a dramatic escalation in the cyberwar on schools.
The latest round of attacks took place at Miami Dade County Public Schools in Florida, where officials say a malicious actor exploited a security flaw in its website to gain access to the entire system.
Miami Dades public schools have been hit by a string of hacks over the past year, including one that sent school IDs and passwords to the wrong email account.
In a letter sent Monday to the county, Miami DADE County Superintendent John Fritchey said that the attackers gained access to all of the district’s internal computers and data, including the school district’s email accounts, which were also used to store the school’s online student information and personal information.
“The cybercrims exploited a vulnerability in the Dade Public Schools web application and used that vulnerability to steal personal information about the DPD school employees, including passwords, credit card information, and other sensitive information,” Fritchie wrote.
Miami Public Schools says that it has not received a single ransom demand or threat in connection with the attack, which took place between December and February.
Miami District of Education spokeswoman Sarah Soto told The Associated Press that the district has been working with law enforcement to help them track down the hackers.
In March, Miami schools were hit by another cyberattack, this time from an individual who had access to some of the school system’s network resources, and stole sensitive personal information, including school IDs, school phone numbers, and a school email address.
The Miami DPD did not respond to a request for comment on the latest attack.
This latest attack came on the heels of a series of cyberattacks in Miami, including a successful ransomware attack that affected the city’s electrical grid.
Soto said in a statement Monday that Miami DADC will begin implementing a new, more robust security program that will better protect all of its campuses.
Miami officials have not confirmed if the new security measures will include a more aggressive password requirement.
But in an earlier statement, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said that he expects to see a “significant” increase in cybersecurity measures at schools across the state.
“Miami’s public education system is the envy of the nation,” he said.
“I know this as a community of families and as a city, we are working to make sure we are secure in all of our systems.
Our school district has not experienced this type of activity in many years, and we will not rest until we are.
Our schools are safe and secure, and our families will have confidence in them.”
The latest attacks come amid growing concern over a cyberattack that was discovered in the summer of 2016, but the malware itself was never disclosed publicly.
A few months after the attack on Miami, the DIA said that cybercrimins had already breached more than 100 schools in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia.
The attacks targeted private and public data, and the DMIA has said that its own cybersecurity efforts were inadequate to prevent the latest cyberattack.
The DMIAs report on the DADCs cyber security efforts was released in April, and it found that the cyberattackers targeted the Miami DDP, which is not included in the district as part of its overall cyber security.
The agency said that at the time of the cyberattacks, the district had only eight employees on its cybersecurity team.
The District of Columbia also said in March that it had been hit with an attack from a foreign government, but it did not disclose the nature of the malware used.
The cyberattacks came just a few weeks after a group of hackers known as Lazarus Group released a string to the website of the Washington Post and a number of other news outlets that contained thousands of private and personal data.
The hackers had gained access through the websites of two newspapers, The Post and The Associated Statesman, which are owned by The Washington Post Company.
The news organizations then published the data in response to the attacks.
As of Tuesday, the hacker group was still at it.
The group is still active, and its attacks continue.
“We believe the Lazarus Group will continue to target U.S. government and corporate targets,” said Matt Gaffney, the CEO of cybersecurity firm FireEye.
“It is likely that many more governments will continue the Lazarus attack campaign.”
The attacks also came as the U.K. government issued a public alert saying it was looking into the breach, which included a threat to “the lives and physical safety of thousands of citizens in the United Kingdom.”
“The malware used in the attacks has been publicly identified by many security researchers as being of Russian origin,” the alert read.
“Our investigation into this attack is ongoing and we are aware of additional data that may