Miami-Dade County

Some MDCPS Students to Use Different Learning Platforms After Third Day of Cyber Attacks

It was the third-straight day the district has experienced cyber attacks that affected online learning

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What to Know

  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools said they were experiencing more cyber attacks Wednesday
  • The county's schools began online learning Monday and have been plagued with cyber attacks each day
  • Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the FBI and Secret Service have been called in to investigate

After cyber attacks plagued Miami-Dade County Public Schools Wednesday -- the third day in a row the district has faced interruptions to virtual learning -- the district says some students will switch to different online learning platforms in the meantime.

"M-DCPS continues to be targeted by cyber attacks. Multiple attempts have been made this morning. The District's security and safeguard measures have been successful thus far," the school district said in a statement Wednesday morning.

The disruption of online learning in Miami-Dade County is more than a headache -- it could be a crime.And, NBC 6's Tony Pipitone found, catching the culprits could involve a worldwide dragnet of computer connections.

Officials said the 200,000 students who were already logged on Wednesday should stay logged on, while students and teachers who are having issues logging on should use the district's alternative log in method.

MDCPS Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said during a news conference Tuesday that the district suffered a distributed denial of service attack Monday morning as a software glitch blocked access to the district’s servers. The glitch and DDoS attack rendered multiple online school district features useless and teaching nearly impossible.

The FBI and Secret Service have been called in and subpoenaed the school district’s internet provider, Carvalho said. He added that the glitch has been completely resolved and optimized.

Whoever conducted the cyber attack did not hack in or penetrate district servers, officials said. It wasn't known who initiated the attack, but Carvalho said he wants them prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

In response, the district said starting Thursday, students in grades 6-12 will be Microsoft Teams or Zoom through Microsoft Teams or another platform decided by their teacher, and pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade will continue using the K12 platform. By Sept. 11, the district says they'll determine whether the upper grades should go back to using K12 or if the district should stop using it altogether.

NBC 6 and AP
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