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The CCSD cyberattack hackers communicate with FOX5, divulging private student information


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    LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Hackers have leaked hundreds of thousands of private Clark County School District student files and that hacker group has sent some of the files to FOX5. FOX5 has verified the information they’ve sent is real.

    FOX5 did not solicit the communication. We were first contacted Wednesday, October 25, 2023, after previous reports about the cyberattack on CCSD. When the hackers did first contact us via reporter Kim Passoth’s Facebook page, they did not identify themselves.

    “I don’t know if you are aware but the hackers have made a statement and released 200k student profiles,” wrote someone using the name Heather Williams. The statement said:

    We SingularityMD (the hack team), would like to make a statement for clarification. CCSD did not detect a security issue, we emailed them to tell them we had been in their network for a few months.

    For 6 years they forced students to use their birthday as their password, resetting the passwords back to their birth date each year, they even prevented the students from securing their accounts.

    We asked for less than one third of the Jesus F Jara’s annual salary in exchange for destroying the stolen data. The callousness and incompetence of the leadership at CCSD is astounding, not only did they not cooperate, it is clear they did not communicate with principals and have still not plugged their leaky ship, meaning we still have access to the network.

    We are not short sighted, and so we kept our end of the bargain. After all we are already working on data collection for two other organizations. Should we have received payment, the data would be destroyed and we hope to demonstrate that with the next organization who pays.

    As promised to them in our initial correspondence we are now leaking the 200k student profiles we extracted from their network yesterday, these profiles include a photo, birth date, person ID, student Number, State Student ID, Email, Language, Race / Ethnicity, Household names, relationships and contact information, outside household contact information.

    One final tip for CCSD, we will continue to cause trouble until you pay, or you finally kick us out of your network.

    The same message was sent the following day to students including an 8th grader from Del Webb.

    “I’m only 14. I don’t know what they are going to do with the information...I don’t really know what they can do with kid’s information,” shared Aaliyah Liburd.

    Thursday night, the hackers again messaged via Facebook and to prove they still had access to CCSD’s network, sent an email from a student account to CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara and other CCSD leadership including FOX5. This email had a list of zip files with student information by grade level.

    They also sent screenshots via Facebook to prove they had student information including that of a 7-year-old girl. FOX5 called the phone number included and spoke with her mom who verified the information sent was real and asked child’s identity not be included in our report.

    FOX5 reached out to CCSD about the information sent to us looking for a response and told the district Wednesday we would be reporting this information. They then sent this statement:

    On Oct. 5, 2023, CCSD experienced a cybersecurity incident. The investigation into that incident remains open and active at this time, and CCSD is cooperating with the FBI as they investigate the incident.

    We know that many families and staff are frustrated because of this incident, as are we, and we appreciate the patience being granted in this situation. As a district, we are not unique in this vulnerability, as school districts across the country have been victimized similarly, as have private sector entities.

    We remain committed to operating within a safe online environment and will continue to secure our technology environment further.

    As the investigation continues, we are committed to cooperating with agencies responsible for finding the responsible party and holding them accountable. Rest assured that we will share information as it becomes available so everyone is informed and can respond to protect personal information.

    Copyright 2023 KVVU. All rights reserved.

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