Feeds

Students busted for hacking computers, changing grades

'Very bright kids' too bright for their own good

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?