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Crown Point schools cancel classes Monday amid network outage

Crown Point, Indiana schools cancel classes Monday amid network outage
Crown Point, Indiana schools cancel classes Monday amid network outage 02:22

CROWN POINT, Indiana (CBS) – There was no school today for students in Crown Point, Indiana, after a possible computer breach. The local school district said their network may have been compromised.

CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey looked into what happened.

The district said while school was canceled on Monday due to the network outage, students will return to school on Tuesday. The investigation into their network issue continues and when district officials have more information, they said they'll share.

The issue started a week ago the Crown Point Community School Corporation's technology team learned that the part of their internal network wasn't working. A third-party cybersecurity firm then confirmed the network may have been breached.

As for whether students' private information may have been compromised? The district said they still don't know.

"One of the reasons why education is targeted frequently is because they really kind of get an 'F' in their ability to defend against ransomware," said Gregory Bott, a professor of information system sat the University of Alabama.

Bott added that attacks against educational institutions are the most successful of any sector and the issue is getting worse.

"A survey indicated that 72% of [respondents] said they were either in or saw an increase in the volume of attacks or the complexity of the attacks or both," Bott said.

The Crown Point district has not disclosed whether or not this is considered a ransomware attack or if they're identified the possible hackers.

Bott said COVID-19 and the shift to virtual learning or hybrid learning exacerbated the issue for schools.

"The more technology, and especially the more people working remotely, the more opportunity there is for cyber criminals to attack your system and be successful," Bott said. "So COVID had a big impact on that."

So what's Bott's advice for students and parents?

"I'd say, to watch their own credit," he said. "If something were to leak, if I'm a cyber criminal, I'm looking for monetary gain, and that might be through getting credit in your name or, if your child is old enough, in their name."

The district has not determined whether students' personal information was compromised. We're told the email system is still down. 

A district spokesperson said, "We are waiting on the investigation regarding cause of the outage and next steps. We will inform staff and families first once we know more."

Parents and students can get more information here.

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