A teenage student was arrested on Wednesday this week for launching a series of cyber attacks on more than a dozen local school districts. Michaela Gabriella King, 18, was picked up by the police for doing unlawful activities with her computer and causing network disruption. However, the teen was presented before Export District Judge Charles Conway and released on signature bond late night.
The saga of a cyber attack in this incident goes as follows. On October 31st,2016, Brad Schrecengost, who is a technology supervisor at Franklin Regional observed that the district’s schools network was being influenced by DDoS attacks on a consistent note. Each attack lasted for 10 to 45 minutes and was carried out almost 3-4 times.
As a result of this attack, the Franklin Regional Computer system network along with other school networks like the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg, and County Government’s computer system were impacted.
It was revealed in a technical probe that the diocese, county, and school districts were using an intermediary unit as their web service provider.
The list of the school networks which were attacked by Distributed Denial of Service attack was Derry Area, Greater Latrobe, Greensburg Salem, Ligonier Valley, Kiski Area, Jeannette, Burrell, Monessen, Greensburg Central Catholic, Hempfield Area and the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit.
The special cyber force created by a group of technicians from the police department and Franklin Regional have determined that the teenager launched three attacks on the district systems using the computers at her high school.
And one of the attacks which were more intense was launched from a computing device used by King. It could be a smartphone or a tablet or a personal computer used by Michaela Gabriella or her family.
It is reported that King used a program called BetaBooter to launch DDoS attacks on the school network. She paid for the program through her PayPal Account.
A preliminary hearing is pending and will be pronounced on December 20th,2016. In the meantime, the teenager admitted that she indulged in this activity for fun and do considers herself as a computer genius.