Last week, more than 300 students across three high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) brought their school-issued iPads home and hacked into them, probably to download juicy blacklisted apps and access banned websites.
Well, “hacked” might be a strong word. Students simply removed their mobile device management (MDM) software profile-an easy enough thing to do—which also got rid of Apple’s Global Proxy that ensures traffic goes through a Web filter. It wasn’t much of a hack, rather a couple of finger taps.
The Los Angeles Times reported the story, which was picked up by other media, and LAUSD suddenly found itself in hot water. Headlines screamed: “Students find ways to thwart school iPad security” ( rtv6) and “Students gleefully teach admins that mobile device management is hard” ( Ars Technica).
Seemingly caught by surprise, LAUSD threw together an official response. Superintendent John Deasy quickly ordered a moratorium on allowing iPads to leave campus until the district could make sure that the problem was solved and that students would use the devices safely and appropriately.