A California teen hacked into his school district’s computer system using a phishing email – all to mess with his classmates’ grades and give himself stellar marks, according to local reports.
David Rotaro, a 16-year-old student at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord, was charged last week with 14 felony counts, including unauthorized use of entering network.
“It was like stealing candy from a baby,” he brazenly told KGO-TV.
Reports of the hack first started trickling in two weeks ago when teachers in the Mount Diablo Unified School District started getting fishy emails.
The emails contained a link that sent recipients to a fake website built to look like the school’s portal. The link prompted teachers to enter their user name and password. Once they did, the site would record their information.
At least one teacher entered the information, allowing the student to access the district’s IT network – and the grading system, police said.
Law enforcement officials looked up IP addresses linked to the site in the phishing email and traced it back to the teen.
The tech-savvy student either raised or lowered the grades of between 10 to 15 students, police told KTVU.
“He’s a young man from the high school and he seems to be very intelligent,” Sgt. Carl Cruz, the Concord police financial crimes supervisor, told the outlet.
Rotaro said it took him about five minutes to create the email and that hacking into the system was “very easy, it was like beginner level.”
He told KPIX he’s sorry, but hopes to move on from the charges and become “an IT type person at the top-notch level” someday.
The teen, who was suspended from school, was released to his parents as he awaits a court date.
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