Florida’s largest school district is still fending off cyberattacks that began Monday as students returned to school remotely due to the CBS Miami reports.. Miami-Dade students and teachers were hit my more attacks on Wednesday,
While thousand were able to log on Wednesday without a problem, others could not and had to resort to Zoom. The district alerted parents that cyberattacks were still underway on Wednesday morning.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools “continues to be targeted by cyber attacks,” the school district tweeted. “Multiple attempts have been made this morning.”
The district advised those who have successfully logged on to stay logged on, and told others to use an alternative login method that was previously provided.
In a virtual meeting with the school board on Wednesday, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said on attack Wednesday was a “massive attack” that led to the same circumstances as Tuesday’s attack, which caused bottleneck issues and kicked some off the platform.
“They are coming from a variety of places. Yesterday’s attacks we know some of them came outside of the country. We know some of these attacks came from local entities, but that is where we are,” he said.
The intermittent cyberattacks started Monday morning. They are called a DDOS attack or a Distributed Denial of Service Attack.
“There was a malicious attempt, a malicious well-orchestrated complex attempt at derailing the connection which is essential for our students and teachers,” Carvalho said on Tuesday.
The superintendent said none of the attacks were able to penetrate the district’s cyber wall.
Carvalho said the FBI, FDLE, and Secret Service have all be notified. A subpoena was issued to Comcast for all records needed to determine the origin of the attack.
Comcast, which first claimed “there were no anomalies,” later released a statement to apologize for the issues, according to CBS Miami.
“Comcast has a longstanding relationship with the Miami Dade County Public Schools and we place tremendous value on the partnership we have built together over time,” it said. “We have worked together to connect tens of thousands of families to the internet, so any issue that could impact internet access is one that we take very seriously.”
“Comcast became aware of an issue impacting the Miami Dade School District network, causing many families to be unable to access the learning site as the school day began,” it said. “Given this took place during the beginning of school, we understand how important connectivity is for virtual learning during this unprecedented time. We are continuing to monitor the situation and are working with the school district and law enforcement to ensure this doesn’t happen again. We sincerely apologize to the families, teachers, and students who were kept offline.”
The cyberattack on Monday coincided with the “catastrophic failure” of a Cisco software connectivity switch. Carvalho said “the root cause was system operating hardware that ran the switch had bad code and required an upgrade.” He said they worked through the night with Cisco and the issue was resolved. On Tuesday, the switch was working “fairly well.”
Dr. Steve Gallon, vice-chair of the Miami-Dade School Board, addressed the cyberattacks and other problems plaguing the new school year in a committee meeting on Wednesday.
“We still have concerns as thousands upon thousands of parents continue to struggle with the education of our children, nearly 275,000 children depending on us to get this right on the first day. Obviously we still have tremendous challenges,”he said.
“We have a number of issues that are outside of the scope of a reported cyberattack. We continue to have issues with the K-12 platform in and of itself. And that’s an issue we have to address,” he said.