Summertime is almost over, and back-to-school season is upon us. Beginning now, students all across the globe are beginning to register for their classes, purchase their school supplies, and start working on assignments for the upcoming year. But among these students, there are some who will get up to no good – hacking into the school systems to alter records, to disrupt the school’s normal operations, and to see just how much damage they can do. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why kids are hacking their schools:
- It’s fun. What kid wouldn’t be intrigued by the idea of trying to hack into their school, with all its records at their disposal? With many teachers electing to have students submit assignments digitally and take exams online, some kids would find it fun to shut down the system so they and their classmates won’t have to submit their work or take a test.
- Revenge.In some cases, the reason for hacking is as simple as wanting to get back at the school for bestowing punishment upon the student. Disrupting normal operations, presumably without being caught, holds an allure for these kids.
- To change grades. For those kids who are struggling with coursework, the temptation to hack lies in the ability to change their grades to more favorable ones. Not wanting to bring home a poor report card and face the wrath of their parents, many kids will see a hack as a way to avoid this.
- To change attendance. For the truants out there, hacking provides a way for them to change their attendance records and erase the fact they did not attend school, like Ferris Bueller in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
- As a dare. Ever heard the phrase “I double-dog-dare you!” on the playground? Kids have a hard time turning down an opportunity to prove themselves. If they don’t, they face bullying and teasing from classmates over not succeeding. In cases like these, it’s about the bragging rights.
So why should we be concerned about these kids hacking, when the reasons seem more trivial? One reason for concern is the way these students are going about hacking. If they are able to access the Darknet, there is a wealth of vendors offering services such as grade changes or denial of service attacks for hire. These kids don’t even need to know how to do the hacks themselves, all they need is the right amount of money pocketed away (sometimes as little as $19.99 a month).
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