A cyber prank with traumatic consequences

A primary school in Northern Ireland fell victim to a horrible online prank, when the school’s website was replaced with pornography

Written by: Vertical Structure on Nov 01, 2019

This week, a primary school in Northern Ireland fell victim to a horrible online prank, when the school’s website was replaced with pornography. The incident led to shock for many of the parents in the community, and involvement by C2K and the PSNI to resolve the issue. [Source: Belfast Live]

With parents and even pupils using the website to access information about the school, this type of cyber breach can have terrible ramifications.

“We appreciate that educators are often overstretched and this incident may come as an overwhelming threat – just one more thing to think about. By arming themselves with the right information, cyber security precautions can be taken, without costing the earth,” said Simon Whittaker, founder of local security firm Vertical Structure, and governor on two school boards in Holywood. “In this incident, the school’s domain had expired. Someone bought the domain in Russia and created the offensive site.”

Simon continued, “It’s important that headteachers don’t feel they are alone in this. With a bit of planning, and by taking simple precautions, schools and other small organisations can protect themselves from these kind of incidents.”

Simon said he welcomed contact from any local organisation struggling to ensure their digital assets are protected.

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