Florida Teen Arrested For Cyberattack Against Miami School District To Avoid Virtual Classes

At one point, each and every teen had a dream about shutting down their school forever. Now, cyber attacks make this possible. At one point, each and every teen had a dream about shutting down their school forever. Now, cyber attacks make this possible. 

The pandemic changed the way we interact with each other. Children adapted to this environment, in play and learning, and moved the fun online…at least for a while. With the global switch to remote education, it didn’t take to much time for an online class to be targeted by a cyberattack, the culprit being a 16-old Florida student.

Accused of being the perpetrator of the cyberattack, that ended with the shutdown of Miami-Dade’s online classes, the young student overwhelmed the servers using a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) program.

“It’s like if you own a restaurant and 1,000 people show up without reservations and don’t order food, Your real customers are going to arrive and suddenly, you have to sort out a huge mess.”

Barrett Lyon, CEO of Netography

 The program is designed to overwhelm a system with what’s known as a “distributed denial of service attack,” or DDoS attack, which uses several machines to overwhelm a website and prevent functionality. The student admitted to utilizing a DDOS app called Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC), the same tool that the hacker group Anonymous used a decade ago to cripple companies such as MasterCard, Visa, or the Church of Scientology. 

According to the School District official, all cyberattacks ceased around 3 A.M., adding that the last attack is not connected to the raid of the 16-year-old’s home in the pre-dawn hours Thursday.

“There’s going to be more sophisticated attacks and more sophisticated players that know how to write code,” said Lyon, who started the first anti-DDoS security company in Hollywood in 2003.

Barrett Lyon, CEO of Netography

The fact that a kid, with no in-depth knowledge about cybersecurity, managed to cripple no fewer than eight, of at least two dozen times, the serves of the Miami-Dade school area, alarmed experts. School Board members have been skeptical of the district pinning the failed virtual classes start on a simple cyberattack, but investigations led up to an arrest of the young cyber-terrorist. 

The student faces a felony charge of using a computer to attempt to defraud and a misdemeanor charge of interference with an educational institution. He is likely to be charged by Miami-Dade prosecutors and tried in state court, as opposed to the bad alternative, the federal prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

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