Horry County police investigating after virtual classroom hacked, according to district

Updated: Oct. 2, 2020 at 4:17 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Police are investigating after a virtual classroom used by Horry County students was hacked, district officials said.

According to information from Horry County Schools, Carolina Forest High School experienced an “unfortunate situation” in Google Meet on Friday morning.

The teacher immediately shut the person out of Google Meet and reported the incident to administration, according to district spokesperson Lisa Bourcier.

“Hacks are occurring across the state where individuals obtain Google account information and login posing as students enrolled in the class,” according to a statement from the district. “CFHS and the HCS take these incidences seriously and continue to work to find ways to prevent further issues of this nature.”

A similar incident happened miles away at Colleton County Middle School in South Carolina.

A seventh grade virtual class at Colleton County Middle School was hacked. Melanie Wade had a son attending that virtual class and detailed what happened.

“A hacker came into his class and played extremely vulgar and explicit music or a song," Wood said. "He was singing [a song] that explained acts that seventh-graders don’t need to hear. I’m a little upset that it’s that easy to hack a school system like that, especially when it’s dealing with the kids,” said Wood. “I think the school system needs to get a better handle on that. It should have been more secure before they even activated it.”

The Colleton County school district confirmed the hacker was another student who got a code to the class.

As far as Horry County, police are continuing their investigation into who’s responsible for Friday’s virtual hacking with a Carolina Forest High School classroom.

Tommy Victor has two kids who attend Carolina Forest High School and said he’s heard about these types of breaches happening in other places. He added he’s troubled to learn about it happening to a classroom at his child’s school.

“When they find these individuals, they should charge them to the fullest,” he said.

Sally Hester has a child enrolled in the hybrid learning program at Carolina Forest High School, and said she learned about the virtual hacking right before Friday Friday kicked off.

“It’s kind of crazy,” she said.

Hester added she’s not worried about her child’s safety, because she feels Horry County Schools will do all they can to protect the students.

“I know they’re going to look into [this matter] and find out what’s happening and stop it,” she said.

Bourcier added that Carolina Forest High School has had two previous incidents, and the district believes both were caused by the same hacker.

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