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"No Risk to Children" After North Yorkshire School Website Hacked


1:20pm 6th January 2015

Police say there is no risk to children after a North Yorkshire primary school's website was hacked.

Sowerby Primary School near Thirsk had it's site hacked last night and front page temporarily replaced with a message which appears to be from an Islamic group opposed to America and Israel.

The school contacted parents last night saying there was not a specifically targeted threat and that there was no risk to children attending school. Both governors and police officers went to the school this morning to reassure families.

Inspector Chris Galley, of North Yorkshire Police, said:

“We believe that the Sowerby Primary School website had unauthorised content posted by a virus which seeks out servers with weak security software.

“Other organisations and businesses both locally, nationally and internationally have had their websites compromised in a similar manner in recent months and there is no suggestion that Sowerby Primary School was deliberately targeted in any way.

“The school have now removed their website and enquiries to establish the origin of the content are ongoing.

“It is important that all organisations with a public facing website ensure that they have sound security software in place to reduce the risk of similar incidents occurring.”

Pete Dwyer, North Yorkshire’s Corporate Director of the Children and Young People’s Service said:

“We have been working closely with the police on this matter. Our schools place great importance on website security but we understand that despite all best efforts public and corporate websites can be compromised in this way from time to time."

“We are reassured by the police in this case that this was a random breach and that children are not at any risk.”

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