The Age Doesn’t Matter, Hackers Know It Better

November 13, 2018

Education Cybersecurity Weekly is a curated weekly news overview for those who are concerned about the Education industry. It provides brief summaries and links to articles and news across a spectrum of cybersecurity and technology topics that are specific to the industry.

While their classmates went to school and diligently did their homework, the young hackers accessed computer network of the Rochester Community Schools, containing credentials of all 15,000 of their peers. It is a bit of a disappointing conclusion but most educational software licenses go unused in the K-12 sector.

The reign of 12-year-old IT geniuses over the district network system

Education Week on November 7, 2018

The story of Jeremy Currier and Seth Stephens, the teens from Detroit suburbs, sounds like a part of prominent peoples’ biographies, although boys are only 15.

While their classmates went to school and diligently did their homework, the young hackers accessed computer network of the Rochester Community Schools, containing credentials of all 15,000 of their peers. They also could view teacher’s data, control the district’s security cameras, remotely operating them via phones, and even use district servers to mine cryptocurrency. However, there is no evidence that boys applied data for malicious purposes.

The consequences of teens’ extraordinary IT abilities and their desire to discover new flaws in network systems are not so bright. The district expelled both boys, then referred them to the county sheriff’s office. Thus, despite young genius’ attractiveness for employers, the boys are at the center of a possible criminal investigation.

Moreover, this case rose a burning question: How can schools better develop the potential of children with advanced computing skills and a penchant for probing boundaries — before things go bad?

Seniors also can surprise

EdSurge on November 5, 2018

The next hero of our digest is 71 years older than the previous ones. Meet Masako Wakamiya, one of the oldest app developers in the world.

At the age of 80, she learned to code. Last year Wakamiya released the app “Hinadan”, a Japanese doll game designed for senior iPhone users. Since then, she has 3D printed pendants, designed geometric patterns for clothing and gift wrap, and even programmed a handbag that lights up with LEDs. Now her journey is featured in news outlets and even at Apple’s developer conference.

The main lesson Masako Wakamiya wants to emphasize: do not forget about senior citizens. “We used to talk about gender discrimination and race discrimination, and now they talk about age discrimination. You may think I am a crazy old woman, but I am going to take on new challenges, and if I need to learn something, I will.” said Wakamiya.

Big data becomes bigger – how to save children from being ‘datafied’

Techcrunch on November 9, 2018

The future of cybersecurity industry depends on how our children will be able to face threats and manage them. However, to bring the potential cybersecurity guards up it’s necessary to keep their security at first.

According to England’s children’s commissioner report, by the time a child is 13, the parents will have posted on average of 1,300 photos and videos. It is quite obvious that by age 18 this number increases to 70,000 posts, which makes 26 posts per day. In fact, the impact of big data on children’s lives has two sides of the coin. On the one hand, big data may be used for targeted inspections of services for kids on problematic areas or to analyze “how to prevent harm and promote positive outcomes”. On the other – there are constant risks like identity theft and fraud.

Thus, the solution is to make the process of data collecting and processing more transparent for both children and their parents.

To buy and not to use? K-12 districts should make software expenses more cost-effective

Edscoop on November 9, 2018

It is a bit of a disappointing conclusion but most educational software licenses go unused in the K-12 sector.

The research was conducted in 48 districts among 390,000 students. The results showed that only 30% of software licenses were used, while 97.6 percent of licenses were never used “intensely,” a term used to describe at least ten hours of use between assessments. Another interesting fact: on average, each student has five software licenses and the median cost of one is nearly $7 while costs for intensive users can range from a few cents to more than $5,000.

Actually, researches gave schools an obvious advice: a school district should ensure that licenses will be used before buying them.

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