Report outlines multi-pronged attack that attempts to acquire highly-valuable PII and gain unauthorized access to district systems via student accounts

HOUSTON – February 22, 2023 – Identity Automation, the digital identity platform for education, and PIXM, a computer vision cybersecurity startup,  today announced the release of a report that illustrates the prevalence of student-targeted phishing attacks in K-12 and outlines the anatomy of such hacking attempts. The full report is available for download here.

Examining threat data from a 30-day period in a U.S. school district, experts at Identity Automation
and PIXM uncovered more than 73 malicious sites that where clicked on by students and staff,
including new phishing attacks and dangerous proxy services specifically targeting students – all in
an attempt to gain highly-valuable Personal Identifiable Information (PII). Most districts are rightfully
focused on preventing account takeovers leading to ransomware attacks, but those that target PII
and leave students and districts unaware are also causing ever-increasing headaches for notable
swaths of the country’s communities.

“The reasons cybercriminals find K-12 environments so appealing is clear – they include huge numbers of students with ‘blank slate’ credit histories and potentially easily obtainable PII to go along with it,” said Jim Harold, CEO at Identity Automation. “When attackers take time to customize their attacks and appear like school-related content, you know they find it worth their time. This Identity Automation-PIXM report provides an excellent opportunity for school leaders to see what attacks actually look like, learn the tactics criminals are using, and recommendations to fight them.”

“We’re pleased to work with Identity Automation to spotlight this increased targeting of student
information for purposes of large-scale theft,” said Chris Cleveland, Founder and CEO of PIXM. “PIXM
sees these types of threat reports as an important tool for keeping awareness of high surrounding
potentially dangerous phishing attacks involving some of our most vulnerable citizens.”

Quickly deployed web applications, proxy aware connections, URL cloaking, tab cloaking and multi-factor authentication (MFA) gaps help attackers circumvent detection and content filters entirely. In June of 2022, Identity Automation announced its partnership with PIXM to launch PhishID™, a powerful anti-phishing solution integrated into Identity Automation’s RapidIdentity IAM platform offered specifically to thwart these types of K-12 attacks. For more information, contact Identity Automation here.

About PIXM
PIXM, a cybersecurity startup that stops zero-day phishing attacks with AI Computer Vision, is led by
artificial intelligence experts focused on cyber security. It is advised by cyber security pioneers, intel
community leaders, and successful entrepreneurs. PIXM CEO and Founder Chris Cleveland studied
machine learning applications in cyber security at Columbia’s SEAS graduate school. Its backers
include Tenable Networks Founder Ron Gula and Veracode Founder Chris Wysopal. Visit

About Identity Automation
Identity Automation provides identity and access management (IAM) solutions for K-12 and higher education. Its flagship platform, RapidIdentity, safeguards learning environments, maximizes instructional time, and minimizes the load on Information & Educational Technology teams. Technology leaders turn to RapidIdentity for its best-in-class security capabilities, time-saving automation, and flexible approach to managing digital identities. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Identity Automation is trusted by Chicago Public Schools, Miami-Dade County School Districts, Dallas ISD, Houston Community College, and hundreds of other institutions. To learn more about partnering with Identity Automation, visit

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