Student Faces Felony Over Computer Wallpaper Prank

Prank on teacher suddenly has serious consequences for Domanik Green, 14
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2015 2:51 PM CDT
   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

(Newser) – The kid calls it a harmless prank on a teacher, the sheriff calls it a felony. Florida eighth-grader Domanik Green, 14, is in hot water after authorities say he hacked into his school's computer system, reports the Tampa Bay Times. As a result, he's facing charges of offense against a computer system and unauthorized access. While in the system of the Paul R. Smith Middle School, Green admits he gained control of a teacher's computer and changed its background image to a photo of two men kissing. Why? "To annoy him," says the teen. "Even though some might say this is just a teenage prank, who knows what this teenager might have done," says Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco.

In fact, one of the computers Green got into had questions for state tests on it, but Green didn't access them. That should be enough to avoid the felony charges, his mom tells WTSP. "He had the chance to get into the FCAT files, he had the chance to change grades, to do whatever you can do in the FCAT files and he didn't take it." Authorities note the files were encrypted. And how did Green crack the system? By typing in the password (a teacher's last name) after watching a teacher punch it in. In fact, he and several other students were suspended previously for the same kind of hack, and Green tells the Times that students were in the system frequently. "If they would have notified me it was illegal, I wouldn't have done it in the first place." (A student hacker elsewhere changed grades.)

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