A 16-year-old high school student in California was arrested on Wednesday after it was discovered he hacked into the school’s network by phishing his teachers. The unnamed student emailed various teachers in his school district with a link to a mock login for the school’s portal. This phishing website was created by the student to look exactly like the school’s portal, and once a teacher entered their username and password, he would have their login details.
Reports of the hack circulated two weeks ago when teachers in the Mount Diablo Unified School District received suspicious emails. However the student gained access to one teacher’s username and password after they fell for the phishing attempt. This allowed the student to access the school’s network, and he began modifying grades.
He changed the grades of between 10 and 15 students, including his own. He raised the grades of some of his classmates, and lowered the grades of others. Once police – who had assistance from the US Secret Service – discovered what had happened, they obtained search warrants for the IP addresses associated with the website and email, and traced it to the student’s address.
Police showed up at the student’s house, and the student admitted to the crime, even bragging to a local news outlet. He said “it was like stealing candy from a baby.” He has since been suspended from his high school, and has been released to his parents while he awaits a court date – being charged with 14 felony counts.