RealNews

Hackers threaten confidential student records

The expulsion of two students who allegedly hacked into the San Lorenzo Valley High School computer system and tampered with records exposes the risk of student information falling into the wrong hands — and the vulnerability of online record systems. Parents once had to wait for report cards or a call from a teacher to learn about their children’s grades. Now some Santa Cruz County schools and many nationwide use online systems that allow parents to monitor their children’s assignments, attendance and marks over the Internet. The systems sometimes contain student addresses, Social Security numbers, even medical information. “In the old days, … a dishonest person would sneak into a registrar’s office and change grades,” said Julie Haff, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District superintendent. “Now they’re trying to do it (on computer systems). It’s vandalism. It’s stealing. It’s against the law.” Full Story

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