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9-year-old hacks into Fairfax schools’ computer system


Are you smarter than a third-grader? Because the online education system used by the Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia apparently is not, reports the Washington Post. Police say a 9-year-old McLean, Va., boy hacked into the Blackboard Learning System used by the county school system to change teachers’ and staff members’ passwords, change or delete course content, and change course enrollment. One of the victims was Fairfax Superintendent Jack D. Dale, according to an affidavit filed by a Fairfax detective in Fairfax Circuit Court this week. The boy did not intend to do any serious damage, so the police withdrew and are allowing the school district to handle the half-grown hacker. “It’s a warning,” said Paul Regnier, the Fairfax schools spokesman. “No damage was done, but we went to Blackboard to work with them and make sure somebody else isn’t able to do this and cause real harm.” A Blackboard spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Blackboard enables teachers and administrators to post assignments, host discussions, and track grades online, and students log on to do their work from home. Blackboard’s web site says its software is used by more than 5,000 K-12 and higher-education institutions nationwide…

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