California student modifies his grades by launching phishing campaign.
The result: 14 indictments for his malicious actions
Recently Concord police apprehended a youngster and indicted him for 14 delinquencies after revealing his malicious actions that consist in startup of a phishing campaign aimed at teachers to thieve their passwords and modify his grades by getting into school system.
KTVU reported that the name of this juvenile delinquent wasn`t made public, taking into account his age (16 years old). The student was brought to court thanks to a brilliant work of the police authorities and support from the Contra Costa County specialists and the US Secret Service.
Two weeks ago, teachers in the Mount Diablo Unified School District informed police about getting questionable emails that represented - as it turned out later - an essential part of the student`s phishing attack. So, the trick was the following: teachers received the suspicious messages including a fraudulent link that redirects them to a fake school website.
To go to this website, they are requested to enter their username and password, which would be surely recorded, so, this minor hacker would have their sensitive information to get access to their accounts. One of the teachers fell into this trap when entering this information. So, the high schooler had access to the Mount Diablo Unified School District IT network and succeeded in changing his grades.
Police emphasized that this criminal was mixed up with both raising and lowering grades of between 10 to 15 students (including his own). It looks like a mean trick, actually. When law enforcement authority clarified the scheme, they immediately were granted a search warrant for IP addresses that related to a website in the phishing email and, as a result, Concord Police Financial Crimes Supervisor Sgt. Carl Cruz and other specialists easily detected IP address of the initiator.
Officers searched his house and one of the police dogs named Dug did its work. It sniffed out a flash drive hidden in a tissue box. The police didn`t provide a clear information about what it actually contained, but it seemed to be exactly what they need for making an arrest.
The high schooler confessed himself guilty but said with complete equanimity that doing that was easy as ABC. He was excluded from Ygnacio Valley High School for this misdemeanor. He was released to parents until a trial date will be set.
Unfortunately, the list of the minor criminals who have attempted to change their grades without making efforts in the academic activity, is gradually growing. The identical phishing campaigns among students were detected in Alabama, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, etc. A student of the University of Iowa was also involved in such a machination and modified his grades at least 90 times. Using keylogger, he get necessary passwords and snatched appropriate tests and exams in order to be ready beforehand.
The cybersecurity is of vital importance in schools as well. As conducted survey showed, the majority of schools have out of date security measures, including login information behavior. There is no denying that the network environment in schools must be improved, the faster the better. Maybe then the number of juvenile delinquents will finally decrease.