Teacher hacking incident sparks controversy

POSTED: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 8:13pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 9:56pm

NBC33 News received an e-mail early this morning from someone claiming to be a concerned parent. We immediately called the Central Community school system to see if there was any validity to the story and the Superintendent there told us there was, in fact, an ongoing investigation into how the pictures were released.

After talking with investigators, we found out the e-mail was not from a parent at all. In fact, the e-mail was also circulated by hackers.

We can confirm the Sheriff's Office and the FBI are working to catch the person responsible.

It's a difficult task to track down a hacker in any situation and investigators are not releasing too many details. This is because they don't want to give out any information that could let the hacker know they're on to him or her.

Earlier today NBC33 News Director David D'Aquin reached out to the person who e-mailed our newsroom, and that too was circulated online at the same site that posted pictures of the teacher. That page is no longer visible to the public and a “404” error message appears when trying to access the online thread.

Click here to see the original story released by NBC33 News with updates. The story did originally include the teacher's name, but that was removed once it was revealed that hackers were responsible.

The teacher involved in the hacking scandal has hired an attorney and is seeking justice. Students at Central High say they’re shocked, and hope the person responsible is brought to justice.

“I'm in disbelief to be honest,” Chandler Clinkingbeard, student at Central High, said. “I mean, it's crazy to think that something like this could happen."

The photos were sent to students, the school and acquaintances of the teacher.

"I just think it's really low of somebody, whether that it is her or it's not fair for somebody to do that in the first place. It seems wrong."

Both the F.B.I. and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office are looking into who's responsible for stealing then leaking the intimate photos.

The Central Community School District didn't want to go on camera for this story. Superintendant Michael Faulk did release a statement saying that the district "is conducting an investigation in accordance with its personnel policy."

Students say what the hacker, or hackers, did was way out of bounds.

"There's a line and I feel that's way too far over the line,” Clinkingbeard said.

And they say while they're behind their teacher 100 percent, they know when classes start again in a couple days, nothing is going to be the same.

"She's still a great teacher. Now, it might be a little awkward though," Clinkingbeard admitted.

We're told if the hacker is caught, he or she faces state and federal charges and could be sentenced to fines and prison time.

Security giant McAfee says in 2012, hackers are targeting cell phones to gain access to your personal information, and it's easier than you think. They say cell phones are way behind computers when it comes to protection against identity theft.

A local computer expert spoke to us about tips to protecting yourself from hackers.

"Unfortunately, it's very easy to hack a phone,” Josh Henderson, Computer Heaven, explained. “With all the apps there, a lot of people install without knowing what they do. The easiest way to protect yourself is to make sure you know what the app does before you install it on your phone. If it says it will access your personal info, and doesn't need to, don't install it, it could be potentially malicious."

They say turning off your phones wi-fi is also a good idea when in public, and make sure all your personal sites have a good, strong passwords that's hard to crack.

To learn more tips on how to avoid being a victim of hacking, click here.





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