Saturday, May 03, 2008

Who's Securing Your School's Network?

Maybe they were just doing their part to boost the dismal graduation rates of Houston area schools, or preparing for future careers in network security. Or corporate espionage. In either case;

Four high school students are being investigated on suspicion of breaking into the Fort Bend Independent School District's computer network and changing the grades of at least 60 students, according to court documents and school officials.

Now that raises some troubling issues about network security doesn't it? I mean if a few kids can get in to change grades, what happens when someone with more skills and more nefarious purposes takes a crack at hacking in? And apparently this is a recurring problem on multiple campuses.

"Fort Bend ISD has reported numerous unauthorized breaches of the network which have resulted in alteration and destruction of data including grade changes," the documents said.

...The probe also revealed that Dulles, Bush and Travis high schools also lost computer data, although the type of information was not disclosed.

Don't worry though, as the article goes on to inform us that

The case is the latest school hacking incident across the United States in recent years. Students from almost every corner of the country at high schools and universities have been caught, and in many cases charged, with crimes for tapping into computer systems and changing grades.

So everybody's doing it, everywhere. I don't know about you, but I feel a whole lot better now.

As much as I preach that our kids need to really understand technology, how it works, and its affect on their lives, this isn't what I mean. We know these kids were paying attention during their programming class, but unfortunately they learned some of the wrong lessons too.

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