back to article When classes are online, how do you get out of school? Florida teen cuffed, charged after crashing cyber-lessons

A teenager in America has apparently admitted knocking virtual learning classes offline with a string of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. The unnamed 16-year-old was arrested and charged with "computer use in an attempt to defraud," a third-degree felony, and "interference with an educational institution," a …

  1. tiggity Silver badge

    Dismal system safeguards

    No way a system should be susceptible to LOIC in this decade, its been around years & mitigations well known.

    It's one of the (many, commonly used by malicious actors ) tools you should use to test your own internet facing systems to ensure they can deal with common attack techniques.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dismal system safeguards

      Well sort of. The "mitigations" involve blocking ICMP and UDP traffic in a firewall. That takes the load off the servers but has to be done upstream (ISP) to also avoid the link getting saturated.

      But doing so doesn't play nice with VoIP such as will be used for the virtual classrooms. RTP is a UDP protocol after all, as would any proprietary real-time video+audio protocol.

    2. First Light Bronze badge

      Re: Dismal system safeguards

      The school district is advising use of Teams and Zoom through Teams instead because that will be supposedly more secure.

    3. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Dismal system safeguards

      Indeed, and there's no reason that the well-funded Florida public school system should not be able to afford the best and brightest technical staff to roll out best practices across a brand new and largely untested remote learning infrastructure.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: Dismal system safeguards

        .. "Well Funded" and "public school system" are two things that generally don't go together.

        And even if they are, the school administration generally runs away with the lion's share of the money.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Dismal system safeguards

          Whoosh

  2. Twanky Silver badge
    WTF?

    Anyone else think this is odd?

    ...Edwin Lopez, chief of the Miami-Dade Schools Police.

    I don't mean 'unusual' - it may be common in some parts of the world.

    I mean odd that a school authority should have its own police force.

    1. Kane Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Anyone else think this is odd?

      "I mean odd that a school authority should have its own police force."

      You get a police force, you get a police force, and you get a police force!

      Everyone gets a police force!

    2. First Light Bronze badge

      Re: Anyone else think this is odd?

      It's tragic and pathetic. Understandable childhood and teenage behaviors are being criminalized.

      One 8 year-old special needs kid in another part of Florida was arrested by school police, handcuffed, fingerprinted, had a mugshot and DNA taken and was charged with felony battery after hitting a substitute teacher. The charges were dropped but only a year later. His family is now suing the district and the city.

      https://www.legalreader.com/family-florida-8-year-old-handcuffed-felony-teacher-civil-rights-lawsuit/

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Anyone else think this is odd?

      I don't believe you quite grasp the size of this. This is not your little single room British schoolhouse; the Dade-Miami Schools Police protects some 350,000 students and 40,000 school employees, spread over 400+ schools.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Anyone else think this is odd?

        Numbers don't matter here. In most other countries there is one police force for all.* The UK have seemed to be following the US model for a while, though (Transport Police, Nuclear Police, etc).

        * Sometimes two - State and City.

        1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: Anyone else think this is odd?

          The UK have seemed to be following the US model for a while, though (Transport Police, Nuclear Police, etc).

          Don't forget the Grammar Police, and maybe the Dream Police...

          1. J. Cook Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Anyone else think this is odd?

            You forgot the Church Police.

            1. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

              Re: Anyone else think this is odd?

              In the UK there are several different Police forces, we have the standard Police Areas, (London Metropolitan Police, Thames Valley Police etc.) British Transport Police for transport areas, then there used to be others, like the Royal Parks Constabulary, taken over by the London Met Police only in 2004. We also have the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, responsibly for guarding civil nuclear establishments (I know because they had a recruitment stand at the local Gay Pride event a few years ago). HMRC officers have warrant cards and arrest powers anywhere in the UK.

              The USA also has lots of Police-type forces, Sheriffs, US Marshall service, as well as the Border Force, and those people who wore unmarked paramilitary uniforms and abducted people from the streets of Portland into unmarked vans during the BLM protests and riots recently. Plus, of course the FBI, the Secret Service and possibly some we don't even know about. The fact that Florida has a dedicated Schools Police force in a country with a truly worrying number of firearm attacks on and in schools should not come as a surprise, really.

        2. Old Used Programmer

          Re: Anyone else think this is odd?

          In the US, it is common to start with three... City, county and state.

          Then there is the curious situation in the City and County of San Francisco*, where the city limits and the county line are one and the same. It has both a city police department and a county sheriffs office, even though both cover the exact same area. The county sheriff mainly runs the the city/county jail.

          *Curiosity of California state law...city limits cannot cross county lines. NYC could not be run as a single entity if it were in California because it covers all or part of four counties.

    4. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

      Re: Anyone else think this is odd?

      The theory is that it is an extension of "community policing". Basically embed police in the community they are charged with serving so they get a better feel for what's really going on.

