crime

Student shuts down 444 school websites to 'remind teachers they are incompetent'

51 Comments
By RocketNews24

On May 11, police filed obstruction of business charges against a 16-year-old student, alleging that he launched a denial-of-service (DoS) attack against the Osaka Board of Educations server which holds the webpages of 444 elementary, junior high, and high schools in the area.

Although in high school now, at the time of the attacks last November, the student was in junior high school. According to police, he said his own school environment is what motivated his actions.

“I hate how the teachers talk down to us and never let us express ourselves. So, I thought I would remind them of their own incompetence. It felt good to see them have problems. I did it several times," the boy said.

Police seized the student’s computer and some books about hacking. It is believed that he downloaded a tool which sent large volumes of data to the Board of Education servers, rendering access impossible for periods of about an hour. He would then confirm the take-down by monitoring the websites with his smartphone.

He also told police that he had wanted to join the hacking group Anonymous and that he didn’t know schools other than his own would be affected in the attack. Both statements are ironic in that, as a minor, his identity remains anonymous and apparently he turned out to be a little incompetent himself when it came to hacking.

This incident would mark the first time in the history of Japan that a cyberattack was launched against a local government, and punishments for such a crime include a maximum three-year-prison sentence or 500,000 yen fine.

However, considering the student is a minor and the number of people actually affected (i.e. people who wanted to access a school website during those times) was likely in the high single digits at most, he ought to get off lightly.

Source: Sankei West News

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51 Comments
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I would remind them of their own incompetence

Well done!!

20 ( +23 / -5 )

However, considering the student is a minor ... he ought to get off lightly.

That's a given

3 ( +6 / -2 )

“I hate how the teachers talk down to us and never let us express ourselves. So, I thought I would remind them of their own incompetence. It felt good to see them have problems. I did it several times,” the boy said.

I have a lot of sympathy. But not a kid who is gonna be top of the list for being hired in a bloated, hierarchical corporation in the future. Lucky for him that he is anonymous.

1 ( +5 / -3 )

Good for him.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

ATABOY!

Now this kid definitely knows how to handle "things"!!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Knowledge going to wrong hands can be catastrophic to the society.

Now I understand why in the olden days the teacher scrutinized and selected their students carefully who were really worthy of the knowledge. Achieving knowledge is one thing but using it with responsibility is actual revelation of one's character.

This article is just 1 small example in that direction. This kid is already on wrong path. Personally there is nothing to be impressed about here.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

Headline: Kid takes down 444 school websites. Article: "he turned out to be a little incompetent himself when it came to hacking."

I'm not saying this kid handled things maturely, but HOW IN THE WORLD IS ACHIEVING YOUR GOAL MORE THAN 400 TIMES OVER ONSIDERED INCOMPETENT? Lacking a solid plan, yes. Incompetent? Less so, in my opinion.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

he turned out to be a little incompetent himself when it came to hacking.

This wasn't hacking, it was a DDoS attack. Hacking is gaining unauthorized access to a website/server/system. This was simply sending so many requests to the server that it couldn't handle the volume, and therefore requests from other users were not returned since the server was overloaded.

It's the equivalent of sending thousands of people to line up at a store, so that other customers can't even get in the door at that store.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Student shuts down 444 school websites to 'remind teachers they are incompetent'

He's right!

Japan's "education system" needs scrapping and redesigning from the ground up to give young people the data and skills they actually NEED to survive in today's world.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Kids are stupid. If you're gonna hack, at least make a buck out of it.

-16 ( +1 / -17 )

What an arrogant little nugget. So he learned how to do something illegal, and thinks that he can dole out punishments to adults because he feel like it.

His own incompetence should humble him, but I doubt it will. He is bringing nothing to the table of knowledge, but wants to knock it over like a spoiled brat.

I have no sympathy for hackers that make the daily lives of others difficult. I hope he has to serve a lot of community hours in a non technological manner, so he can see what hard work is like.

For those cheering him on, remember that the next time you are in a hacker's crosshairs. This is not nothing. It all starts from doing what you want to because you can.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

The kid will get hired by a network security company asap. The kid will be fine. Society will be fine.

Don't blame kids for the "direction" you think society is going. Blame the people guiding them.

It's never the fault of the future generation. It's the current generation of parents and teachers who are responsible for future of our society.

And if you're so worried about where society is headed, then do something about it.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

This story has made my week already and it's only Monday morning. Go young fell, go!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

A Denial of Service isn't technically hacking it is simply an attack however the teacher was kind of dumb for putting 444 school websites on an unsecured server. I wonder what other kinds of information that is kept on that server if they're going to put so much of school information on there. Personally, I think the student should be commended for finding this flaw. Imagine what an actual hacker could do if other systems other than educational servers are this unsecured.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I agree with Bertie Wooster. Why on earth the rest of the world holds the Japanese education up as an example to be emulated beats me. Some individual schools might offer a proper learning environment, but the system itself is outmoded and does not serve the needs of its students at all well.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

"I hate how the teachers talk down to us and never let us express ourselves."

