Online blackmailers targeting Allen ISD would rake in up to $10 million if they had their way.
Last month, hackers tried to extort the North Texas school district for millions of dollars — a demand that school officials rejected. Then on Monday, after Allen ISD refused to cough up the money, the thieves emailed parents, employees and students saying they’d publish their stolen personal information online, according to NBC-DFW.
“Staff and parents of Allen ISD, Howdy!” the email read, according to that outlet. “We give you five days to collect money.”
Allen ISD spokesman David Hicks didn’t return the Observer’s request for comment by publication time, but he told NBC-DFW that the district doesn’t plan to pay. As of now, there’s no proof to back up the group’s claims.
Hackers have been making international headlines in recent months with a slew of high-profile attacks.
Some working under the Anonymous banner leaked data from controversial web hosting company Epik, according to The Daily Dot. The leak reportedly includes data linked to the state’s GOP, including “private documents.” Last month, after the state’s abortion ban took effect, Anonymous also appeared to have hacked into the Republican Party of Texas’ website.
Schools in particular seem to be among hackers’ favorite targets, and Allen ISD isn’t the only Texas district that was purportedly breached over the past year.
Located roughly 70 miles from Dallas, Athens’ school district had to delay the start of the 2020 school year because of a ransomware attack.
Earlier this fall, Dallas ISD contacted federal law enforcement after learning of a data security incident that exposed the personal information of parents, alumni, employees and students. On its website, the district noted that despite its best efforts, it’s now one of an increasing number of private and public organizations falling victim to such hacks.
Dallas ISD went on to say that as of now, the affected data appears to…