District's website has odd link

By Anna Carrera

Published 02/14 2014 05:38PM

Updated 02/14 2014 06:29PM

TUSCOLA -- Instead of logging onto a school website, parents say a suspicious page is popping up. Some say they couldn't get on their student's school website this week.

They found a message on the Tuscola school site which is not in English. It looks like it's in Arabic, but the district's superintendent says they're not even using the site anymore.

If you Google "Tuscola schools," this site pops up. There's the regular district link, but it says, "Egyptian soldiers," with some writing underneath. Superintendent Michael Smith says it must just be a technical glitch.

If you click the link, it takes you to a page which states the site has been taken down. Computer experts say it's a good reminder to trust your gut before clicking on something.

"There's a lot of websites in the world and most of them are good, but some of them are bad," said Simplified Computers President Dan Moisson. "If it looks suspicious, it probably is suspicious."

The district's page was hosted by the "Area for Learning Technology Center," based in Rantoul. It takes care of websites for many Illinois' schools. Someone with the company says other sites were compromised as well.

The superintendent says there's no danger to any of the students. They're planning to launch a new website Monday. Until then, you can still access the district's Facebook page online.

The FBI says cyber security issues like this one are some of its top priorities. Its main focus is on computer and network intrusions, identity theft and fraud. Investigators say you should make sure your firewall is turned on, you have up-to-date anti-virus software and be careful what you click on.

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