That's what we've been talking for ages, but discredited for being "outsiders". I surely have hope in this next generation!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I have no sympathy for hackers that make the daily lives of others difficult

This wasn't hacking.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

The kid will get hired by a network security company asap.

Not really, he didn't hack anything, he simply downloaded a tool to launch a DDoS attack. No skill involved. A network security company impressed by that has to be a very incompetent company. Of course it doesn't excuse the incompetence of whatever firm was contracted by the schools to host their websites (or maybe a server run by the school).

I'm not saying this kid handled things maturely, but HOW IN THE WORLD IS ACHIEVING YOUR GOAL MORE THAN 400 TIMES OVER ONSIDERED INCOMPETENT?

Because he didn't achieve his goal 400 times. He wanted to target his school website, but accidentally brought down other website which probably were hosted on the same server. If a dentist removes all your teeth instead of the one he was supposed to remove, would you consider him competent ?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

ive they guy a job if your in I.T. The next steve jobs.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

merriam defines hack as: 3 : to write computer programs for enjoyment 4 : to gain access to a computer illegally

so yes, it was a hack.he wrote a program to take down the server. but why are people happy about this? this is how kids should solve issues that they have with authority figures?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

We need to pay our full attention to all (student's human rights). I would say this person has a very good point. He needed a method and a help to send his message across.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

merriam defines hack as: 3 : to write computer programs for enjoyment 4 : to gain access to a computer illegally

so yes, it was a hack.

He didn't write the program:

It is believed that he downloaded a tool which sent large volumes of data to the Board of Education servers, rendering access impossible for periods of about an hour.

DDoS software is easily accessible on the web. No need to write it.

So no, it wasn't a hack.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

A Denial of Service isn't technically hacking it is simply an attack however the teacher was kind of dumb for putting 444 school websites on an unsecured server.

I rather doubt that a single teacher or any teacher was involved. The article says it was a server for Osaka schools. It was probably maintained by some agency of the Osaka government or even more likely maintained by a contractor. Generally school systems and even universities contract out their servers and web design.

Why on earth the rest of the world holds the Japanese education up as an example to be emulated beats me.

It doesn't. Foreign interest in Japanese schools peaked in the early 90s. The school systems held up for emulation these days are those of Finland and Shanghai.

Having said that, I am quite pleased with what my two children have experienced in Tokyo public schools. Not perfect but pretty damn good.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

This incident would mark the first time in the history of Japan that a cyberattack was launched against a local government, and punishments for such a crime include a maximum three-year-prison sentence or 500,000 yen fine.

First publicly reported maybe, as I find it very hard to believe that with something like 25 BILLION cyber-attacks being reported in Japan yearly that this was a "first".

http://thediplomat.com/2015/02/japan-hit-by-cyberattacks-at-an-unprecedented-level/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Pretty funny, but he should be careful in future, hacking will get him sent to jail

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Any kid with a pentium 3 could run a DDoS these days. And it isn't hacking the name says it all, a denial of service, flooding the site with multiple requests so that it becomes overburdened and crashes. Hacking means gaining access to a PC or server illegally. He accessed no data.

His excuse is petty, and there are some here applauding it. If this kid had the brains he would apply his technical knowledge to something useful, how about making your own apps and sell them, show those who talked down to you or say you can't do it that you can do something. But instead he followed a manual on how to DDoS and got caught. Yes, incompetent little punk.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Now, that's Grass Roots activism! Well done lad!

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

This is why I like my number.everybody is free to get my personal information.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

DoS is pretty simple. News people are even simpler than teachers

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Horrible child who should be treated like an adult and at least be barred from using his phone.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Well done kid. It`s put a spotlight on Japan's education system.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

He have done nothing! Just trouble for the teachers. If he was so brave he should have stood up and talk!

But nobody in Japan does. Even in socialist times we had some bright students who rose a voice even with danger of being punished or parents lose job or sent to small village.

What everybody suggest? May be someone who thinks the government and the system are bad to go on a knife spree at a busy crossing to show his stance? May be this is his next step when he gets frustrated next time?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If he was so brave he should have stood up and talk!

If he had, he would've just been shouted down, and disciplined. Here, like it or not, he has gotten widespread media attention - and exposed flaws in school website security to boot.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'd like to hear his ideas for that mysterious 3rd arrow.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

" Both statements are ironic in that, as a minor, his identity remains anonymous and apparently he turned out to be a little incompetent himself when it came to hacking."

