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16-year-old arrested for cyberattacks on Florida's largest school district

Posted at 10:51 AM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 10:51:11-04

MIAMI, Fla. — A high school student has been arrested in relation to the cyber-attacks against Miami-Dade County Public Schools, authorities announced on Thursday.

Authorities say the 16-year-old, a junior at South Miami Senior High School, orchestrated a series of outages and attacks during the district's first week of school.

Detectives say they traced an IP address back to the student. Miami-Dade School Police are investigating and working jointly with the FBI, the Secret Service, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, according to a press release.

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The student admitted to setting up eight attacks that were designed to overwhelm district networks. An online application was used to carry out the attacks, and the student has been charged with computer use in an attempt to defraud, a third-degree felony, and interference with an educational institution, a second-degree misdemeanor.

The school district has been the target of more than a dozen cyberattacks since the school year began. Detectives are continuing to investigate whether additional individuals were responsible for these attacks.

"We believe, based upon our investigation, that other attackers are out there. We will not rest until every one of them is caught and brought to justice. Cyber attacks are serious crimes, which have far-reaching negative impacts. Our message to anyone thinking of attempting a criminal act like this is to think twice. We will find you,” said M-DSPD Chief Edwin Lopez