A 15-year-old Lucan, Ontario, teen has become a bit of a celebrity after hacking into the Thames Valley District School Board website last week. Now the board must upgrade their computer security, a process that may take up to two weeks.
The teen told The London Free Press that the board's security system was so weak that it took him less than an hour to hack into the student portal and expose the passwords of up to 27,000 students.
Using Structured Query Language (SQL) he logged into an area of the board's database as an administrator. This allowed him to upload files and obtain private information such as student passwords. He posted the passwords on a link from his Facebook page.
As many students use one password for a number of online accounts, sometimes even to conduct their online banking, this was a serious security breach.
The teen has said there was no maliciousness intended. He claims to have warned the board of the serious weaknesses he perceived in their computer system and to have offered suggestions for improvements. When the board didn't respond, he decided to prove his point in dramatic fashion.
According to the local paper, the grade 11 student at Medway High School in Arva, five minutes north of London, has been suspended from class while the board and the London police consider possible further action.