Unauthorized Access to Email Communications Systems at District 211 and District 214 with Obscene Emails Delivered to Student and Parent Accounts

Both Township High District 214 and Palatine-Schaumburg District 211 reported on Sunday, November 15, 2020 a compromise or breach to their electronic communications systems on Saturday, November 14, 2020.

Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 reported that a breach to its communications system on Saturday, November 14, 2020 does not appear to have jeopardized the security of student and family data, officials said Sunday.




According to the school district for Conant High School, Fremd High School, Hoffman Estates High School, Palatine High School, and Schaumburg High School; the breach Saturday led to some District 211 families receiving emails, automated phone calls and text messages. Those communications were not authorized and should be deleted, according to an official school district communication.

One example of an email was sent from [email protected] with the subject “Level Green: Quick Note from Principal Schumacher.”

The message included an animated gif (computer graphic file) which could be described as representing a paraphilic disorder or paraphila, with nudity, and was obscene to the point of being indescribable.

The email closed with HML (possibly meaning “Hit My Line”) for an unknown interaction described with unknown slang.

The sample email observed was dated Saturday, November 14, 2020 with an evening time stamp.




After securing the system, officials said, the district’s technology team began assessing whether there was a compromise of student or family data, and indicated that initial reports show that student and family data is secure.

“The district also has engaged local law enforcement to actively investigate this criminal activity,” according to a District 211 statement.

The district will continue to post updates on the situation on its website, according to District 211.

An information alert pop-up published the following on the official website for District 211 …

Important Message
Level Yellow Alert: Communications Incident

posted: Sunday, November 15, 2020, at 9:28 a.m.

In the evening on Saturday, November 14, District 211’s communications system experienced a compromise, with emails, automated phone calls, and text messages being sent to some D211 families. Once the District learned of the compromise, the system was immediately secured to stop the unauthorized communications. Upon investigating further, only the outgoing communications system appears to have been affected. The District’s technology team is assessing any potential compromise of student or family data, but initial reports indicate that the data is secure. The District also has engaged local law enforcement to actively investigate this criminal activity. Any email communications received from D211 Communications on Saturday, November 14 was not authorized and should be deleted. Please continue to check the District and school websites for communications and updates on this incident.

District 214 also reported experiencing an unauthorized access to the communication portal in the Student Information System through a compromised user account Saturday evening. Using this account, an individual sent an unauthorized email to District 214 Infinite Campus student and parent accounts.  At this time, there is no evidence of any type of hack of the system, according to District 214. 

The school district that includes Buffalo Grove High School, Elk Grove High School, John Hersey High School, Newcomer Center, Prospect High School, Rolling Meadows High School, The Academy at Forest View, Vanguard School, and Wheeling High School stated that their system prevented many of the unauthorized emails from being sent, but apologized for any inconvenience or confusion that may have occurred to people that received the inappropriate email. 




Township District 214 is also working with local law enforcement to investigate how the unauthorized access occurred.

District 214 sent out the following email …

Parents and Guardians,

District 214 experienced an unauthorized access to the communication portal in our Student Information System through a compromised user account last evening. Using this account, an individual sent an unauthorized email to District 214 Infinite Campus student and parent accounts. At this time, there is no evidence of any type of hack of the system. While we were able to prevent many of the emails from being sent, we apologize for any inconvenience or confusion that this may have caused if you received the inappropriate email. We are working with local law enforcement to investigate how the unauthorized access occurred. Thank you for your review and consideration and again, we apologize.

D214 Technology Services

Students in District 214 were unable to access there school assignment information on Sunday evening, November 15, 2020.
 

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