Cybersecurity

Pennsylvania School District Hacked By Their Own Students

Students at a Pennsylvania school district took a senior-year tradition way too far when they hacked into the district’s school systems, accessing test scores and personal information for more than 12,000 students, reported the Washington Post. The breach was first discovered on Oct. 11.

The high school students wanted to win a water-gun fight and were trying to get other students’ home addresses.

The students got “teacher-level access” to systems and then proceeded to use “unethical coding methods” to obtain the addresses in addition to GPAs, SAT scores, phone numbers and other private information about every student in the district. The information wasn’t tampered with but the data could be used for identity theft, a district spokeswoman Jennifer Shealy told the Washington Post. Administrators believe the hacks were not malicious.

Still, Downingtown Area School District considers the breach a crime and is considering whether to press charges on the students.

In addition to staff and students changing their passwords, administrators are updating internal systems to prevent another breach. This was the latest attack on school systems, which can be easy targets for data breaches.

About the Author

Yvonne Marquez is senior editor of Spaces4Learning K-12. She can be reached at ymarquez@1105media.com.