Watch CBS News

Hackers Target School Systems To Get Private Data

(CBS Detroit) - Bad actors plotting on your personal information are now targeting the most vulnerable, our children.

"The remote learning atmosphere has increased the attack surface, right," said Check Point Software Technologies Head of Engineering Joel Hollenbeck.

"All it takes is one teacher or one student's system to be compromised to become an entry point for a larger ransomware attack."

Advances in technology is making more convenient ways for kids to learn, but it's also creating opportunities for hackers to take advantage.


"There needs to be a cybersecurity education program in place just like there is in you know corporate organizations for an example," Hollenbeck said.

"You need to continually increase awareness."

According to Check Point Software Technologies, a cybersecurity firm, cyberattacks are up 114% in the education sector because its systems are data rich.

"If the threat actors are able to get into these systems and lock up this data, encrypt it, deny access from the organization to their very own data, they're then able to demand a ransom right, which is what ransomware is," Hollenbeck said.

Check Point's research shows hackers target school systems largely through phishing.


"The art of phishing in the context of cybersecurity is sending messages that lure the victim into clicking on a link or following a set of instructions that ends up allowing the attacker to take advantage of that person, of the system that they're on," Hollenbeck explained.

"Potentially allow them to steal things like credentials, payment card information, or gain entry you know into the system to further their methodologies of attack."

Experts say it's important for kids to take precautions while online.

  •  Cover your webcam and turn off or block cameras and microphones when class is not in session
  •  Only click on links from trusted sources
  • Login directly to your schools' remote portals and don't rely on email links
  • Use strong passwords
  • Never share confidential information


© 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.