High school fires IT manager — then he launches cyberattack on its network, feds say

A former IT manager is accused of launching a cyberattack on a Massachusetts high school that recently fired him, federal officials said.

The 30-year-old from Ayer was a desktop and network manager at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, according to a Nov. 29 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts.

He lost his job in June, officials said.

He pleaded guilty Nov. 29 to one count of unauthorized damage to protected computers, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, according to the news release.

The man’s attorney had no comment as of Nov. 29.

After he lost his job, the former IT employee used administrative privileges to delete or deactivate more than 2,600 Apple accounts from the school’s network that manages student, faculty and staff technology resources, federal officials said in a court filing.

As a result of the cyberattack, officials said the school’s phone lines were down for 24 hours.

The man is also accused of deactivating the administrative accounts of the school’s director of IT systems and the IT help desk clerk, according to the filing.

Officials said he caused $5,000 in damage.

McClatchy News could not immediately reach the high school for comment Nov. 29.

Whittier Tech is in Essex County, about 40 miles north of Boston.

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