Details continue to trickle out about Lower Merion School District, their MacBook loan program, and the unsavoury security practices they used to keep those computers safe. The latest: the school-supplied MacBooks were required for classes and students could not use their own personal machines in their place. Worse yet, it was impossible to disable the laptops’ iSight cameras and attempting to circumvent the school’s security software was grounds for expulsion. Yeeps.
All of this information comes courtesy of two security researchers, “Stryde” and Aaron Rhodes, who have pored over the relevant LMSD materials and even gone so far as to reverse-engineer LANRev, the snooping software Lower Merion installed on its computers.
Of course, the people behind LANRev are now trying to distance themselves from the school district as much as possible – “We discourage any customer from taking theft recovery into their own hands,” their head of marketing explained – even though Mike Perbix, Lower Merion’s network technician, was featured prominently in a LANRev promotional video from 2008.