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Hackers crack iPad security in LA schools

Apple’s big win with the Los Angeles Unified School District has hit a roadblock as student hackers have breached the security on the school-issued iPads. The district allowed students to take the iPads home with them so that they could use them to for homework. The students quickly learned that by deleting their personal profiles they could break through the firewalls on the devices, and freely access the Internet and social media.

Unlimited access was not part of the plan for the LAUSD, which is spending roughly $1 billion to roll the iPads out to every student in the district. About half of that money will be spent on the devices, the rest on related expenses like wireless connectivity solutions in the schools. The program has been billed by administrators as a way to level the playing field for a district in which 70% of the students come from low income families.

The district now says that unlimited access to the Internet and social media could compromise student safety, and needs to stop. According to the Los Angeles Times, district police chief Steven Zipperman thinks delaying the iPad rollout may be a good idea. Zipperman expects students to share their tips for hacking the iPads on social media, and thinks that unless new measures are put in place, the iPads can no longer be considered secure.

A second issue that may delay deployment of the iPads is the unexpected need for keyboards. The district did not budget for keyboards, but apparently did plan to have students use iPads to take tests, and for that they will need keyboards. This development will not be overlooked by Google and Microsoft, who are working hard to sell the Chromebook (Google) and the Surface (Microsoft) to school districts. Both of these devices include keyboards, although with the Surface the Touch Cover keyboard is an additional purchase.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrassehttp://www.nbreports.com
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports (nbreports.com). At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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