MIAMI (NewsNation Now) — A 16-year-old Miami-Dade County Public School student is under arrest Thursday in relation to cyberattacks that disrupted online learning programs this week, according to Miami-Dade Schools Police.
School officials said a problem with a vendor caused some outages Monday, but it wasn’t until Tuesday they realized a cyberattack was also causing widespread problems in the district with about 350,000 students.
Detectives were able to trace an IP address responsible for the attacks back to the student, according to a police incident report emailed to NewsNation.
The report said the student admitted to orchestrating eight cyberattacks using an online application designed to overwhelm district networks, including web-based systems needed for My School Online.
The teen, a junior at South Miami Senior High School, is now in custody at the Miami-Dade County Juvenile Assessment Center. He has been charged with Computer Use in an Attempt to Defraud, which is a 3rd degree felony, and Interference with an Educational Institution, a 2nd degree misdemeanor.
M-DSPD is continuing their investigation with the FBI, the Secret Service and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to determine whether other individuals are responsible.
“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.