Much like any other high school student who obsessively checks their grades every twenty minutes, I am frequently on the Hanover Schools website. Needless to say, I was utterly surprised one day in February to see that the website had been hacked. Not only surprised, I was spooked by the message left on the website. It informed its readers that, “We do not forgive, we do not forget.” It also assured us that they will be back, which they were, less than a month later. That time, a red screen appeared showing a Turkish flag and words in a foreign language.
Each time, the hacker’s page was taken down by Hanover technology officials fairly quickly.
According to district Director of Technology Brian Ciccolo, the school’s confidential files and students’ private information was never at risk. Although hanoverschools.org is hosted at the Salmond School, the district’s Aspen site, which contains student grades and personal information, is hosted by Follett Corporation at a separate facility and was never in danger of being breached. The district technology team has since reviewed and updated security for the hanoverschools.org website to prevent future hacks.
The website hacker claimed to be Anonymous Jordan, who has tackled some other websites in its conquests as well. Anonymous Jordan can be found on Facebook and Twitter, wearing the mask from the movie V for Vendetta in each profile picture. This “Jordan” appears to be based out of the country Jordan. However, because this hacker tackles things quite a bit bigger than the Hanover Schools website, I think it can be assumed that our “Jordan” is some sort of a copycat. The original Anonymous Jordan is a kind of vigilante. For example, recently he hacked the website of the United Nations for ignoring Palestinian hunger strikes. “Jordan” did this in order to draw attention toward the fate of these hunger strikers, several of whom are dying. After this major takeover, the Anonymous Jordan twitter page vindicated its actions and posted, “because ignorance is not bliss.” Additionally, they hacked the official website of Jordan’s prime minister. On this page, they left a message reading, “Hi uncle, how are you? We are sorry, we hacked your website. Are you upset? We feel much worse when you raise prices. The people know this feeling but you do not.” It seems as if this hacking group is providing a voice to those under persecution.
It is fair to assume that we have not been hacked by the original Anonymous Jordan. Perhaps this was an average teenager who lives in town, who has an above average ability in computer sciences and felt that he could make his day more interesting by hacking the school’s website, or perhaps it was something more. Perhaps, much like the original Anonymous Jordan, this hacker had other intentions. Maybe he had a purpose in stirring up trouble. Yet, it seems that all we will know is that these goals remain anonymous.