Op-Ed: The cyberattack on Los Angeles schools could happen anywhere
I sat in front of my laptop to watch my daughter play. As she sat down on a swing, I was excited to see what this new game looked like, and how it came together. As I clicked some of the options and swooshed the mouse around, I could have sworn I was playing on a PC online.
Until the screen went black and the laptop locked up. I tried rebooting to clear the problem. Nothing. My daughter was still sitting on a swing. Nothing.
I tried to call her play on the phone. I tried to call the teacher. Nothing.
I tried to get the school to call 911. Nothing.
I thought about doing a walk of shame with my 15-year-old. I thought about calling L.A. Unified. Nothing.
A short while later, I realized I was in front of two screens: my laptop and my daughter’s. She was on her computer but didn’t know it. My screen was locked. The screen on her computer was locked.
I was about to sit through another of my daughter’s activities when I had a realization: The attack had come from outside my home.
An attack on my laptop or even my phone would not have caused the meltdown that happened on March 5 at Los Angeles Unified schools. While I am not a computer scientist, I am trained to look at the world around me. I am trained to watch the people around me. To see the subtle signs of people who might be in distress. If I watched people around me carefully and noticed something, I would probably consider that person a person in distress.
It started with the video chat on my phone — I had been using a feature called Face Time with my daughter. Now it was my computer’s turn. Suddenly, I could not use the computer