Police to check Rumford’s house as part of an investigation into the hacking of an online school board meeting


RUMFORD – Local police investigating suspicion of inadvertent hacking of Monday night’s Regional School Unit 10 principals meeting said on Tuesday they identified an internet address of interest at a house in Rumford.

The audio intrusion via Zoom included threats against schools in the district and racist and vulgar language, Superintendent Deb Alden said Monday evening, prompting her to stop a boys’ basketball game at Mountain Valley High gymnasium. School and to close all schools on Tuesday.

The intrusion happened at the start of the meeting, which was held in person at the high school and online, where there were 92 attendees. Alden interrupted the meeting as soon as she and the majority of the school’s 13 principals realized the online link had been hacked. The Zoom connection was lost and the in-person meeting continued later that evening.

In a statement on its Facebook page on Tuesday, the Rumford Police Department said its investigators, IT staff at RSU 10 and a local internet service provider “have been working collaboratively through the night and continue to do so throughout the night. throughout the day today to develop a number of leads. , including identifying an address of interest for a house in Rumford, as well as a number of users outside the neighborhood. “

He said that “the investigation so far suggests that the incident was an online hack and that there is no evidence or information to suggest the public is in danger.

“Part of the conversation included vulgar language and a threat to cause violence in schools in the district the next day at 10 am. The threat did not specify which school in RSU 10 district would be involved, ”the statement said.

No arrests have been made and the investigation is continuing.

Schools are expected to reopen on Wednesday.

A Rumford Falls Times request on Tuesday for a link to the online recording of the meeting was denied by Alden and Brian Carrier, RSU 10 technology coordinator, as it is part of an ongoing criminal investigation, they said. declared.

“We believe that we were not targeted and hacked, but inadvertently hacked because these users found themselves in our meeting using vulgar language and making threats,” Carrier said. He said he was working with Zoom’s safety and security team “to further examine all available logs and information regarding our meeting.”

Alden sent a letter to the RSU 10 community on Tuesday apologizing for the intrusion and said the district took the safety of its schools, staff and students “very seriously.”

RSU 10 includes the towns of Rumford, Mexico, Roxbury, Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner and Hanover. The seven schools in the district are located in Rumford, Mexico, Buckfield and Sumner.

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