BOSTON (CBS) — Mayor Marty Walsh said there are “no credible threats” to Boston Public Schools after Los Angeles schools closed due to electronic threats and Boston City Hall faced a brief internet outage caused by a cyberattack Tuesday morning.
“Our city is safe, our schools are safe,” said Walsh.
City officials said the internet outage, caused by a denial of service (DoS) attack and lasting about 20 minutes, had no specific connection to the Los Angeles school threats. Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Boston’s chief information officer, said the cyberattack began shortly before 9 a.m.
“These are very frequent events that happen online, not necessarily for us, but these are the kinds of minor acts of cybervandalism that you see from time to time,” said Franklin-Hodge.
Officials also said Boston Public Schools did not receive the threats that New York and Los Angeles school districts did.
The Los Angeles Unified School District made the unprecedented decision to shut down Tuesday after a school board official received an emailed threat. Los Angeles has the country’s second-largest school district, serving more than 655,000 students.
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans and Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang spoke along with Walsh.
“We have no information whatever to indicate that any schools in the city are under any kind of threat,” said Evans.
The commissioner added that Boston Police have been dealing with an extra amount of bomb calls in the last few weeks. He said he thought the public was doing the right thing by reporting suspicious items such as backpacks left on the street, and that he understood that recent events made the public more fearful.
“I think what’s happened in LA and New York and what not, people are very fearful, I understand that,” said Evans. “But they have to understand that if we have any information that they’re in any danger, we’ll get that right up.”
Before the press conference, Boston Public Schools released a statement assuring school leaders and the public that they have had no credible threats against schools here.
“Boston Public Schools interim district Safety Director Rick Deraney, the City of Boston Public Safety Office, Boston Police Department, School Police, and others have been working in close coordination in order to monitor the situation,” the statement said.