Portland media got an e-mail at 10:40pm on Monday night, from PPS Alerts, saying schools would be delayed by two hours across the district. Portland schools got wind of it after a couple media outlets retweeted the information and quickly sent out a correction saying the information was part of a hoax. According to a district spokesperson, the account is managed by a company contracted by Portland schools. They believe it was hacked by someone in Beijing, China. According to KXL Tech Expert Brian Westbrook, such hacking incidents are done to gain notoriety, rather than to cause malicious damage or steal sensitive information. It’s unclear at this point why they targeted Portland schools only. The district says it is working with the company involved to determine how the intrusion occurred, and take steps to prevent a repeat.
Parents concerned about whether their child’s school is closed or delayed should know the district generally makes those decisions the morning of, rather than the night before, unless weather is already bad. They’ll also post such updates through multiple sources, including e-mail, flash alerts, and through Twitter @PPSConnect, along with updates via television and radio news sources such as KGW Newschannel 8 and KXL.com.