New Trier student accused of hacking into school computer system

New Trier student accused of hacking into school computer system
New Trier student accused of hacking into school computer system 

By Lisa Black
Tribune staff reporter
March 1, 2008

A student hacked into the New Trier school district's computer system 
and obtained grades and ACT scores, apparently to determine the class 
rank of other students, according to a memo sent to parents Friday.

After discovering the breach of computer security a week ago, school 
officials reported their suspicions to Winnetka police and "have been 
involved in a very intense investigation since then," New Trier Township 
High School District 203 Supt. Linda Yonke wrote in an e-mail to a 

She said the investigation is ongoing, "but we felt we had enough 
information to share preliminary results with parents."

The student obtained student directory information and semester grades 
for the current and last three graduating classes, according to the 

The student also obtained ACT test scores for the class of 2008.

"It appears that the student's motivation was to determine class rank .
. . and to inform a select group of students of their individual class 
rank," the memo states.

"We do not believe the student has shared or posted the information on 
any public forum."

The North Shore school district is known for a competitive campus 
culture as students strive to get into top-notch colleges.

Officials have found no evidence the student tampered with or destroyed 
data, and do not think the student accessed or copied Social Security 
numbers, discipline records, health or attendance data, personnel 
records or district financial information, Yonke said.

Winnetka police are investigating, but it could take days to determine 
the extent of the breach, said Deputy Chief Patrick Kreis.

Officials declined to say when the student hacked into the system, how 
he was caught, or provide any information about the student's age.

He will face "strong disciplinary and legal action," Yonke said.

Copyright 2008, Chicago Tribune

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