High School in Louisiana suspends 45 students for illegitimate hacking and increasing grades
Using hacking to increase grades is not new but to making a enterprise out of it is. This was discovered by the system admins of Beau Chene High School in Arnaudville, Louisiana. The school authorities have suspended at least 45 students during past one and half months for illegally enhancing their educational scores by hacking into the PowerSchool software used by the school to keep track of student grades.
The students involved seems to a part of greater ring of a group who take money and other considerations from students for increasing their school grades. The school authorities said that the actual procedure of hack was not known but the hackers gained illegal entry into the software by using legitimate set of credentials.
Most schools in United States use a web application called PowerSchool which offers access to grades to teachers, parents and students.
An plausible explanation for the hackers using legitimate set of credentials was given by a senior student at Beau Chene who said that one of his colleagues may have obtained the password of a full-time teacher after they left. This set of credentials may have been passed on to the hackers according to him.
The hacker or a group who operated the enterprise sometimes took money for enhancing the grades while at other times took sexual favours as per reports. The hacker (s) also used their hack and illegal access to reduce grades of students they didnt like.
Keith James, principal of the school, said that institution was tipped by a concerned parent and then he asked teachers to look into PowerSchool for irregularities. He said that the school had suspended those 45 students who were aware that their grades were enhanced illegally but as of now the school authorities dont know the actual number of students involved or being victim of this hack.
As a precaution, the district’s IT department has enhanced the security measures for PowerSchool in order to detect modification of the grades at an earlier stage.