Eighth-grader charged with felony for shoulder-surfing teacher's password

A 14-year-old Florida boy has been charged with felony computer intrusion after shoulder-surfing his school's computer network password and using it to play a prank on a teacher.

Domanik Green, an eighth-grader at Paul R. Smith Middle School in Holiday, Florida, was charged with an offense against a computer system and felony unauthorized access, according to a report published Thursday by The Tampa Bay Times. In late March, the youth allegedly used the administrative-level password without permission to log in to the school's network and change the images displayed on a teacher's computer to one of two men kissing.

While the factual allegations laid out in the article seem to indicate the youth perpetrated some form of trespass, they also alleged a litany of poor practices on the part of school administrators. These practices include weak passwords, entering passwords in front of others, and widespread unauthorized access, possibly that went undetected.

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8 Responses:

  1. Will says:

    A lot of people don't realize that these little pranks are the gateway drug to more nefarious online espionage. In a couple years that could could be involved in full-blown global thermonuclear war.

  2. foot says:

    Knee jerk reactions like this from PC parents with little technical knowledge (or even developmental knowledge- what teenager hasn't done something dumb?) will slowly give rise to a non-curious, inadventureous culture.

    Stagnancy is death, and a felony for a wallpaper is one step closer towards that.

    ((On the other hand, this could also be an isolated event just pushed out of context through various forms of media, so there's that to consider too.))

    • nooj says:

      Charging people with felonies for breaking Terms of Use Policies happens frequently.

  3. Marten Veldthuis says:

    Good. Wouldn't want these nefarious wallpaper changers working on the construction of corporate campuses.

  4. mattyj says:

    This little nugget is interesting: "The teacher he was targeting was out that day. Instead, the substitute teacher saw the picture and reported it to the school's administration."

    Which is to say substitute teachers have the regular teacher's password, and in this case that password was apparently the teacher's last name.

    This kid should get a medal.

  5. Nate says:

    Punishment should fit the crime... he should have to paint his gay teacher's fence or something. Isn't this pretty much "digital vandalism"?

  6. Kyle Huff says:

    We need to teach our children to cover their tracks better. And, as always, NO WITNESSES.

  7. Frank Miller says:

    Jesus, this is how I got my start back in like 1975. I would shoulder surf grad students at the local college and play on the PDP-11/70.

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