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Saturday August 29th, 2015 3:06PM

Student, personnel info safe after hacker accesses school web site

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - Somebody managed to hack in to the top page of the Hall County School District's web site over the Labor Day holiday, but system officials said student and staff information was not compromised.

Dr. Aaron Turpin, Executive Director of Technology for the Hall County School District, said he found out about the breach Monday afternoon. He said only the top page of www.hallco.org was affected, and the problem was corrected within a couple of hours.

"After our investigation, it appears that the hack was not by an individual, but by an automated computer program that was set up by some malintentioned individuals," said Turpin.

"They were unable to get past our front door, so the content that they put up was actually on external servers, so they never got to our database."

Turpin said this type of incident is not uncommon.

"There are many, many individuals around the world who try and infiltrate other people's systems," said Turpin.

He said that's why the Hall County School District has multiple layers of security in its computer system.

"Even if someone did hack through all of our different layers of security in our web site, they could never get to student information or personnel information or anything like that."

And, Turpin said they've taken extra precautions since the hack to make sure it doesn't recur.

"We spent last night going through our all of our protocols," said Turpin. "We are forcing some password changes and some things like that, but all of our systems work perfectly, so it was an anomaly or...a security vulnerability through a password. That's why we've effected password changes for the very limited number of individuals who can access hallco.org through the content side."
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