Early this morning, Miami-Dade Schools Police (M-DSPD) made an arrest related to the cyber-attacks that have maliciously disrupted teaching and learning since school began on Monday.
M-DSPD detectives traced an IP address responsible for the attacks to a 16-year-old student, a junior at South Miami Senior High School. A thorough investigation is being conducted by M-DSPD, working jointly with the FBI, the Secret Service and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
The student admitted to orchestrating eight Distributed Denial-of-Service cyber attacks, designed to overwhelm District networks, including web-based systems needed for My School Online. The student used an online application to carry out these attacks and has been charged with Computer Use in an Attempt to Defraud – a 3rd degree felony, and Interference with an Educational Institution – a 2nd degree misdemeanor.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) has been the target of more than a dozen of these types of attacks since the 2020-2021 school year began. Detectives are continuing their investigation to determine whether additional individuals are responsible for the attacks.
“We believe, based upon our investigation, that other attackers are out there. We will not rest until every one of them is caught and brought to justice. Cyber attacks are serious crimes, which have far-reaching negative impacts. Our message to anyone thinking of attempting a criminal act like this is to think twice. We will find you,” said M-DSPD Chief Edwin Lopez.
“I commend our detectives, the FBI, Secret Service, and FDLE for their tireless efforts to pursue those responsible for these attacks. It is disheartening that one of our own students has admitted to intentionally causing this kind of disruption, however, I am confident that the M-DCPS family will continue to show its resilience and commitment to education, in the face of adversity,” said Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho.