A Valencia High School student faces criminal charges for hacking into the school’s network.
The student hacked into the system and made changes to information according Paul Preisz, the school’s Principal.
“The student had access to everything,” said Priesz. “He [the student] said that he changed things but then he changed them back.”
The incident occurred on March 9 and, according to Priesz, he was able to gain access to the entire district’s system but only went into the Valencia portion.
The hack took place on the Valencia campus but it is unclear if he used the district’s computers or a personal one.
It is believed that the student was able to gain access to the system by using a password. District officials do not know how he was able to get the password.
In response to the incident, the Hart district sent a letter to all VHS staff notifying them that their personnel information may have been compromised. They were offered credit monitoring services to protect them from unauthorized use of that information.
“We firmly believe that the suspected hacker’s intention was only to seek unauthorized access to the school’s information systems and not to acquire or misuse the personal information of faculty members,” said Rob Gapper, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Student Services for the district.
The staff will be given a year’s services from TripleAlert providing: daily monitoring of credit reports at each of the three national credit bureaus, notification of key changes that may help victims identify possible fraudulent activity, monthly “no-hit” notifications if no key changes are detected, and $25,000 of identify theft insurance.
“There is a level of concern with the teachers, but the ones I’ve spoken to feel the district has taken the right steps,” said Priesz.
Gapper noted that the district already had in place administrative, technical and physical safeguards for information in its system.
“Even the most rigorous safeguards, however, cannot guarantee protection against suspected criminal conduct,” Gapper added.
Since the incident, the Hart District has made several changes to its information security policies and procedures to prevent a recurrence.
Sheriff’s officials were notified of the incident and seized computer equipment apparently used by the suspected hacker. They identified a suspect, who was placed under arrest.