Boy, 15, faces 10 years for hacking London school board’s website

A 15-year-old boy has been charged with hacking into the London public school board’s website and exposing thousands of passwords, according to police.

A week and a half ago, a hacker posted a link from a Facebook page to a text document that contained the usernames and passwords for 27,000 London high school students.

The passwords gave the students access to the student portal, which is a part of the Thames Valley District School Board’s website where students can review their marks, absenteeism, teacher comments and their schedule, according to Const. Dennis Rivest.

It is a “read-only” website where information can only be viewed and not changed, said Richard Hoffman, a public affairs officer with the school board.

Around 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 20, the school board became aware of the security breach. Within an hour, the board had shut down the student portal.

“There was no access gained to our main confidential areas,” Hoffman said. “The rest of our system has a much higher level of security.”

The school board is currently upgrading its security on the student portal and hopes to have it operational within a few weeks.

“Our immediate concern is that people often use the same username and passwords for other logins,” Hoffman said.

“So we gave kids the opportunity first thing the next morning to change their usernames and passwords on other sites such as Facebook.”

The 15-year-old boy is charged with fraudulently obtaining a computer service and intercepting a computer function. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

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