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The Truth Behind Iris

IRIS+aims+to+gain+access+to+freshman+and+sophomore+PowerSchool+accounts.
IRIS aims to gain access to freshman and sophomore PowerSchool accounts.

IRIS aims to gain access to freshman and sophomore PowerSchool accounts.

FNF staff writers

FNF staff writers

IRIS aims to gain access to freshman and sophomore PowerSchool accounts.

Dalal Azzam, Editor-In-Chief

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If you are not aware, recently, a software virus has been identified. The virus, Iris, impacted the Powerschool and student email accounts of underclassment. Students were advised to protect personal information and to monitor their accounts for any suspicious activity.

The virus, however, is a hoax. Project Iris was created by Green Hope’s cybersecurity class to raise awareness and test social engineering. The team made up the mythical virus in order to measure students’ reactions. The goal was to assess the ease in which students will hand over their private information and trust others to access their accounts.

The project presented students with a smaller scale of the scams and information theft that happens in the real world. By exposing students to a mitigated version of this occurrence, the cybersecurity team hopes to better prepare students against dangerous scams in the future.

During lunch on Wednesday, Mr. Gaw’s fourth period cybersecurity class rounded up 34 freshman and sophomore students to check their phones for signs of “IRIS the Virus.” According to the cybersecurity team, IRIS would gain access to students’ Power Schools accounts and release personal information, such as text messages and pictures, to the Cloud. The cybersecurity team requested the name, grade, student ID, and phone passcode from potential victims that chose to visit the table–and most willingly gave away their information.

Students were then informed that IRIS was actually a fake computer virus created by the cybersecurity team itself. IRIS was a social experiment with the goal of scaring students into handing over their information and “socially engineering” them, just as a real online scammer might do. Pamphlets were handed out to the students that were tricked, explaining the experiment, but a few students questioned the integrity of the cybersecurity team from the start.

They were hesitant to give up their personal information, and rightly so: if it seems like a scam, it probably is!

Don’t let yourself fall victim to social engineering.

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The Official Student News of Green Hope High School
The Truth Behind Iris