Eric Walstrom is a sixteen-year-old teen who apparently was not doing so great in his studies at New Dorp High School.
Rather than choose the easy route and… study harder…. he decided to use the know-how he had garnered from a stint at the iD Programing Academy to hack through the school’s and even the city’s Department of Education’s computer password barriers and software security systems, proceeded to grant himself administrator access, set up the network so that it was accessible from his smartphone, and accessed the system remotely in order to change the grades on his transcripts and report cards.
Walstrom was able to remotely control New Dorp High School and DOE computers and he “utilized those software tools to gain full access to the student records of New Dorp High School, which contain the name and other identifiers of students,” according to court documents.
Unfortunately for him, the school’s IT guy noticed his unauthorised log-ins. The school decided that this 16-year-old was a hazard to society and notified the police. He was arrested Wednesday, and will be charged as an adult. Charges against Walstrom include felony counts of forgery and computer trespass.
“The school teaches you advanced computer programming . . . He used what he learned for evil. He went the malicious way and focused on hacking and manipulation,” said Sean Morris, 16, who also attended the iD Programming Academy for Teens.
“He used what he learned for evil,” said classmate Sean Morris, adding: “maybe he can get a Secret Service job later on!”
Well, I wouldn’t call what he did evil, and the kid does not deserve a lengthy sentence for a moment of dishonesty that had no consequence on anyone else. In fact, his skill at hacking could be very useful, as even the police would come to admit.
“You’d think a kid smart enough to hack his school’s computers would already have good grades. Maybe the DOE should hire him to expose weaknesses in their security firewalls,” a law enforcement source said.
Walstrom is also the son of a well-loved fire-fighter who had helped rescue people on September the 11th. The hero would pass on in 2013, after combating a “lengthy illness”, which would account for his son’s poor attention to his studies for the last few years.