The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Education

January 3, 2014

Highland website hacked

Webpage returning to internal ACS system

ANDERSON — Computer hackers broke into the website for the Highland Middle School last month, but school officials said that only the home page was changed.

Joe Cronk, chief operating officer for the Anderson Community School System’s Information Technology department, said in an email that Highland Middle School was using WordPress, a site separate from the school corporation system. He said the district's webmaster was more familiar with the off-site system.

Cronk said the homepage for Highland Middle School was changed to reflect the fact that it had been hacked on Dec. 10.

WordPress is a hosting platform that makes it easy for anyone to publish online, according to the company’s website. The website said software doesn’t have to be downloaded, pay for hosting or manage a website.

“All the information on the webpage (all ACS webpages) is public information, so nothing was accessed beyond what one would find browsing the site normally,” Cronk wrote. “In this case, sports schedules and upcoming events.”

No other ACS schools were impacted, he said.

“We have reverted the HMS (Highland Middle School) site back into the ACS system, and their webmaster is working to update the content,” Cronk said.

The Highland Middle School webpage is expected to be back shortly after school resumes following the holiday break.

Cronk said this is not the first time ACS websites have been hacked.

"Our websites have been hacked a couple of times over the years," he said. "We continually evaluate and update security to combat such things."

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.

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