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News / Clark County News

Vancouver schools’ email system hacked by student

Skyview student is expelled

By Susan Parrish, Columbian Education Reporter
Published: April 22, 2016, 12:19pm

A Skyview High School student has been expelled for hacking into the district’s email system and using it to send more than a quarter of a million messages to district addresses.

The flood of emails significantly slowed student email access and speed, said Pat Nuzzo, district spokeswoman. The student’s identity was not released.

A majority of the messages were sent to nonexistent addresses. District IT staff members were able to retract most of the emails before they were viewed by students. The district estimates that no more than a few hundred students may have viewed the emails.

Student-issued iPads are still experiencing slow email speeds; district staff will continue to work through the weekend to resolve the iPad email performance.

The messages were sent from three different teacher email accounts, which had been hacked into by a student. The way that the student hacked into the system has since been eliminated, Nuzzo said. No other district network systems were compromised in any way, she said.

One message was sent at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday to 40,000 blanket numerical email addresses. A second message was sent after 5 p.m. Tuesday to 11,000 email addresses. Four more messages were sent Tuesday night to 50,000 email addresses each.

One message had the subject line “Shrekt.” The other five messages had the subject line “Make America Great Again.”

Columbian Education Reporter