[ISN] Student arrested for breaking into school computer network

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Feb 19 2003 - 00:07:00 PST

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    Associated Press
    Feb. 18, 2003
    TURLOCK, Calif. - A Turlock High School senior has been arrested for
    allegedly hacking into the school district computer network and taking
    encrypted files.
    Police believe the 17-year-old intended to prove that the system was
    vulnerable. Police said the student had told his computer teacher
    about the system's flaws, and the teacher told the network
    administrator about them, but the administrator told the teacher that
    exploiting that security flaw was not possible, said Sheriff's Sgt.  
    Adam Christianson.
    So police said the student, who was arrested Feb. 5, broke into the
    network, which contains personnel records and grade reports, copied
    encrypted files with user names and passwords for the district's 1,300
    employees and took the data home. Police said that at home, the boy
    decrypted the information using a free Web download.
    Police said he then took the information to school and showed his
    computer teacher.
    "What he should have done is offer to sit down with the teacher and
    the administrator and demonstrate the hole with their permission,"  
    Christianson said.
    The school district is in the process of securing the system, and has
    sent out a letter to employees advising them on precautions to avoid
    having their identities stolen, said Lars Christensen, an assistant
    superintendent for the district.
    Investigators are still trying to figure out how deeply into the
    system the student went, how long he has had access to it and if
    anyone else has hacked it.
    The district has filed expulsion charges and will press criminal
    charges against the student, Christensen said.
    "We consider it very serious. One of the most difficult things is
    we're depending on the perpetrator of the crime to tell us what he
    did," he said. "He had the ability to see everything we have."
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