laptop computer hacker

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Bloomfield Hills Students Hack School Computer System, Change Grades

Consequences are "likely to be severe" 

May 17, 2018 - 3:04 pm

BLOOMFIELD HILLS (WWJ) - A couple of Oakland County students could face charges after officials say they hacked into their school's computer system.

According to a letter sent to parents by Bloomfield Hills School District Superintendent Dr. Rob Glass, the two high school students changed their grades, attendance records, refunded their lunch purchases. Glass said the pair apparently also changed the records of as many as 20 other students.  

The district, he said, has partnered with forensic data experts to pour over the district's student information system to better understand the access the students gained and the information they potentially acquired by "exploiting a vulnerability within the system."

According to school officials, with the help of some data experts, that vulnerability has since been resolved.

Glass said the consequences for the students involved are "likely to be severe" -- although exactly what charges they may face is unclear, as an investigation continues.

"Unauthorized access to computer systems is a federal crime and we are working with the proper authorities to determine the appropriate discipline and legal ramifications," Glass said. "Due to student privacy laws, we are not able to disclose more information, but we can assure you that we are working within the full extent of the student code of conduct and the full extent of the law."

As a result of the breach, all parent portal passwords will be reset Friday, and parents will have to set new passwords.

"I want to apologize to the community," Glass added. "I am embarrassed that students from our school district thought it appropriate to use their technology skills and talents selfishly manipulate grades, attendance, and other district data for personal gains. This is not who we are or what we teach."

Glass did not specify which school the students attend or what grade they're in.

Austin, a Bloomfield Hills high school junior, called what the students did "shameful."

"Personally, I wouldn't do that. I'm surprised that they could actually do that," he told WWJ's Jason Scott. "It shows that what security the school has, and how like poor it is, surprisingly. They should really step up their security and be able to find that kid and stop them."

The district will be setting up a hotline for any questions parents may have, and a website has already been set up with common questions and answers at this link.