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[ISN] Students busted for hacking computers, changing grades

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_nospam>
Date: Mon Jan 30 2012 - 06:24:21 GMT

By Iain Thomson in San Francisco
The Register
27th January 2012

Three high school juniors have been arrested after they devised a
sophisticated hacking scheme to up their grades and make money selling
quiz answers to their classmates.

The students are accused of breaking into the janitor’s office of
California's Palos Verdes High School and making a copy of the master
key, giving them access to all the classrooms. They then attached
keylogging hardware to the computers of four teachers, and harvested the
passwords needed to access the central files of the school network.

They then used that access to change their grades slightly, nudging them
up by increments so that all three got As. At the time they were caught,
keyloggers were found on three other teachers’ systems, indicating the
group was expanding its efforts.

"They were pretty smart," Palos Verdes Estates police Sgt. Steve Barber
told the Daily Breeze. "They knew exactly what to do with the computers.
The scores wouldn't go up a whole lot, but enough to change their grade.
They didn't want to make it real apparent something was going on."

The three didn’t just confine themselves to computer hacking. They're
also accused of using the master key to pilfer around 20 tests before
they were given -- they then worked out the answers and sold them to
other students. This scam only came to light when another student heard
of the offer and snitched to the school principal.


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