Identity thieves targeting K-12 schools at alarming rate – Good Day Sacramento


SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Cybercriminals are targeting schools at an alarming rate, putting children at risk of identity theft. And their parents may never know.

We have discovered alarming statistics which show that attacks are more common in K-12 schools than many realize. And they can have significant consequences

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“I am always very careful with what I share,” said Elizabeth.

From high school students fresh out of distance learning to Mr. Code’s coding lessons …

“If they have all of your information…” Michael said.

“If they get ahold of it, then they can do a lot of bad things on your behalf,” Toby said.

Most kids realize the repercussions of a cyberattack, but it turns out that their schools may not be.

“They can use it all over the dark web,” said Michael.

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According to a recent IBM survey, about half of teachers and administrators said they were not concerned about cyber attacks.

“It’s really worrying for me,” Elizabeth said.

And when we asked local school districts about their policies for tracking and reporting violations, only one in 50 confirmed that they actually had a policy.

Two school districts said they were in the process of developing a cyber attack reporting policy, and several said they needed more time to respond, which is allowed under California’s public records law. However, the vast majority of school districts did not respond to CBS13’s request.

Meanwhile, CBS13 examined more than 100 publicly reported cybersecurity incidents at California K-12 schools, including nearly a dozen recently reported ransomware attacks – a type of malware that locks computers and files. – with messages like this: “until a ransom is paid …”

We have confirmed that at least one ransomware attack in the Placer County School District has never been reported publicly or to parents. But cybersecurity analysts say it’s common, tracking more than 1,600 ransomware attacks in school districts across the country last year alone.

But from Toledo, Ohio to Texas, student information from hundreds of these breaches is now available on the dark web, where children’s information sells for a high price, as their own credit histories make them ideal targets. for identity thieves.

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Coming up tonight at 10 a.m., why parents don’t have the right to be notified of ransomware attacks. We’ll also have details on what parents can do to protect their kids from school data breaches.

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