Harrison High School Officials Investigating Hacking Of Teacher's Website, E-mail

Feb 9, 2016

The school's information technology department took down the offensive content within an hour of receiving notice the site had been hacked.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

EDITOR'S NOTE: A picture later in this story shows a redacted version of the hacked website. It contains content that is likely to be considered offensive.

4:15 p.m. UPDATE:

Tippecanoe School Corporation officials now say a teacher's password was used improperly to gain access to an e-mail account and the teacher's website.

Both Corporation spokeswoman Sue Scott and Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Steve Hartman say they hope to know more about the person or people responsible within the next 48 hours, and possibly as soon as Tuesday evening.

Hartman says an interdisciplinary team has been asked to help ferret out those responsible.

"There's a unit -- a multi-jurisdictional unit -- called the High Tech Crime Unit and a member from that unit is assisting us trying to determine what happened here," Hartman says.

He says the Unit consists of personnel from the Lafayette, West Lafayette and Purdue University Police Departments, as well as the county sheriff's office and prosecutor's office.

Hartman says he's not sure what charges the perpetrators might face, but he says it's possible they could be serious.

"I believe, because of the school and the sensitive material, it could be a felony," Hartman says. "But I would have to research the exact charges."

EARLIER:

Officials at West Lafayette's William Henry Harrison High School have begun searching for the person who hacked an English teacher's website and e-mail Monday night.

Principal Cory Marshall says he's received several tips about possible student involvement, but would not say if any appear credible. Marshall says the school's information technology department is working with the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department to determine if the hacker (or hackers) left enough of a digital fingerprint to be identified.

Marshall says parents tipped him off to the hack around 8:30 p.m. Monday when an e-mail came to them from the teacher's e-mail using a vulgar word and noting that all student grades for the teacher's classes had been erased (Marshall says these are backed up elsewhere and will be restored).

When Marshall went to the teacher's web page, he saw this:

Editor's Note: this image has been redacted from its original form and is only a piece of what was posted on the teacher's website.
Credit WBAA News

He says it's not yet clear how the hack happened, but he says even if the only one password was used, the hacker would have had to at least use it in various places.

"You would have to access different programs. These all involve different programs and different operating systems," Marshall says.