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Eighth Grader Charged With Felony Cybercrime For Changing Teacher’s Desktop Wallpaper

Published: April 10, 2015
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Source: Tampa Bay

A middle school student who said he was just trying to play a prank on a teacher he didn't like was charged with a cybercrime Wednesday after authorities said he hacked into his school's secure computer network.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office has charged Domanik Green, an eighth-grader at Paul R. Smith Middle School, with an offense against a computer system and unauthorized access, a felony. Sheriff Chris Nocco said Thursday that Green logged onto the school's network on March 31 using an administrative-level password without permission. He then changed the background image on a teacher's computer to one showing two men kissing.

One of the computers Green, 14, accessed also had encrypted 2014 FCAT questions stored on it, though the sheriff and Pasco County School District officials said Green did not view or tamper with those files.

"Even though some might say this is just a teenage prank, who knows what this teenager might have done," Nocco said.

But Green, interviewed at home, said students would often log into the administrative account to screen-share with their friends. They'd use the school computers' cameras to see each other, he said.

Green had previously received a three-day suspension for accessing the system inappropriately. Other students also got in trouble at the time, he said. It was a well-known trick, Green said, because the password was easy to remember: a teacher's last name. He said he discovered it by watching the teacher type it in.

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