A Texas school district on Monday said one of its sophomores has been charged with felony computer hacking in connection with an alleged grade-changing scheme.
The unidentified 10th-grade student gained unauthorized to the computer system used by the Spring Branch Independent School District and then altered their own grades, the district alleged in a statement Monday to KHOU-TV.
The student was arrested by school district’s own police force on March 31 and has since been charged with breach of computer security, a state felony, the statement said.
“Using a stolen password, the student gained access to the district’s information system and changed personal grades. The student also allegedly offered to change grades for classmates for a fee,” the statement said.
“At this time, an ongoing investigation has found only one other underclassman paid the student to change his/her grades.”
The district declined to identify the suspected expect to describe them as a sophomore at Memorial High School, a public school in Houston with an enrollment of over 2,000.
Texas law defines breach of computer security as knowingly accessing a computer, network or system without the effective consent of its owner. The charge is instantly elevated from misdemeanor to felony if the victim is a computer or computer system owned by the government.
Sixty-three percent of confirmed data breaches involve leveraging weak, stolen or default passwords, Verizon concluded in a cybersecurity report published last year.