Computers hacked at Hilton Head Island High

Computers hacked at Hilton Head Island High
Computers hacked at Hilton Head Island High

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Packet Staff Report
June 1, 2007

Beaufort County School officials said Friday they=E2=80=99re investigating a 
case of apparent computer hacking that=E2=80=99s resulted in altered attendance 
records for at least a dozen students at Hilton Head Island High School.

Several of the students whose attendance records were altered were 
summoned, along with their parents, to the high school Friday morning to 
meet with principal Helen Ryan.

Ryan said the interviews with the students have led school officials to 
focus on the student suspected of altering the records. Neither the name 
of that student or any of those whose records were altered can be be 
released because of confidentiality laws, school officials said.

=E2=80=9CWe=E2=80=99ve got somebody ID=E2=80=99d that we believe we=E2=80=99re going to take 
disciplinary action against,=E2=80=9D Hudson said.

In some cases the students=E2=80=99 attendance records =E2=80=94 before being altered =E2=80=94 
showed that they had too many absences to receive credit for a class, 
Ryan said. In other cases, it wasn=E2=80=99t clear why the records were altered 
because the students didn=E2=80=99t have excessive absences.

Ryan said more students than the 12 identified so far may have had their 
attendance records altered, adding that the investigation is =E2=80=9Congoing.=E2=80=9D

The Beaufort County Sheriff=E2=80=99s Office also is involved in the 
investigation, she said.

Ryan and school district spokesman Tom Hudson said the records appear to 
have been altered selectively.

=E2=80=9CIt wasn=E2=80=99t a wholesale thing,=E2=80=9D Hudson said. =E2=80=9CIt looks like a number of 
individual records as opposed to across the board.=E2=80=9D

It=E2=80=99s unclear how a hacker could have penetrated the computer network to 
get access to the students=E2=80=99 attendance records, both Ryan and Hudson 

=E2=80=9CWe thought we had put in as many stop-gaps as we could,=E2=80=9D Ryan said. She 
said the records are maintained on a =E2=80=9Cstatewide database =E2=80=94 it=E2=80=99s not a 
local system they hacked into.=E2=80=9D

So far, the investigation indicates that the altered records belong to 
juniors and seniors, Ryan said.

She said the problem could not have been the result of a random computer 

=E2=80=9CNo,=E2=80=9D she said. =E2=80=9CIt was done intentionally.=E2=80=9D

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