Feeds

Student charged after alerting principal to server hack

'Intentional criminal act'?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

A 15-year-old high school student in New York State has been charged with three felonies after he allegedly accessed personnel records on his school's poorly configured computer network and then notified his principal of the security weakness.

The unnamed student of Shenendehowa Central School was charged Thursday with computer trespass, unlawful possession of a personal identification information and identity theft, according to news reports. He has been suspended from school and ordered to stand charges in family court in Saratoga County.

He and a peer allegedly gained access to a file containing the personal information of 250 workers because of a district-wide error in setting up a new server. After accessing the information, he sent an email alerting the principal to the breach and signed it "A student." With the help of the district's IT department, the principal identified the boy as the culprit.

"The kid committed an intentional criminal act," state trooper Maureen Tuffey told The Times Union. "He deceitfully used someone else's name and password so he would not get caught and was looking to profit from his criminal act."

All that was needed to access the information was a district password. School officials have admitted that thousands of students, faculty and employees could have accessed the same file for up to two weeks. The file contained the social security numbers, driver's license numbers and home addresses of past and present employees, most of whom were bus drivers.

Since news of the charges were reported late last week, hackers have criticized administrators for turning the student into a scapegoat for the school board's shoddy computer security. We're inclined to agree, although it'd be nice if we knew more about the specifics of the email the fellow sent his principal. Additional coverage is available here and here. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.