DES MOINES, Iowa — Johnston police have not directly blamed a cyber security breach for Monday night’s text threat, but the search for whoever gained access to the school district’s personal information won’t be easy.
“It’s very complex how all these things interact, and attackers use that complexity to their benefit,” says Iowa State University cyber security expert Doug Jacobson.
Jacobson says there are countless ways to a person can hide a cell phone number, including through social media apps.
“There’s apps you can get for your phone where you can get a second number for a week or two to send text messages off of a second number.”
Digital detectives say it isn’t as easy as tracing a number back to its account holder. In many cases, those tracks are covered. It takes the help federal mobile forensics to comb through data, but even then, it’s not always successful
“It’s very difficult and may be impossible to track this person down, depending on what technologies they used.”
Jacobson says it doesn’t take a genius to gain sensitive information, thanks to internet tutorials. He says as cyber security continues to be stretched to its limits, local police departments are struggling keep up. Experts remind online and mobile users anything they submit or post could be used against them.
“Anything online, assume it can be shared with pretty much anybody.”