Feeds

Student charged after alerting principal to server hack

'Intentional criminal act'?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.