[ISN] Students charged with hacking JCPS computer system

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Mon Dec 17 2007 - 22:04:19 PST


By Scott Harvey
December 17, 2007

Louisville - Two local high school students and a former student are in 
trouble after authorities say they hacked into the school's computer 
system. It happened back in October at Manual High School. In a story 
you will read only on wave3.com, Investigator Scott Harvey explains the 
students were doing more than just changing grades.

School officials say they were smart kids, doing smart things.

"We are trying to determine how they did it," said Cary Petersen, JCPS's 
executive director of Information Technology. "What was the damage they 
did? And trying to correct everything as quickly as possible.

The two seniors and one former student could face some stiff penalties 
for breaking into the JCPS computer system. School officials tell WAVE 3 
News they don't know how long the students had been altering grades and 
attendance records, but eventually that's what got them caught.

"The attendance clerk at the school noticed what she had put in from one 
day was missing from the next," Petersen said.

School officials say they didn't stop with just the illegal extra 

"They created their own website," Petersen explained.

He said the alleged hackers also broke into individual teacher's 
computers and created a website -- www.ilovekeepers.com. The site is 
named after Manual's principal, Dr. Beverly Keepers. Officials say the 
group posted tests and quizzes, along with the answers that went with 

We checked the website. Now when you log on it simply says, "If you are 
looking for the infamous site everyone is talking about -- sorry. Check 
back later for more appropriate content."

Petersen also told me the students worked at a computer parts store, 
which gave them access to equipment that students don't normally have.

"We believe there was a device that was put on the system itself," he 
explained. "It allowed them to get in the door. Once they got in the 
door, it was ollie ollie oxen free.  They could go anywhere they wanted 

But school officials don't have the answer they really want -- why they 
did it.

"I think it was, for more or less, for show," Petersen said. "You know, 
'look what I can do.'"

According to the JCPS Code of Conduct, the students have been suspended 
with a recommendation for alternative placement. If the school decides 
to press charges and if convicted, school officials say the students 
could face jail time.

Petersen says the students are now working with school computer 
technicians to help improve the website's security.

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