Self-proclaimed ‘computer genius’ launches cyber attack on Pa. school computers

The attacks were aimed at Franklin Regional, but affected other schools in Westmoreland County were impacted

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MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) – A senior has been charged with launching a cyberattack on her western Pennsylvania high school that wound up disrupting more than a dozen school district computer systems.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports 18-year-old Michaela King, of Murrysville, has been charged with unlawfully using computers at Franklin Regional High School and another unspecified device in a series of attacks since Oct. 31.

Police say she used a program to launch denial of service attacks, which overwhelm computer systems with communication requests that disrupt legitimate computer traffic.

The attacks were aimed at Franklin Regional, but affected other schools in Westmoreland County that use the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit as their internet service provider.

King’s attorney declined comment. But police say she has confessed and claimed to be a “computer genius.”

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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