A 16-year-old student has been charged with fourteen felonies after he hacked his school’s computer system to change his grades using a phishing campaign aimed at teachers.
The student at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord, California, reportedly “targeted teachers with a phishing scam and hacked into the Mount Diablo Unified School District computer system in order to change his grades as well as those of other students.”
“Concord police say they called in the U.S. Secret Service and a Contra Costa County task force when they first got the report two weeks ago,” reported KTVU. “The student, whose name is not being released because he’s a juvenile, was arrested Wednesday on 14 felony counts, after investigators say they tracked down the hacking attack to the student’s home.”
The student even lowered the grades of other students, causing him to be suspended from school on top of the charges.
“We wrote numerous search warrants to get the IP addresses of the possible phishing site email. We got it and we did good old-fashioned police detective work and we narrowed it down to an address,” claimed Concord Police Sergeant Carl Cruz. “He’s a young man from the high school. And he seems to be very intelligent.”
“He created a replica site that appeared trustworthy to the teachers which is why this one teacher actually logged into it… Once the student got it, he was able to access the Mount Diablo Unified School District IT network and therefore get into the grade system,” he continued. “We believe 10-15 students’ grades were changed, but we’re still investigating.”
Last month, a hacker was sentenced to seven years in prison after he used similar tactics to break into and alter prison records so that an inmate could be released early.