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Washington HS Web Hackers

 CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - Washington High School students, staff and parents did a double-take to make sure they clicked onto the right website when an announcement popped up claiming to be from the KKK.  Technical staff with the Cedar Rapids School District scrambled to remove the information earlier this week  after someone hacked the Washington website with an announcement for Ku Klux Klan Appreciation Day. As weve seen so many times, bank, university and even Pentagon sites can be hacked, but the content and the target is especially disturbing in this case.  Amid the regular announcements for sports events and senior picture deadlines, appeared the announcement praising the history of the KKK, followed by a list of jokes riddled with racial slurs.


The school district says it immediately took down the site to remove the offensive material and shut it down a few times since to check updates designed to block access.  District Technical Director Lori Bruzek says the hackers knew exactly what they were doing and found a crack in security.    At this point we do not know whos responsible .. we continue to investigate that .. digital formats by their nature are fluid and we put in protections that allow people to manage the content, but that also provides opportunities for people to sneak in.


Bruzek says Cedar Rapids Police are now involved in the case and it will be up to investigators to determine if the hack attack is a criminal case. There are identifying traces left behind when someone breaks into an internet site, but there are also ways to mask or buffer those electronic fingerprints.  Meantime, parents of Washington High School  students received both emails and robo-calls notifying them of the incident.  The district says it hasnt seen this kind of racially charged material pop up in any other area schools and it appears this is a very isolated incident.  Bruzek says the district is actually in the process of redesigning all of the school websites and she says this will definitely be a lesson in making sure all of those sites are secure.


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