A student at Turlock High School in California has been arrested for demonstrating the school's computer security flaws to a teacher, according to a report by KXTV.
The 17-year-old senior, who has not been named, recently discovered that it was possible to circumvent security measures and access not only grade books, but the personal and financial information of 1,200 school employees as well.
The concerned student brought his discovery to the attention of his computer teacher, who passed the information on to the school's network administrator. Yet, despite the alleged seriousness of the problem, the young man's claims were disregarded.
In an attempt to demonstrate the problem to his unreceptive audience, the student proceeded to gather evidence of the school's insufficient security. He entered a school computer system and downloaded sensitive information, which he decrypted, printed out, and showed to his computer teacher.
"We're fairly confident that his intent was to try to help the school," said Sgt. Adam Christianson of the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crime Task Force, which is managing the case. There was no evidence that the student damaged or altered any information.
The school's response, however, seemed to disregard the ethical manner in which the student investigated and reported his discovery. He was arrested on Thursday afternoon for theft, and his computers were seized by police. He could face jail time if convicted of the felony.
The arrest came on the same day that a Texas jury finally acquitted Stefan Puffer, a computer security analyst who had been arrested after demonstrating to local officials that their computer network was insecure [report].