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A Student Aged 14 Years behind Hacking of Peoria Notre Dame High School’s System


Principal of the Peoria Notre Dame High School, Randy Simmons, wrote a letter to parents on October 29, 2018, informing them that the school being victimized by hacking attack. As per the letter, the school was attacked by the hackers sometime before October 4, 2018, and it was a "denial of service" attack. Although soon after the initial attack, PND High School has changed few of its technology to safeguard itself. But, still the attacks continued in the month of October.


In the letter, Simmons also mentioned that several factors pointed that the attacks were targeted at PND specifically, and most likely were executed by the individuals' associated with PND. In the letter, it was also stated that "while to some it may seem unlikely that a student or adult would have the wherewithal to perform such an attack, news reports provide ample evidence to the contrary. The same reports also confirm the severity of the criminal charges brought against those involved in the attacks". Simmons further revealed that the attacks were real threat to school, and the regular operations that are being carried out in the school.


The case was taken up both by the Peoria Police and the FBI. As per Peoria Police Department, it was revealed during the investigation that a student aged 14 years of Peoria Notre Dame High School uses a laptop issued by the school for hacking into school's computer system. This revelation, however, was made by an anonymous tipster, who informed the school officials about the boy, and the school authorities informed this to the Peoria Police.


Lt. Mike Boland, Head of Department of the Detective Bureau, said that when the boy was questioned about the hacking by the officials on October 30, 2018, he replied that he was all alone to carry out the attack, and he did this only to observe what he can do with those apps found on "dark web". Boland also said it appears that the teen doesn't have any malicious intent. Rather, it was a mere attempt on the boy's part to explore whether the apps, he found on so-called "dark web", worked.


Boland said that, "he found an app called an 'IP stressor' and used a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to make himself anonymous. He got into the system from within, and it bogged things down so much that it caused somewhat of a shutdown".

The boy has been released, and is now in his parent's custody. The case has now been referred to Peoria County state's attorney's juvenile division.

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