Manor Independent School District in Texas has been the victim of an elaborate phishing scam which may have lost them as much as $2.3 million. The FBI and local Texas authorities are helping in the investigation, as officials claim that the fraudulent transactions occurred during November 2019.
Authorities haven’t given many details as to how, exactly, the scam was enacted. However, what is known is that the hackers used email phishing techniques to steal login information from school faculty. This, in turn, allowed them to access the school district’s own budget, and resulted in three fraudulent transactions.
Police haven’t confirmed what the transactions were for, but the school district confirmed that they tallied up to an eye-watering total of $2.3 million. How a hacker would manage to spend over two million dollars by stealing a few passwords remains a mystery. The FBI and Manor Police Department have both stated that they believe they have “strong” leads in the case.
The community of Manor is very close to Austin, Texas; it’s roughly fifteen miles east of the city. As such, the area is rather densely populated and has a well-funded public school system. Manor Independent School District serves around 10,000 students, according to their Facebook page.
This means that it’s not surprising that a phishing scam targeted the school district; it’s well-funded, full of tons of students, and near the heart of one of the biggest cities in the US. This makes it an ideal mark for a hacker working with bad intent, as they would know that the school had an ample budget for them to tap into and use for their own nefarious purposes.
Remember: don’t click on any links you get in your email, especially if it’s from a source you don’t recognize. Even if you do recognize some sources, hackers love to use recognizable, trustworthy brand names and convincing fake login pages to steal information. Always double-check the URL of any site you’re logging in to, and be vigilant about logging in to systems while at work.