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By Amanda Ball
Observer staff writer 

Student hacks into Santa Monica school district email system

Sends emails for about an hour through the schools system Friday night.

 

A student has hacked into the Gmail system used by SMMUSD to inform teachers, parents and students of events, changes in the schools planning, etc. This according to an email sent by school district superintendent Ben Drati Saturday morning.

"Around midnight last night, one student accessed the system and was able to send messages to all students for 16 minutes, before it was discovered by our technology team.

The system was then disabled," according to an

Email on behalf of Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati by district spokeswoman Gail pinsker. The email is below.

Dear Parents, Guardians and Staff,

As you are aware, we use Gmail for communication between parents and students.

Around midnight last night, one student accessed the system and was able to send messages to all students for 16 minutes, before it was discovered by our technology team.

The system was then disabled so no additional messages could be sent.

Some students responded to the string of Gmails that were posted in this time block.

The district has determined the originator of this breach and is investigating the situation.

What does this mean for distance learning?

Google Classroom, Google Drive, Google Applications and Extensions are still activated. The Gmail application within G Suite for education has been temporarily disabled. Gmail is used for communication between teachers and students. Right now, teachers can use Private Comments within Google Docs Assignments or use the Stream within google classroom for non-private comments as an alternative means of communication. Chromebooks, hotspots and all other digital tools have not been affected.

It is recommended that students/parents sign out of Gmail from iPads/iPhones/Android devices until Monday Morning. Instructions can be found here:

https://support.google.com/mail/answer/8154?co=GENIE.Platform%3DiOS&hl=en

We apologize for this disruption. The district is committed to protecting our learning tools and platforms and maintaining student and data privacy.

We will follow up with you by Monday morning regarding the return of our strengthened Gmail service.

Sincerely,

Dr. Ben Drati, Superintendent

 

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