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ACT public Schools email incident

14 Aug 2020

ACT public schools experienced an e-mail incident on Friday 14 August 2020 which involved spam emails containing inappropriate material being circulated to students.

The Education Directorate has responded by temporarily blocking access to the Google platform which includes Gmail, Google drive and Google classroom. This platform will be unavailable until the incident has been investigated and appropriate controls are put in place. We understand this may impact some students’ ability to study over the weekend and schools will take this into consideration, where appropriate.

We are aware that some students have copied emails to their personal devices. We would encourage parents to speak with their children and have them delete any content.

Parents who need support talking to their child about this incident can find information through the eSafety Commissioner website.

An investigation has commenced to identify the exact nature of the incident and any additional implications. Preliminary findings of the investigation have indicated that students gained access to system email distribution lists and inappropriately used these to send emails to their peers.

This activity took place within the ACT Education Directorate network and there has been no external security breach. No external body has hacked or exported information from the system.

The AFP and ACT policing were notified this afternoon regarding the incident.

Families wishing to raise any concerns with the ACT Education Directorate about this issue can contact our Families and Students, Complaints and Feedback Unit online via the ACT Education Directorate contact form or by phone (02) 6205 5429.

Students and families can access support services through KidsHelpline 1800 551 800 or lifeline 13 11 14.

The Directorate will keep parents and carers updated on the resolution of this incident.