      What's really happening is that it is a quick way to get people promotions. The more duplication of departments you have, the more administrative positions you create. More chiefs, more captains, etc. It puts the same number of feet on the street, but costs a lot more.

    5. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Anyone else think this is odd?

      It's southern Florida. The toddlers have handguns, the middle schoolers have assault rifles, and the high schoolers have close air support, which they need to defend themselves from drug kingpins, alligators, television preachers, Republican legislators, coronavirus, and insect life the size of attack aircraft.

    6. rcxb Silver badge

      Re: Anyone else think this is odd?

      School police are by and large parking enforcement. A security guard can write a ticket, but there's not much they can do to force you to pay the fine. When they pay the salaries of proper police officers, then suddenly not having your parking permit in your window is has the same force of law as someone who's driving wrecklessly.

    7. tip pc Silver badge

      Re: Anyone else think this is odd?

      "I mean odd that a school authority should have its own police force."

      in the land of the free you need a police force to ensure it stays free, obviously.

    8. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: Anyone else think this is odd?

      Hah. Around here we have the following police forces:

      1 the city cops. Their jurisdiction ends at city limits.

      2 the sheriff’s office. Their jurisdiction is everywhere in the county not covered by a city police force. Several local cities have abolished their cop shops and contracted with the sheriff for policing.

      2a the school cops. They are part of the sheriffs office, and have jurisdiction on every public school in the county, including those inside cities which have their own cops.

      3 the state cops. They mostly are traffic enforcement on major roads. (county, state, and federal roads, interstates, the Turnpike, that kind of thing.) they also have helicopters and SWATs, and are heavy backup for the county and city cops.

      3a the state fisheries and wildlife cops. They do enforcement of regulations in rural areas, hunting/fishing licenses, boating, that kind of thing. They are also the emergency team sent out after natural disasters. Famously Florida Fish & Wildlife were the first rescue force into Alabama after Hurricane Katrina, as Jeb Bush was not an idiot while the soon to be voted out governor of Alabama was. Jeb also mobilized more National Guardsmen than Alabama and Louisiana combined, when the hurricane wasn’t even headed for Florida but was going to Alabama and Louisiana. Competent government, something we don’t see much of nowadays.

      3b the transport cops. They mostly operate in the same areas as normal state cops, but hunt large trucks doing something silly. They’ll usually ignore anything not a truck or at least a van, but if you annoy them they’ll go for smaller vehicles, and they levy bigger fines.

      3c the National Guard. There for when the governor feels the need for serious force. Also disaster relief.

      4 the federal cops. That would be border patrol, at all airports and seaports as well as at borders, federal transport cops at airports and seaports and railroads, the marshals, the FBI, the secret service (mostly hunting counterfeiters), federal fish & wildlife, and a lot more.

  3. Flak
    Coat

    Someone will give him/her a job!

    Some skills that certain organisations may find interesting have been displayed here:

    Initiative (seeing a situation that they wanted changed and doing something about it)

    Efficiency (using minimal effort to maximum effect)

    Virtuous Laziness (Bill Gates allegedly once said he'd hire a lazy person to do a hard job as they will find an easy way to do it)

    There is room for improvement:

    Stealth (avoiding to get caught)

    Commercial acumen (this could have been a chargeable service)

    Some way to build a resume (for our American cousins)!

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Someone will give him/her a job!

      The job should involve a broom and a bucket...

      1. Flak

        Re: Someone will give him/her a job!

        In the short term. Medium to long term - sky's the limit!

    2. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

      Re: Someone will give him/her a job!

      Re: "Virtuous Laziness (Bill Gates allegedly once said he'd hire a lazy person to do a hard job as they will find an easy way to do it)"

      In his book 'On War' von Clausewitz said that the intelligent and lazy soldiers should be in central High Command, they'll actually work quite hard to make sure they don't have to get up at 2:30 in the morning.

      (The stupid and industrious ones have to be got rid of because they will cause no end of trouble. Who could I possibly be thinking of...)

  4. HellDeskJockey
    Joke

    Whatever happend to

    A M80 (Large firecracker) flushed down the toilet. Kids these days....

    1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      Re: Whatever happend to

      I was thinking about calling in a bomb threat, but yeah...

  5. Maelstorm Bronze badge

    Say what?

    The school isn't going to disclose how the teen was able to carry out a DDoS attack other than to say it was a software program. Really? I know how he carried it out, and so does everyone else here. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. And the computer fraud charge will probably not stick since he didn't really steal money...just disrupted some classes.

    1. Valeyard

      Re: Say what?

      >didn't steal money

      but he cost money ;)

      consultant fees to say "LOIC" : $200,000

      consultants to implement the protections that should've already been there: $200,000

      legal fees: $200,000

      various sundry fees lost in the educational accounting world: $200,000

      all in all a lot of people get very nice cars out of it but the kids now have to buy their own jotters

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