CC-C launches new website after hackers shut down previous website


By Cory Smith • Last Updated 9:59 am on Monday, October 21, 2013

The Carson City-Crystal Area Schools District recently launched a “new and improved” website after the original website was shut down by hackers.

 

CARSON CITY — The new website for Carson City-Crystal Area Schools is officially up and running, but the implementation of the site didn’t come without its fair share of headaches.

During Monday evening’s school board meeting, Superintendent Kevin Murphy said about a month ago the district’s website was hacked, leaving the website offline for about one week.

The hack ended up destroying the previous website and all data contained within, and for a brief time before it was noticed the website redirected visitors of the website to a link that Murphy described as a “Viagra website.”

“I’m not sure how many people are aware, but our old website was hacked,” Murphy said. “We had some community members who were redirected to an alternative website. That is somewhat embarrassing and that is why the website had been taken down.”

Murphy said there was no virus implemented of any kind and no damage was done to the district’s infrastructure. He said plans had already been discussed to eventually install a new website due to complaints from faculty and community members who used the site.

Specifically, Murphy said there was frustration last year because the process of adding material to the website by staff members was difficult and oftentimes old material that was required to be available online would “fall off.”

“The new website has a better feel and we’re really working to be transparent,” he said.

Carson City-Crystal Area Schools Superintendent Kevin Murphy discusses the district’s new website during the Oct. 14 school board meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

The hack that shut the website down forced the district to act quickly, and as a result, Murphy said there have been some hiccups with the new site but the district is fixing problems and adding new content on a daily basis.

School board member Kriss Hummel said she had heard from several people in the community that the new website was not working as intended and that people were having difficulty getting to the site.

“I’m getting a lot of feedback from people saying it’s not up and running and that they can’t get information, I think we need to get some communication going,” Hummel said.

High school English teacher Sarah Koves, who has been building the website along with three other staff members, said all links directing traffic to the website are up and operational and the original website address has been restored.

“When the school website went down, I created a temporary website that was sent home with the school newsletters and posted on Facebook,” Koves said. “It had the basic lunch account links, the Power School grades login and the school lunch calendars.”

Last week, Koves removed the temporary website and now all links direct to the new school website.

“All of the teachers have pages, every staff member has an account, though they don’t all necessary have the training to use them yet,” she said. “Every building has its own page with calendars and classroom pages for every teachers and newsletters are now going up online as well.”

Koves said it will still take some time before the website features all of its required content because she and her staff are working with a clean slate.

“It is a work in progress because we cannot access anything that was on our website before — it’s gone. It was hacked, destroyed,” she said.

Hummel said she was worried that Koves was working on the website on her own.

“My concern is, why don’t we have other people working on it? I don’t expect you to do it all,” she said.

Members of the Carson City-Crystal Area Schools School Board discuss the implementation of the district’s new website during the Oct. 14 school board meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Koves said she is limited to herself and a few other staff members because they are the only individuals who have received training.

“We are working as we can until we can get the training to the staff at the schools,” she said.

 

At Monday’s meeting, the school board also:

• Unanimously approved individual school improvement plans and district plan.

• Unanimously approved a resolution transferring the 2003 refunding bond debt to the 2012 refunding bond debt account.

• Unanimously approved the implementation of the New Beginnings Scholarship Fund.

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