Teen arrested after hacking into school grading system

Friday, May 11, 2018
Concord teen arrested after hacking into school grading system
The grading system at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord was hacked by a 16-year-old sophomore. That student has been suspended.

CONCORD, Calif. -- A 16-year-old California boy has been suspended from his high school after hacking the grading system.

Surveillance video shows the moment armed officers and the secret service broke down the door to David Rotaro's home.

The 16-year-old admitted to our sister station KGO that he did hack into the Ygnacio Valley High School grading network.

"It was like stealing candy from a baby," Rotaro said.

Rotaro says it took just five minutes to create a phishing email which he sent out to school staff.

Administrators were tipped off about two weeks ago when someone in the I.T. Department got the phishing email, but it went to spam.

Just in case, the employee asked all of the other teachers if they had received the same email. Only one admitted to opening it.

All Rotaro needed was one username and password; he raised and even dropped the grades of 10 to 15 people - but not his own.

The teen was arrested.

"He was charged with crimes ranging from unauthorized use of entering a network to unauthorized use of personal information," said Sgt. Carl Cruz of the Concord police.

Rotaro says he wanted to point out the school's vulnerability.

"I kind of want to give awareness to cybersecurity," Rotaro said.

His parents, meantime, had no idea their son had this skill set.

"I"m frustrated he did this and I don't want him to be in juvenile hall," said Rotaro's father Christian.

Rotaro was released from custody Wednesday.


Send a News Tip to Action News

Learn More About 6abc Apps