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The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office charged 28-year-old Michael Levanti with two second-degree felonies for installing malware that affected the district's email system.
Siesta Key Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 6 years ago

School employee charged in cyber attack

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by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

Deputies arrested a Sarasota County School District technology support employee this morning for allegedly disrupting the school system's computer network in a cyber attack last month.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office charged 28-year-old Michael Levanti with two second-degree felonies for installing malware that affected the district's email system, online learning portals and security, which spread across 50,000 users and more than 350 servers, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Levanti, who earns roughly $29,000 annually, is on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete, according to Deputy Superintendent Scott Lempe.

"Because this is an ongoing investigation, I'm not going to say very much," Lempe said. "I don't want to do anything that would get in the way of that."

School officials discovered the problems Oct. 21, and hired technology consultant the Sylint Group to investigate the incident, leading to Levanti's arrest. Sylint Vice President Jeff Birnbach said the firm could not comment on any cases or active investigations.

Levanti, who has been a school district employee since July 2012, is being held on a $30,000 bond at the Sarasota County Jail. 

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

 

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