Hackers Increasingly Targeting Online Learning

Most schools and universities are back in session virtually. 

While online learning is the best option during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  It is also the perfect opportunity for hackers to strike. 

Randy Watkins, Chief Technology Officer for CRITICALSTART, a cybersecurity company, says hackers are increasingly targeting online learning tools and e-classrooms.

“Most attacks are delivered by email not just in these attacks but of all attacks. It’s easy for an attacker to send out emails that contain attachments or links to download malicious software that can do everything from giving them a back door into your computer to encrypt all your files and hold them for ransom,” said Watkins.

Watkins says education is key and encourages all parents to talk to their kids about the risks. He adds that parents should be on the lookout too.

“So if you are expecting from your student’s school district it should come from a Gmail,” said Watkins. “So look for that domain mismatch also look at links. You can do a link preview where you hover over a link and I’ll show you where it’s going to take you and if that doesn’t match your expectations, then don’t click on it.”

Watkins adds that school systems have also been the victims of these cyber-attacks. 

“A notable attack that was launched by a student where they essentially overwhelmed the application with traffic and took it offline and what that does is it takes it away from other students. So they see it as a prank they see it as a joke when it’s actually a pretty serious offense,” added Watkins.

Featured in KSEE 24 News | August 21, 2020

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