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SLC School District Targeted by Weekend Cyberattack

SLC School District Information Technology
PowerSchool Portal for Salt Lake City School District (screen shot)

Salt Lake City School District computer servers were hit by a cyberattack over the weekend. Jason Olsen is the spokesman for the district. He says no private information was taken but phone service had been interrupted and PowerSchool, the student information system, was shut down.

“Our IT department has been able to set up some back door access for our employees to get to PowerSchool, which is especially important right now because it’s the end of the term, says Olsen, “We need to enter grades and everything else. But right now the students and parents aren’t able to access that.”

Dan Bowden is the chief information security officer for the University of Utah. He says it’s interesting that an individual school system would be targeted.

“It’s hard to understand how or why it would be picked unless the attacker had some personal situation or maybe they were just kind of looking around for sites and looking for vulnerable sites,” Bowden says, “which there are a lot of people on the internet always looking for sites.”

Bowden says it was most likely a form of cyber vandalism or an attack similar to the one in 2012 by the group Anonymous as a form of protest against the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Story Update Wednesday, November 4th: Jason Olsen of the Salt Lake City School District told KUER everything is up and running normally now. He said it is very difficult to track down who may have been responsible for the attack. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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