Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Should anyone be surprised that a 15 year old "self described" hacker managed to breach the security feature of his school board's website and expose over 27,000 high school students' passwords?

Here's the story

Apparently, it's the largest security breach in the board's history.

The kid is charged on four counts and according to the article that would normally carry up to 10 years in prison.

But the reason he gave makes sense, even if it's not true.

He said he did it to show how vulnerable the system was.

Let's face it, kids know more about computers, unless of course you are a programmer or that's your career, than most parents and in some cases, teachers.

I have always maintained that the Internet in general, was a cart before a horse, there is now no way of really policing it, and the kids hold the key to that! I can't be the only person who sees this!

Businesses are at the mercy of people that know how to build websites. Sure, many people can figure it out now, but what about building a network for your company? Creating a social networking marketing scheme? More and more of these are emerging, but even if you are a journalist, you've got to be computer and technology savvy in pretty much any media medium.

Back to the hacker.

At first I thought, why not hire the kid as a consultant, make him/her sign a confidentiality agreement, and keep them on staff till they move on. But what kind of message does that send to the other students? That if they break the rules, they get a free pass and a pay cheque?

This isn't new and it will continue to occur. Wasn't it Matthew Broderick who starred in that old film War Games?

There are video game development companies that hire some kids right out of high school although there are specialized college programs offered here in Canada now.

So should the student get jail time? You know they won't and the punishment will depend on the kid's attitude, whether they are remorseful, good student, etc.

It sure is a blemish though on the school board, an embarrassment actually. Hard to believe that the system was so rudimentary that it didn't even have encryption.

Someone recently reminded me of that old adage, "Those that know - do. Those that don't - teach,"

Maybe it's time to go back into the pool and pull out another fish!

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