Teenager Hacks High School To Improve Grades

American student tests his cyberskills with hack of high school network to bolster exam results

Headmasters beware – a teenager in the US has been charged with hacking into his high school’s computer system in order to improve his grades.

And the youngster reportedly honed his hacking skills while attending a summer camp computer programming training course.

School Hack

Eric Walstrom, aged 16, is a student at the New Dorp High School in Staten Island, New York. According to The New York Post, Walstrom bypassed the school’s password system, as well as a separate security system by using a computer at the school.

He then setup a network so that he could access the school computer system from his smartphone. He reportedly accessed his report cards and transcripts and “changed those grades,” the Post said, citing a criminal complaint.

“You’d think a kid smart enough to hack his school’s computers would already have good grades. Maybe the DOE should hire him to expose weaknesses in their security firewalls,” a law-enforcement source was quoted as saying.

It seems that Walstrom was caught when a school IT workers noticed the unauthorised log-ins to the system. The school notified police, and Walstrom was arrested on Wednesday this week.

He has been charged as an adult with forgery, computer trespass, unauthorised use of a computer, computer tampering and criminal possession of forgery devices.

Young Age

The case serves as an example of the ever increasing cyberskills of today’s youth.

betsy davies hacking2Last month, an experiment showed that even a primary school child could hack into a laptop. Seven-year-old Betsy Davies was able to hack into a stranger’s laptop via an unsecured Wi-Fi network in just over ten minutes.

In 2013, detectives from the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), arrested a 16-year-old schoolboy as part of an investigation into the biggest ever distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack in history against Spamhaus, an anti-spam company.

And late last year, an eight year old computer whizz-kid addressed a cyber security conference in India on the need for the IT industry to teach information security skills in schools.

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