SAN ANTONIO -- An anonymous hacker claims he took down Northside ISD's public website. The move is in protest of new student IDs with a tracking device. That device is called an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip. It's used at two Northside schools as a pilot program to better track school attendance.
News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooter Mireya Villarreal has been in direct contact with the hacker claiming to be responsible.
What he did is called a denial of services attack or DOS. Somehow the hacker overloads the school district's website. The point is to make the site unavailable for the everyday user, not to steal private information.
In the world of Twitter, this alleged hacker goes by the handle "tr1xxyanon." For the last few days, he's taken full responsibility for Northside's website going down.
"What we've noticed is a little bit of a slow down in accessing information on the website. But not a total shutdown of the website,” Pascual Gonzalez, Northside ISD’s spokesperson, told us.
Tr1xxyanon won't tell us much about who he is, just that he works alone and is doing this because of the district's decision to use radio frequency ID cards to track their students.
In a letter to NISD, tr1xxyanon says those cards strip away a student’s privacy. He gives the district between one and three days to have a meeting with every parent this affects or risk having their site shut down again. If the district were to comply, they’d have to reach out to nearly 4,200 students.
"It's extremely important that we're methodical in our investigation and in our documentation of these hacker interests,” Gonzalez told us. “That is a very, very serious threat that we are currently investigating."
Through his Twitter profile, we asked tr1xxyanon for proof he really was responsible for the interruptions. Within a few minutes, NISD's site was unavailable again. He let News 4 WOAI reporter Mireya Villarreal know when it was down and when it was back up.
The school district assures us no one's private information was hacked, and they are working with law enforcement to track down the person responsible. No word yet on whether they'll respond to the hacker's demands.