And, proposed database additions will make the target more tempting
It was called “Magic,” and it was a critical key to the Allied victory in World War II. Magic was a combined US and British effort to crack the secret radio transmission codes of the German and Japanese military. Despite the smug self-assurance of military leaders in Germany and Japan that their codes were unbreakable, Magic succeeded. And, Magic really cost the Axis Powers.
Thanks to Magic, a badly overmatched US Navy task force was able to gain a critical advantage in the Battle of Midway, sinking every aircraft carrier in the Japanese Imperial Navy’s attack force and sending the remaining fleet packing. It was the beginning of the end for Japan in the Pacific.
Flash forward to the present and at least one message from Magic still lives. If penetrating electronic transmissions is valuable enough, people will work hard to figure out how to do it. And, sadly, it isn’t always the good guys who are intent on cracking the electronic code.
Today, cyber thieves are constantly on the prowl in the Internet, looking for vulnerable data systems to penetrate. The recent compromise of the most carefully guarded NSA data system shows that if the target is juicy enough, a breech is all too possible.
Unfortunately, the message from Magic has importance for the growing database of information your school is collecting on your child.
Education Week reports in “Cyber Attacks on School Networks Increasing” that Kentucky’s Infinite Campus public school database system has been the subject of recent cyber attacks. The Kentucky Department of Education says it beat off those attacks, this time. The department also says the attacks were aimed at disrupting access to the system by parents – a denial of service attack – rather than an actual attempt to access student data.
Still, EdWeek’s article makes it is clear that school databases are becoming an increasing interest item for cyber criminals.