- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

ST. CHARLES, Ill. (AP) - St. Charles school district officials have expelled two high school students who they say shut down the district’s computer network.

St. Charles Unit District 303 officials said the students used their cellphones to overload the district’s servers, The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reported (https://bit.ly/13HHZx2 ). Teachers were blocked from various online grading and homework programs for nearly a month, officials said.

“It clearly made life very difficult for our teaching staff,” Superintendent Don Schlomann said. “I think, clearly, that had a great deal of impact on our classrooms. And that was the most concerning part of this for me.”

The district consulted with federal and local authorities to help track the source, resulting in a $9,000 consulting bill. Staff members identified the student hackers after they bragged about the hack to other students, Schlomann said.

The students admitted to the attack and said they learned how to overload the servers from a fellow online video game player, the superintendent said. But the students told school officials they didn’t perform the attack for a specific reason and weren’t trying to affect the network outside of St. Charles East High School, he said.

The students have enrolled in an online school and can re-enroll in the district next year. No criminal charges had reportedly been filed.

“I think this was something the students learned from,” Schlomann said. “And I hope students get the message that we take this sort of thing very seriously.”

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Information from: Daily Herald, https://www.dailyherald.com


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