Shawnee, KS — A high school student who was suspended for hacking into his teachers’ and classmates’ accounts is apologizing – and providing a warning to protect yourself form hackers like him.
A 16-year-old junior at Shawnee Mission North High School wanted to prank his friends, using his school issued computer.
“It started as me just sending a link to some friends saying,’hey bro, click this link.'”
Sometimes the line would say “click this link, it’s very interesting or urgent.
After someone clicked the link, a page identical to their Gmail accounts appeared. The fake page recorded their log in and password information as they entered it.
Soon, he had access to seven students’ accounts and four teachers’ sensitive information, including grades.
“Every person that I would send that to, they would click and I would have their password,” the teen said. ” I was able to get into their Google classroom, where I could edit grades, but I didn’t do that.
The school caught on, however, and his mother received a call she never imagined receiving. Her honor student son had been suspended for five days.
“It made me feel sick,” she said.
While the school suspended him, mom has her own punishment. She made her son read The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security. The book is written by a hacker who turned into a security expert.
She wanted her son to understand the harsh penalties hackers can face.
“People have gone to prison,” she said.
The student, meanwhile, says he is focusing his computer skills to become a quantitative developer to create financial software.
“Looking back, I really regret it,” he said. “It got out of control quickly. I’d like to apologize to everyone was affected by this.”
The biggest tip the teen offered is to never click on a link unless you know it’s legitimate. Once you do click a link, check the search bar to make sure it is a real Website and not another imposter IP address.
The junior said many people use the same type of fishing hack on Facebook. Sometimes users will receive a link for a free iPad or cheaper sunglasses.
The school district refused comment. They told KCTV5 they could not confirm or deny the incident happened.