Florida teen charged with felony hacking for using password his teacher showed him

Never let it be said that Florida is light on cybercrime.

A 14-year-old middle school student in Holiday, Florida, was arrested this week and charged with "an offense against a computer system and unauthorized access," which is a felony, the Tampa Bay Times reported this week.

The student reportedly used an administrator password to log into a teacher's computer and change the background image to a photo of two men kissing.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco suggested that the criminal charges relate to the level of access he had obtained by logging onto the network as an administrator, according to the report. For example, he could have seen the questions for the state's standardized tests, although Green said he didn't actually tamper with anything other than the teacher's PC background image, the report says.

Holiday, Florida's big-time hacker also revealed his secrets after he was caught – the password was the teacher's last name, and the teacher had typed it in in full view of the students. The student told the Times that many other students used these administrators' passwords (their teachers' last names) so they can screen-share and video chat with other students.

For what it's worth, the student also says that he didn't use the password with the intention of pulling the prank. He told the Times that he first tried another computer to use for video chat but logged out when he found that it didn't have a camera. That's when he tried the other computer, which he realized was used by a teacher he didn't like, and realized that he could use his wide-reaching access to wreak some havoc. That havoc was limited to exposing him to a picture of two men kissing.

Sadly, the prank misfired – the teacher who used the computer was out sick the day of the prank, and a substitute teacher saw it instead, according to the report.

Sheriff Nocco seems to be taking this threat seriously, and apparently wanted to send a message that his department won't hesitate to arrest other students for trying to use Skype in school.

"If information comes back to us and we get evidence (that other kids have done it), they're going to face the same consequences," Nocco said, according to the report.

Update 4/13/2015: This article was updated to remove a mention of the student receiving a three-day suspension for the incident. That suspension was related to a separate incident incident that occurred last year.

The article was also updated to remove a mention that the student was brought to a nearby detention center. The Tampa Bay Times report says "the student was released on Wednesday from Land O'Lakes Detention Center into the custody of his mother," but a spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office disputes that claim and says the student was questioned at the school before being released to his mother.

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