15-year Old Student Hacks School's Computer System

A 15-year old student faces serious charges after he allegedly hacked his school's computer system and stole information on thousands of people. The minor succeeded in accessing the private information, including names, addresses and Social Security numbers, of more than 50,000 people. The name of the 15-year old, studying at Downingtown West High School, is being withheld from the public because of his age.

It appears that the West High School isn't at its first security incident.
The educational establishment had its security system breached in December 2007, also by a student. Since then, officials say, security had been tightened but it seems it was not enough to keep this young hacker away. The personal information of about 40,000 taxpayers and 15,000 students the 15-year old accessed had been placed on a USB portable storage solution. The 15-year old computer wiz is said to have hacked the school's security system from one of the school's computers.

School officials have released a letter explaining the incident, which they posted on the district's website. According to the letter, the district's officials don't believe the young hacker to have had criminal intentions. They assume that the student only wanted to prove he can breach the school's security system and didn't mean to use the accessed information for identity theft. The school's letter also provided contact information for the credit reporting agencies, thus offering people a fast way to monitor their accounts for any suspicious activity.

The young hacker had been released to his parents. The district plans to hold a public meeting next Thursday to discuss cyber security. One of the possible victims declared, in an interview to NBC, that she feels sorry that the young student didn't use his talents to do something more useful to society.

People started getting used with such security breaches and, even if they occur only every once in a while, some of them think that it's all possible due to weak security measures taken by school administrators. "The files in question were completely and utterly unprotected and accessible by anyone. The administration is completely incompetent and the fault is on them. People need to get the real story. He didn't hack anything, they are just saying this to save face," Dan Schwartz, a Softpedia News reader, said in a comment to our previous story on this topic.

Comments: The Downingtown West High School web page
The Downingtown West High School web page

[Source: softpedia]