A juvenile is accused of using Low Orbit Ion Cannon to shut down online classes of the fourth-largest school district in the US with a series of massive DDoS attacks.
A 16-year old high school student was arrested for allegedly targeting the Florida School district’s online learning system and shutting down Miami-Dade public school district’s online classes.
The accused is a juvenile; therefore, his name hasn’t been revealed by the authorities.
Reportedly, the teenager attends South Miami Senior High School, which is part of Miami-Dade, and has admitted to launching eight DDoS attacks using ‘Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC)’ to take down all the networks of the school district. This included their web architecture My School Online.
Furthermore, as the aftermath of the DDoS attacks, the school’s virtual classes were disrupted for three consecutive days.
LOIC is a tool designed to overwhelm a website by launching a large number of data packets against a website using a slew of random computers. It is the same tool that Anonymous used around a decade ago for crippling companies like Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal.
According to a press release from Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ (M-DCPS) Office of Communications (OOC), since the start of the school year 2020-2021, the district has suffered over two dozen cyberattacks.
Miami Herald reported that Miami-Dade’s school police, the FBI, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Secret Service all collaborated to trace the cyberattacks’ origins. The operation started on Monday, and authorities could trace attackers’ IP addresses in China, Ukraine, and Russia,
The orchestrator of at least eight of these attacks is the unidentified teen who is now in the custody of law enforcement authorities after his residence was raided early on Thursday. They confiscated a gaming console and a computer from the student’s home.
Alberto Carvalho, the superintendent of Miami-Dade Schools, believes that some of the cyberattacks could have been purchased from the Dark Web.
The student will be facing a third-degree felony charge of using a computer to defraud and a second-degree misdemeanor of interfering with an educational institution’s services. Most likely, he will be tried in state court by Miami-Dade prosecutors.