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Ransomware criminals are dumping kids’ private files online after school hacks

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Personal and confidential documents of young students have been stolen and “dumped” online by ransomware gangs. “They describe student sexual assaults, psychiatric hospitalizations, abusive parents, truancy — even suicide attempts” reports the Associated Press.

“Please do something,” begged one of the students in one leaked file, recalling the trauma of continually bumping into an ex-abuser at a school in Minneapolis. Other victims talked about wetting the bed or crying themselves to sleep.

Associated Press writes:

Complete sexual assault case folios containing these details were among more than 300,000 files dumped online in March after the 36,000-student Minneapolis Public Schools refused to pay a $1 million ransom. Other exposed data included medical records and discrimination complaints.

Rich in digitized data, the nation’s schools are prime targets for far-flung criminal hackers, who are assiduously locating and scooping up sensitive files.

Often strapped for cash, districts are grossly ill-equipped not just to defend themselves but to respond diligently and transparently when attacked, especially as they struggle to help kids catch up from the pandemic and grapple with shrinking budgets.

The Associated Press reached families of six students whose sexual assault case files were exposed. The message from a reporter was the first time anyone had alerted them.

“Truth is, they didn’t notify us about anything,” said a mother whose son’s case file has 80 documents.

Ransomware likely has affected well over 5 million U.S. students by now, with district attacks on track to rise this year, said analyst Allan Liska of the cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. Nearly one in three U.S. districts had been breached by the end of 2021, according to a survey by the Center for Internet Security, a federally funded nonprofit.

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Hundreds of anti-Israel Harvard students, faculty walk out of graduation ceremony

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Videos and reports circulating the internet show hundreds of Harvard University students and faculty walked out of the school’s commencement ceremony on Thursday, wearing keffiyehs and waving Palestinian flags and anti-Israel banners.

National Review reports the Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine (HOOP) coalition, which organized the university’s anti-Israel encampment, posted a video of students marching out of the area in which commencement was held on its Instagram page. The video shows students chanting “hey hey, ho ho, the occupation has got to go” and is accompanied by a caption that reads, “over a THOUSAND of Harvard students and faculty have walked out of graduation.”

Shabbos Kestenbaum, who graduated from Harvard Divinity School on Thursday and is currently involved in a lawsuit against the university over its inaction on campus antisemitism, posted a video on his X account capturing the scene in which protesters — both students and faculty — rose from their seats and walked toward the exit, chanting “let them walk” and “disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest” and inviting those around them to the “People’s Commencement,” an event student activist groups organized as a substitute for Harvard’s official ceremony.

In response to a National Review comment request, Harvard’s media-relations department responded with a section of interim president Alan Garber’s welcome address during the ceremony.

“As our ceremony proceeds, some among us may choose to take the liberty of expressing themselves to draw attention to events unfolding in the wider world,” Garber said. “It is their right to do so. But it is their responsibility to do so with our community — and this occasion — in mind.”

The chants of “let them walk” referred to Harvard’s decision to withhold degrees from 13 seniors facing disciplinary action for their roles in the school’s encampment. The faculty of the university’s arts and sciences college voted in a Monday meeting to provide those 13 students with diplomas, a move the Harvard Corporation — the university’s highest governing body — rejected.

“Each of these students has been found by the College’s Administrative Board — the body established by the FAS faculty to investigate and adjudicate disciplinary matters — to have violated the University’s policies by their conduct during their participation in the recent encampment in Harvard Yard,” the Harvard Corporation said in a statement explaining the decision.

Shruthi Kumar, a graduating senior who gave an address at the commencement ceremony soon after Garber received a chorus of boos, reportedly went off script and slammed the university for its decision not to confer degrees on those 13 students. Pulling a piece of paper from her graduation regalia that was seemingly not included in her prepared and approved remarks, she professed her disapproval of Harvard leadership.

“As I stand here today, I must take a moment to recognize my peers: The 13 undergraduates in the class of 2024 that will not graduate today. I am deeply disappointed by the intolerance for freedom of speech and their right to civil disobedience on campus,” Kumar said. “The students have spoken. The faculty have spoken. Harvard, do you hear us?”

Kumar also discussed what she described as the “doxxing” of Harvard students who signed statements defending Hamas’s actions and blaming Israel for the Hamas terror attack of October 7.

“For many of us students of color, doxxing left our jobs uncertain, our safety uncertain,” Kumar said. “This semester, our freedom of speech and our expressions of solidarity became punishable, leaving our graduation uncertain.”

Kestenbaum, who testified about the antisemitic harassment he’s faced before the House Education and Workforce Committee in February, told National Review he was not surprised by the chaos at commencement.

“Today’s commencement is the natural outcome of months of failed leadership and normalized antisemitism,” said Kestenbaum, who estimated that half of his fellow divinity school graduates walked out of the ceremony. “While students and speakers made sure to interrupt, walk out, and defend their antisemitic peers, no mention of the hostages, Jewish students’ experiences at Harvard, or October 7 was made.”

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