There have been reports of Russians trying to influence American elections, however, a different group has come up supposedly with the intent of interfering with same elections; it was reported that they made efforts to coordinate it from breached school districts to the voting systems of states.
News reports have it that MoRo, a new group of hackers located in Morocco, invaded about four school district schools in Florida, and reportedly sought for a path to slip into other sensitive government systems; this is including state voting systems.
Findings from United Data Technologies (UDT), a firm that sought for answers as regards the hacking incident, showed that the invaders were said to have successfully phished people working within the school districts, manipulating them into clicking on an image in an email sent to them thus giving way for the malware to gain entry into the system. The report also went further to say that the hackers also attacked an unnamed Florida network with a like invasion.
Soon after the school systems were infected with the virus, the group switched off the records that showed who accessed the systems. UDT experts found it difficult to know who what it was exactly that the invaders had done. Switching of the logs was named a sophisticated manipulation the kind UDT had never before seen.
However, in spite of the absence of logs, UDT ascertained that the hackers gained access to the system for 3 months, exposing them and searching for their loopholes. At some point, photographs of someone dressed as an ISIS soldier were posted on the websites of the two district schools.
Initially, the hackers had hoped that they could make away with the personal data of thousands of students, however, only Miami-Dade, the biggest school within the school, was the only victim amongst the breached institutions that was identified.
Although it was not just the private data of the students that the invaders could have had access to. The report identifies that Miami-Dade the 4th biggest district school in America coordinates and handles private data such as social security numbers of thousands of present and past students as well as those of staff and students alike.
The report goes on to say that the hackers failed in their bid to steal student data or even access voting systems. As a matter of fact, the hacking has been termed an attempted hack. But the invaders remained within the systems for a period of 3 months, which certainly would pass for more than an attempt.
The write-up states that the invasion began in the fall. UDT said that the attackers wanted a lot more than the private information of the students; it was found that the school district setup had some links to diverse county and city systems. The hackers of Moroccan hackers were supposedly looking for a loophole into other government systems.
The executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, Michael Kaiser, was reported to have said that it is normal for a school district network to be linked to other networks in town depending on the mode of operation of the network. The hackers would like to make away with the access codes for a system admin that has access to the key to other government networks.
UDT said that the invaders boasted of their online exploits stating that they were trying to enter into the voting systems hosted by Diebold voting platforms. They intended to disrupt what they perceived was state voting systems. Therefore, awareness ought to be raised to the level of vulnerability of district schools in Florida.