By SALLY MACDONALD
14 Dec 2010
HOUSTON - H.I.S.D. superintendent Terry Grier is revealing new
information in the investigation of a serious computer hacking threat.
Dr. Grier says the hacker used a technique called tunneling to access
the district's computer records. The hacker looked at the private
information of at least one student, but hundreds of thousands of
students and employees were at risk.
"Tunneling does not equal bad. Think of it as an envelope. You'll send
me an email, you'll put it in basically a virtual envelope. It'll come
to me as if by courier. No one is able to look inside our message," said
Chris Bronk, IT Fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute.
Tunnels can be necessary if people want their communication to be
confidential, but Bronk says it doesn't take a computer whiz to create a
tunnel in a dishonest way. Let's say administrative computers and
student computer labs are connected to the same network.
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