WILMINGTON, MA — Last night at approximately 8:00 p.m., Wilmington Public School officials were notified by Wilmington Police that the school district’s website appeared to have been hacked by a group called Team System Dz. The website was taken down and the incident is currently under investigation by school officials and the Wilmington Police Department. The website is expected to be back on line sometime later today.
The school district’s website, designed by an outside vendor, is hosted on an external system and there has been no effect on any school systems or computers. No student records or other confidential information has been compromised as it was the third party’s servers that were hacked, not Wilmington Public School’s servers. District officials are working with the third party vendor to determine what may have made the district’s website more vulnerable to unauthorized access. Once known, steps will be taken to address those vulnerabilities.
This particular group has caught the attention of the FBI. In a Public Service Announcement issued by the FBI on April 7, 2015, the agency states that the perpetrators are not members of a terrorist organization but rather that the individuals are hackers using relatively “unsophisticated methods to exploit technical vulnerabilities” and are using names of terrorist groups to gain more notoriety than the attack would otherwise have garnered. The announcement goes on to say that, “web sites are not being directly targeted by name or business type.” This same group has been responsible for thousands of similar website defacements globally over the past seven to eight months, including other school districts in the region.
The district’s server has not been compromised and district operations have not been impacted by this unfortunate hoax. Police do not believe that Wilmington Public Schools was specifically targeted and police are aware of thousands of similar reports internationally. District officials are confident that there is no imminent threat to the safety and security of its students, staff, or schools and they look forward to welcoming students back from school vacation on April 27th.
(Press release from Wilmington Public Schools)