Cyberattack, plus software failure, impacts Florida schools

National News

MIAMI (NewsNation) — A cyber attack impacted online learning programs Tuesday for Miami-Dade Schools in Florida.

Miami-Dade Schools make up the fourth-largest school district in the country, compromised of 345,000 students.

The FBI and Secret Service are assisting with the investigation into the cyberattack, according to Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

“There was a malicious attempt. Malicious, well-orchestrated attempt at derailing and destroying the connection which is essential for our students and teachers,” Carvalho said during a news conference.

School officials say a problem with a vendor caused some outages Monday but it wasn’t until Tuesday they realized a cyberattack was also causing widespread problems in the district with about 350,000 students.

“Those perpetrators out there who are trying to disrupt teaching and learning in the fourth largest school district in America…you have failed and you will be caught,” said Marie Izquierdo, Chief Academic Officer for Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Parents and students complained about not being able to access online school programs starting Monday morning when the school year began.

“It was crashed out from the very beginning,” parent Robert Chavez said.

Chavez says his children’s teachers were frustrated with the online portal and instead used WhatsApp to communicate with students and parents.

“You just run into errors at every site you end up at. I texted the teacher earlier, I said you know, be patient. We are all going to get through this,” Chavez said.

The superintendent said the computer systems were functioning normally by Tuesday evening – but he wasn’t sure what would happen Wednesday morning, or if the cyberattack was over.

He said the federal and state agencies investigating are determined to track down the person or people behind the attack.

The Miami-Dade issues come as school districts across the country have also had technical problems with online school.

In Roanoke, Virginia students had trouble signing in when classes started. And the school district’s technical support line was overrun.

There were similar problems in Charlotte, North Carolina and Douglas County, Colorado.

Miami-Dade County is the only school district that has identified a cyberattack as a source of the problems.

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