Two schools hacked every week

Summary

A TV show used computer specialists to demonstrate how easy it can be to hack into schools’ computers and retrieve sensitive information such as test results, reports and absence lists

Security not keeping up with technology

Every week, the computer networks of at least two schools in Flanders are hacked, according to non-profit organisation Edubit.

With the consent of the school directors, TV programme Telefacts on the VTM channel asked a computer specialist and hacker to test the ICT networks of a few schools in Flanders. In one school, within half an hour they were able to obtain teachers’ passwords, find tests, delete absence lists and empty one school’s whole server.

“Schools are totally not secured,” said a hacker in the programme. “They are becoming more and more digitalised, but the security measures are not developed accordingly.”

Edubit, which supports ICT co-ordinators at schools, has examined websites where hackers announce which schools they have hacked. The organisation concluded that at least two schools are hacked each week, writes Het Laatste Nieuws. The hacker can then obtain almost all a school’s important data, from reports and evaluations of students to absence lists. According to Edubit, students with some technical knowledge and the right material can easily retrieve a teacher’s username and password and log in to the system.

Edubit is calling on the government to provide an audit, with which a school can test how secure its network is.

Photo courtesy VTM

A TV show used computer specialists to demonstrate how easy it can be to hack into schools’ computers and retrieve sensitive information such as test results, reports and absence lists.

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