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Hacked messaging app sends explicit image to parents, Menomonee Falls schools warn

Seesaw, a messaging app used 10 million teachers, students and family members, announced it had been hacked after some people reported they received messages with the explicit photo.
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Posted at 4:48 PM, Sep 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-14 17:48:30-04

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. — A nationwide hack that startled parents with an explicit photo famous on the internet now has some people concerned at the School District of Menomonee Falls.

Seesaw, a messaging app used by 10 million teachers, students and family members, announced it had been hacked after some people reported they received messages with the explicit photo. School districts in Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma and New York reported the hacks, according to NBC News.

In a letter obtained by TMJ4 News, the School District of Menomonee Falls told families on Wednesday that they learned of the hack and said that there may be teachers in the school district using the free version of Seesaw.

The school district said it did not know if district students saw the circulating images, as their use of Seesaw is "limited."

According to the letter from the school district:

"We understand that situations such as this can be concerning. We are unaware that this issue affects any SDMF student accounts, as any use of Seesaw in our district is limited. It is important to note that this is NOT a breach of the SDMF system but is, in fact, an issue with Seesaw."

Seesaw said in a statement to national news outlets that “specific user accounts were compromised by an outside actor."

“Our team continues to monitor the situation to ensure we prevent further spread of these images from being sent or seen by any Seesaw users,” said Seesaw vice president of marketing, Sunniya Saleem.

Seesaw said that the hackers did not get administrative access but instead hacked individual user accounts by a "credential stuffing" attack. That's when hackers search through previous data breaches to find correct combinations of usernames and passwords.

The explicit photo was sent to users using shortened bit.ly links, thereby hiding the URL when shared.

The School District of Menomonee Falls (and school districts across the country, according to NBC News) are urging people to change their passwords on Seesaw.

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