FL: Safeguard lapse allowed student to access and disrupt Pinellas County school computer system, police say

Walt Buteau reports:

A computer system safeguard that the Pinellas County School District was paying for unknowingly lapsed this year, allowing a 17-year-old student to access and disrupt the district’s system, according to school officials.

According to a St. Petersburg police arrest affidavit, the high school student allegedly broke into the district computer network March 22 and 25 and caused the district internet network to fail. The teen was charged with a third-degree felony for illegally accessing a computer system network and is scheduled to be arraigned June 17. A call to his home was not answered.

Read more on WFLA.

So this sounds like a failure on the vendor’s part, but the district did not catch it:

Pinellas County School District spokesperson Isabel Mascarenas said representatives of the district internet provider Charter-Spectrum said, “they failed to maintain” what is known as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) DDoS protection, “even though we were continuing to pay the contracted amount.”

And keep in mind that the teen caused a two-day outage.

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