Over the past 6 months at North Springs Charter High School, a student compromised the login credentials of 21 faculty members through a third party service. Once they had obtained those credentials, the student was able to use the credentials to log into Fulton County Schools Faculty portal, gaining access to a abundance of sensitive information, including grade books and teacher’s billing information.
Fulton County Schools has offered the faculty members affected a year of LifeLock® identity and credit monitoring. The school district is confident that any information that was tampered with has been restored to its original state, and is working to improve its network security.
North Springs Technology Specialist, Mr. Brown, talked about how, as good as Fulton County School’s network is, no network is without fault: “There is not a system made that cannot be hacked.” He also recommended that both student’s and faculty to reset their passwords for Fulton County School’s system, and a an ensuring students and teachers know how to be safe online: “… we are talk about teachers using their credentials to long onto a unsecured network. I don’t care what kind of system you have that is not going to stop that… that is a human being type of thing.”
Like many other school districts, Fulton County has taken the necessary time to ensure that the technology that they implement is a benefit to the schools, and the education process. While critics insist that the district is not doing enough to protect the students and faculty under their charge, Fulton County Schools has.
Fulton County Schools is at the forefront of integrating student technologies, with the recent announcement of a one-to-one technology program for every school in the county. This program will be rolled out in stages over the next few years, ensuring that the technology we are equipping our students with is up to date.
North Springs’ itself is a beacon of technical advances. The school used charter funds to get ahead of the curve in installing projectors in every classroom, and is one of only 2 in the county to offer Graphic Design as a course pathway. More recently the school won a 3D printer for it’s first place win in the international Deconstruction competition, and took part in code.org’s Hour of Code event.
In a letter to parents announcing the hack North Springs principal Eddie Ruiz, reemphasized the school’s commitment to digital protection and education: “Please know that the district is continuing to improve the security of our networks and is training staff and students on digital citizenship and proper security to keep this situation from occurring again.”