Three 17-year-old friends are facing years in prison for allegedly hacking into their New York high school's computer system to change grades and schedules, CBS News reports. Police say Daniel Soares installed a device on a Commack High School computer to swipe passwords and user names from staff last May, according to Newsday. New York Daily News reports Soares allegedly used the stolen information to boost his grades in physics, history, and economics and to change the schedules of 300 or so students. According to Newsday, he also improved the grades of Erick Vaysman. The school discovered the data breach in July. Soares and Vaysman—plus Alex Mosquera—were charged Tuesday following an investigation.
Soares—the alleged "mastermind"—is facing up to 11 years in prison on five felony charges, including burglary and identity theft, CBS reports. Vaysman and Mosquera face up to four years in prison for felony computer tampering and allegedly asking Soares to hack the school's computer system. All three pleaded not guilty to the charges. Fellow students have some theories about the motivation behind the alleged hack. “He must have been scared about college and wanted good grades," one classmate tells the Daily News. “I guess they did it to be cool,” says another. “I feel bad for them. This is going to hurt their future.” (A young "stoner" hacker claims to have gotten into the CIA chief's account.)