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BOTD 2/10/17 "Homework Hacker" A Y Lee Coyote Production

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David M. Katz

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Marshall
HOMEWORK HACKER
A Y Lee Coyote Production

This BOTD is taken from an excerpt found here:  www.nytimes.com/2017/02/01/magazine/what-to-do-about-a-co-worker-who-drinks-on-the-job.html

Your ten-year old son, Lee, has admitted to you that a classmate showed him how to hack in to the school's homework website in order to change his scores.  Your son is even bold enough to show you how it is done. You are concerned that Lee has used this hack before to change his own scores despite his denial. Lee is now in fifth grade and has had this knowledge since he was a third grader.

You inform Lee that this is cheating and that he is to stop hacking in to the site immediately. You want to contact the school administration in order to inform them that the site is vulnerable to the point that a third grader can hack it. You are concerned that if you do reach out to school officials that you will be pointing the finger at Lee and that he would end up taking the fall.


LEE - 10
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Do you contact the administration?

Do you take any other action with Lee other than telling him to stop?


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db105

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Trailboss
Do you contact the administration?

Yes, but unless I know well and trust the administrators I'll do so through an anonymous letter. Better safe than sorry.


Do you take any other action with Lee other than telling him to stop?

No. I have no proof that he changed any grades, and I wouldn't know about this if he hadn't told me.

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Jack

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Admin
Why do I distrust Lee?  Unless I have a specific reason, he deserves the benefit of the doubt.  If I do have questions, I think it would be best to make him do some review work, but unless I see a real lack, I'm going to ignore this part.

As for the situation itself - I basically agree with Pi Daniel Embarassed.  I'll send a letter (or an e-mail from a one-off address) describing the hack, telling them it's apparently been there for years, and let it go.

Now, if I knew Lee had been cheating, things would be much different.



Last edited by Jack on Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:39 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I had no Pi)


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AFinch

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Sherrif
I agree with DANIEL and Jack. I don't think Pi has yet weighed in on this matter.

18Smacked

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Cowboy
Before I do anything, I am going to get an attorney, as I suspect there can and likely will be charges brought as a result of this. Before anything happens, I will retain counsel to insure that my son will have proper representation before anything does happen.

After it is clear what can and will happen, I will then deal with my son. I want to know what he has actually done and what his friends have done. I need to know the entire detail of what happened, who was involved and when.

After all that, my son and I will have a long and detailed discussion about honesty and personal responsibility.

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Beaver

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Wrangler
Given the overly harsh punishments in the US penal system, and that hacking into a school computer could likely bring serious charges, I feel consulting an attorney might be the best route. Isn't it strange that spanking gets vilified, but schools have zero-tolerance policies nowadays that put students with one foot into jail and medication seems to be the goto response for dealing with rambunctious boys. Suspect

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Adric

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Cowboy
I'm with Daniel, Jack, and Kier.  Send an anonymous e-mail to the school describing the hack and tell Lee to stay far away from it.
.....................
After reading all the comments that follow this one, I'm reminded of the saying, "No good deed goes unpunished."  That being the case, I think instead that I will stay completely out of this picture, except for defending Lee aggressively if it ever becomes necessary.  Let someone else help them discover their security problem, not me.  In the meantime I will explain to Lee how much danger he is in as a result of his knowledge of the hack, even though he has never taken advantage of it to change a grade.  He needs to stay far away from this hack and never check it out in any way, even if it is just out of curiosity.



Last edited by Adric on Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Padraig

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Trailboss
Well it really depends on the administration. If I come to them personally they might take action against Lee since he actually comitted a crime by hacking the site. If I sent an email they could hand the case to the police and/or investigators who can find traces of the intruders by analysing the logs. I doubt Lee did care or would be able to cover his tracks sufficiently.

I'd say talking to a lawyer might be reasonable.

ivor

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Marshall
I'm inclined to go with the anonymous letter route, although Padraig has a valid point about any check on the system revealing who had been hacking. So before sending that I need to be sure that for Lee this was a one off thing. If so it would seem there have to be many much more guilty parties for the authorities to deal with. If he has done it more often then no letter but a very strong warning of the potential consequences.

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squarecutter

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Sherrif
I think first I will notify the school anonymously and let Lee know that.
Then I will si him down for a chat. . It will be good to sort this before High school so that Lee cant seriously damage his long-term prospects. However while I am not going to interrogate him he will receive the full verbal force of displeasure and distaste at what has been happening and a warning of what I would do to him if he was caught cheating and what s the likely school consequences and for his future would be. He has an amnesty for today only if he wishes to get it off his chest


"Isn't it strange that spanking gets vilified, but schools have zero-tolerance policies nowadays that put students with one foot into jail and medication seems to be the goto response for dealing with rambunctious boys. "


Beaver I couldnt agree with you more

Iconoclast

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Trailboss
Because the public schools have insane policies like zero-tolerance and notification of police for minor incidents there is NO way I will assist them in any way!

I will have a severe talk as Sqarecutter recommends above!

Iconoclast

David M. Katz

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Marshall
Iconoclast wrote:Because the public schools have insane policies like zero-tolerance and notification of police for minor incidents there is NO way I will assist them in any way!

I will have a severe talk as Sqarecutter recommends above!

Iconoclast

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