Teen Hacks School Computer System, Rickrolls All School District
And in perfect synchronization.
In April, an enterprising 14-year-old high school student and white hat hacker got all screens in every school in Township High School District 214, Illinois’ second largest school district, to air the clip about Rick. Astley. The 1980s hit “Never Gonna Give You Up”.
In other words, the student literally rolled their entire school district – and in perfect sync. A video The event, dubbed “The Big Rick,” shows every projector in the school playing the video and screaming the song at exactly the same time.
The teenager, who goes by the nickname WhiteHoodHacker, explained the grand feat in a publish on their site. First, with the help of other volunteers, they scanned all the IP addresses of every device in the district network.
“Our analysis generated so much traffic that our school’s technology supervisor got wind of it and came at one point asking us to stop,” writes the hacker. “Based on the results, we found various devices on display on the district network. These included printers, IP phones… and even security cameras without any password authentication! “
The prolific team even managed to take control of all ringing times in the district after discovering that most of the servers serving content and announcements to students were using the same login credentials.
The hackers were well aware that what they were doing was illegal, but the team “prepared comprehensive documentation of everything we did, including recommendations for remedying the vulnerabilities we discovered.”
The team even made sure that the performance of Rick Astley’s hit single didn’t disrupt the AP lessons or standardized tests, which began the next day.
Once the ruse was lifted, the students sat down with the administration – instead of letting them down and ditching them, if you will. – to help them fix their clearly less than stellar cybersecurity.
“We even managed to get the district to consider expanding the IT / cybersecurity program and hopefully sponsor a D214 [hacking competition]”, We read on the blog.
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