3 Students Charged After High School Computer System Hacked, Grades Changed

Three 17-year-old boys have been arrested in connection with the hacking attack on their Long Island high school's computer system over the summer, authorities say.

The teenagers, all seniors at Commack High School, allegedly breached the system in July. Schedules for about 300 students were changed and two students' grades were altered, authorities said.

The alleged ringleader in the case broke into a classroom after hours on two occasions and attached a device called a key logger, which records every stroke on a keyboard, to a teacher's computer, investigators said. He then brought the device home and was able to secure the log-in information of the teacher, which he used to get into the school district's computer system.

Authorities say that boy allegedly changed four of his grades -- including turning a 94 into a 100, though it wasn't clear in which class -- and one grade for one of the other defendants. Investigators said they were able to track him using some "remnants" he left behind on the computer at school. A search warrant executed at his home revealed incriminating evidence on his laptop, authorities said.

The alleged ringleader was charged with computer tampering, identity theft, burglary, eavesdropping and computer trespass. A lawyer for him said his client maintains his innocence.

One of the other two defendants was charged with computer tampering and criminal solicitation and the third was charged with computer trespass and criminal solicitation.

All three pleaded not guilty at their arraignments Thursday and were released on their own recognizance.

The school could not immediately be reached for comment on whether the boys would be suspended.

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