Press "Enter" to skip to content

California high school teen, 15, ‘hacked computer and boosted his grades’

A high school student may face legal action after he hacked into his school’s computer system and changed his grades for the better while changing other pupils’ for the worse.  

The student, 15, is accused of tricking teachers at the school into giving him their login information which allowed him to access records.  

The name of the school hasn’t been officially announced but it is thought to be Encore Junior/Senior High School for the Arts in downtown Riverside, California.

Riverside police’s Economic Crimes Detective Brian Money said the student has been accused of changing his own grades but may not have been caught if he hadn’t also allegedly changed others and wrote notes about the pupils, including one who he said ‘Sleeps in class’.

These students are said to have reported the changed to their school record to administrators and the 15-year-old, who cannot be named, was eventually caught.  

Money sent a juvenile court petition to the Riverside County Probation Department, asking the boy to be charged with computer intrusion.  

He added that the boy’s alleged ruse, known as ‘spearphishing,’ is increasingly common. 

The student is believed to have created an email account that made it appear that his emails were coming from a high-ranking member of the school’s administration. 

He is alleged to have then contacted teachers and requested four of their usernames and passwords for school computers. 

The teachers reportedly fell for the ruse and gave their information to the hacker.

Detective Money said had the recipients clicked on the administrator’s name, they would have seen that the extension did not come from a school account.   

He added that he has investigated several similar cases in which municipal governments were victimized. 

The criminal, posing as a vendor or employee, sends victims emails containing an invoice or a request to wire money to an account.

‘They just send the money out. Once the money is in that bank, it’s as good as gone,’ Money said.

The detective estimated that 90 per cent of spearphishing victims could have avoided trouble with one simple step.

Money added: ‘If they are asking for any sort of information — username and password — go low tech. Pick up the phone and ask about it.

 ‘You have to be a little more savvy than just blindly sending people information.’

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *