Online education platform IO Classroom, which serves thousands of NYC public school students and their parents through a cloud service called PupilPath, has been down for more than four days after an attempted security breach, according to the NY Daily News. Protocol confirmed some details of the outage with parent company Illuminate Education.
According to Jody Rosen, a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine whose son uses IO Classroom, the platform stores "students' transcripts, contact information and special ed services." Because of the vast amounts of sensitive information stored on the platform, Rosen wrote on Twitter that he was concerned about the privacy and security implications of a potential hack.
Scott Virkler, chief operating officer at Illuminate, confirmed that the outage started with some sort of security incident. "Our response to an attempted security incident created an isolated service disruption for some schools," Virkler said in a statement, adding that an investigation is underway.
Rosen said an NYC teacher he spoke with had not heard anything directly from Illuminate Education despite the gravity of the outage. "The company has been remarkably quiet on the issue despite schools' heavy reliance on the platform," the teacher told Rosen.
According to the IO Classroom service history log, users experienced an inability to log in to the IO Classroom application as early as Saturday January 8th at 4:44 AM PST. And as of the latest update on Wednesday January 12th at 4:28 AM PST, the issue had still not been resolved.
“It’s amazing how completely dependent we’ve become on this piece of tech,” Bobson Wong, a high-school teacher in Queens, told the Daily News. “When it goes down, we’re all in trouble.”