Feeds

Students busted for hacking computers, changing grades

'Very bright kids' too bright for their own good

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Three high school juniors have been arrested after they devised a sophisticated hacking scheme to up their grades and make money selling quiz answers to their classmates.

The students are accused of breaking into the janitor’s office of California's Palos Verdes High School and making a copy of the master key, giving them access to all the classrooms. They then attached keylogging hardware to the computers of four teachers, and harvested the passwords needed to access the central files of the school network.

They then used that access to change their grades slightly, nudging them up by increments so that all three got As. At the time they were caught, keyloggers were found on three other teachers’ systems, indicating the group was expanding its efforts.

"They were pretty smart," Palos Verdes Estates police Sgt. Steve Barber told the Daily Breeze. "They knew exactly what to do with the computers. The scores wouldn't go up a whole lot, but enough to change their grade. They didn't want to make it real apparent something was going on."

The three didn’t just confine themselves to computer hacking. They're also accused of using the master key to pilfer around 20 tests before they were given – they then worked out the answers and sold them to other students. This scam only came to light when another student heard of the offer and snitched to the school principal.

"They were very bright kids," said Principal Nick Stephany. "They were in AP and honors classes. Am I shocked? Yeah. Definitely by the extent of it. None of these kids had any real trouble before."

Two students have been expelled over the incident, and others are to be disciplined for receiving stolen goods. The school has also upgraded its security and has advised teachers to change their passwords. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.