Idaho teen accused of overloading school district computers

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A 17-year-old high school student in the Boise suburb of Eagle is believed to have been behind a scheme to overload the computer network of Idaho's largest school district in order to avoid school work, a sheriff's office said Friday.

School officials suspended the Eagle High School student Friday and are recommending expulsion, the Idaho Statesman reported ( .

The teen reportedly paid someone to overwhelm the West Ada School District's computer systems with traffic from multiple sources earlier this week, the Ada County sheriff's office said.

"In short, this is a technique that clogs up an organization's access to the Internet to the point it no longer works," the school district said in a letter to district parents Friday, adding the attack "caused considerable disruption to thousands of students' learning."

Such cyberattacks by students are "no laughing matter," the district said in its letter.

Students throughout the district who were working on Idaho Standard Achievement tests lost their work, and some had to take the tests multiple times, the sheriff's office said. Online learning classes and textbooks were unavailable for much of the week. Administrative and business systems such as payroll also were affected.

District officials traced the source of the attack to the student, the sheriff's office said, adding the problem has been fixed.

Eagle police, a division of the sheriff's office, are investigating. The teen could be charged with felony computer crime, punishable by a maximum 180 days in a juvenile facility, the sheriff's office said.

The school district has more than 36,000 students.


Information from: Idaho Statesman,

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