Teen hacker breeches school district computers

May 16, 2008 4:35:24 PM PDT
The Downingtown School District is saying little but did confirm computer files complete with taxpayers' social security numbers had been breeched. In a written statement, the district said it "learned Friday, May 9th, 2008 that a student had overridden the security of a classroom computer and copied files that include personal information and social security numbers of school employees and community members. The district says the stolen files have been recovered...but some experts caution in a digital world, hackers can copy stolen files with a few key stokes Drexel's Robert D'ovidio, who studies cyber crime, wonders how the district is certain its recovered all copies. "Retrieving the data, yes. They might now have a copy in which the teens involved did actually copy, but how are they assured there are no other copies available?" the professor asks. "That's a question I want answered." The concern is stolen social security data can be traded in a flourishing black market. "They go online, offer bits of information and identifiers for profit," D'ovidio says. Police have been called into the case. This is the second breech of the district's computer system. Just last December, a high schooler cracked the system to reportedly show authorities its flaws. For his trouble, he was charged with computer theft.