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Lake Placid school Twitter page hacked by porn

Lake Placid residents are are angry over the lack of security on school social media site

Matt Temburello, Lake Placid Central School technology coorinator, explains the Twitter incident to the Board of Education at their March 6 meeting.

Matt Temburello, Lake Placid Central School technology coorinator, explains the Twitter incident to the Board of Education at their March 6 meeting. Photo by Katherine Clark.

— Obscene pornographic postings on the Lake Placid Central School District’s recently-launched Twitter account was a subject of heated conversation during a March 6 school board meeting.

The account was setup as a means of relaying school information to students and parents, and was activated on Feb. 29. But when parent Linda Wallace logged in that day, she was shocked to see that a pornography site had spammed the account.

Wallace was present at the March 6 meeting, and handed out printouts of what she witnessed on the site to school officials and the media.

Lake Placid School Superintendent Dr. Randy Richards said he was notified of the situation the next day, March 1, and said the account was deactivated within 24 hours to allow district technology staff to examine the origin of the inappropriate content.

Lake Placid technology coordinator, Matt Temburello, said the breach occurred because the page’s security settings had not been set to prevent “spam” websites from accessing the list of those who followed the schools account.

The concept behind the twitter account came from Richards and Temburello, but Temburello said an intern had set up the account and had neglected to make sure the privacy settings didn’t weed out certain sites froom being followers of the schools page.

“When we configured it, we didn't configurate it so that it showed who was following us, and what happened was we had a follower that's a spammer,” Temburello said.

Spammers get the list of those following different Twitter pages and then follow them to try and entice users to click on their links. He said he’d make sure the security settings are setup properly should the school establish another Twitter account.

In a press release issued on March 6, Richards apologized for the incident, and assured the public that the content was not “linked to anybody with a connection to the Lake Placid Central School District.”

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