The FBI is warning that hackers are increasingly targeting online learning as students get back to class after the holidays.
While the success of remote work and distance learning have exceeded many people’s expectations, it has also provided new opportunities for hackers and bad actors. Companies have had to take measures to ensure employees can connect remotely and schools have worked to protect their classes from Zoom-bombing and other hacks.
Even so, the FBI is warning that hackers are increasing their attacks.
“It’s of greater concern now when it comes to K-12 education, because so many more people are plugged into the technology with schooling because of the distance learning situation,” FBI Cyber Section Chief Dave Ring told ABC News. “So things like distributed denial of service attacks, even ransomware and of course, domain spoofing, because parents are interacting so much more with the schools online.”
While Zoom-bombing may be one type of attack, ransomware is another common, more dangerous attack. According to the FBI, there has been a nearly 30% increase in ransomware attacks against schools.
“The broader the move to distance learning, I think the more attacks you’re going to see, just simply because there are more opportunities for it and it’s more disruptive,” Ring said. “Not everybody’s looking to make money when it comes to criminal motivations for these attacks. A lot are they’re looking to steal information. They’re looking to use that for financial gain. They’re looking to collect ransoms.”