"However, considering the student is a minor and the number of people actually affected (i.e. people who wanted to access a school website during those times) was likely in the high single digits at most, he ought to get off lightly."

Inserting personal opinions and editorializing in news articles is a poor journalistic practice that reveals a lack of professionalism on the part of both the writer and the publication.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Inserting personal opinions and editorializing in news articles is a poor journalistic practice that reveals a lack of professionalism on the part of both the writer and the publication.

It's a Rocket News article, which to those who are aware, and like Kuchikomi articles here too, are filled with conjecture, sprinkled with a few facts, and mixed together with a dash or two of...well you get the hint.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Give this kid a job ;)

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Kid may have a bright future. And he's right about the incompetence, at least inadvertently, in regards to cyber-security.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

The websites were probably put up by some dumb penpusher at the BoE, not a teacher. Which means his attack was at a better target than the teachers he doesn't respect. Just my guess, but perhaps the one of the reasons he dislikes his teachers is that they have to operate within boundaries set by big bods at the BoE that are then enforced by dumb penpushers on the various descending levels.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow, comments here are clearly divided between those who have some minimal knowledge of computers and coding, and those to whom it is just all a kind of magic.

The kid simply bought a program designed to disrupt computers and aimed it at a server that was set by a teacher who probably knows little about internet security. No special knowledge needed, and any hacker would probably be offended to be in the same company as this kid. It's basic vandalism, nothing clever about it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well done in deed! Wile I agree that many teacher are seriously incompetent, so is the education system which those teacher have to comply with. We spend more money per capita in the arm end forces, political extravagances and other useless expenditures than we spend in education, welfare, rehabilitation or other rather vital programs for a well functioning and balanced society. It has nothing to do with socialism or capitalism. It is simply logical and vital for the future of any society. Those students should be given a scholarship and maybe even a job.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"the number of people actually affected (i.e. people who wanted to access a school website during those times) was likely in the high single digits at most"

This is sad, is it not?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But not a kid who is gonna be top of the list for being hired

I doubt he will become insterested in being hired by incompetent organisations. He already has the guts to start his own projects. He's an entrepreneur.

He wanted to target his school website, but accidentally brought down other website which probably were hosted on the same server.

It's not an accident. That demonstrates the poor conception of the websites. The system is so awkward that you damage one page and it to wrecks it all.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's a Rocket News article, which to those who are aware, and like Kuchikomi articles here too, are filled with conjecture, sprinkled with a few facts, and mixed together with a dash or two of...well you get the hint.

Good to see that someone else noticed this.

If he was so brave he should have stood up and talk! If he had, he would've just been shouted down, and disciplined. Here, like it or not, he has gotten widespread media attention - and exposed flaws in school website security to boot.

A denial of service attack is not a security issue. It is a capacity issue.

He did not get widespread or significant media attention. For example, he received 108 words of coverage in the Yomiuri Shinbun, Japan's largest circulation newspaper, slightly more in the Sankei Shinbun. There was some mention of him on 2ch. That's about it.

Middle school students are not necessarily "shouted down, and disciplined" when they oppose teachers. It is not unknown for middle school students to assault teachers especially in some of the tougher Kansai schools. Really violent assaults resulting in serious injury were all too common in the 80s and they still occur from time to time.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Awesome! Hopefully he'll start others to challenge the archaic system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let me share a school story. About a fortnight old.

My wife's niece is 13, in Junior High School in Tokyo and a member of a school Club. In this school club, she has been assigned a Senpai who is a year older than her. Now, ostensibly, a senpai is a mentor of sorts, but in truth, the Senpai/Kohai relationship is simply institutionalised bullying, and this young girl's senpai has taken to her role with gusto. She has made her Kohai's life a living misery - to the point where the girl, who is a studious and committed student is refusing to go to school. All of this happens in plain view of the teacher who runs the club

On encouragement by her parents she plucked up the courage to report it to her homeroom teacher. Who promptly did absolutely nothing. Pretended she hadn't even heard the words.

The parents, increasingly worried and somewhat exasperated, called a meeting with the Club teacher....who proceeded to COMPLETELY IGNORE BOTH OF THEM in the meeting and focus only on speaking to the girl herself, whom she promptly accused of trying to derail the Club's attempts to make the regional finals in whatever stupid little competition they were entered into. She bullied the girl into apologising for her selfishness, made her commit to greater efforts in club, and didn't once speak to the parents.

Now, when I heard this story, I could scarcely believe my ears. Not only is that wildly incompetent and unethical behaviour by both teachers involved, it is clear that it is fully endorsed by the administration of the school, and I can only think more widely by the Educational system in Japan. I can only speak for Australian teachers, but I know for a fact that that kind of negligence would likely land you in court in that country.

So, I say, good on them for attacking this system. Japanese education needs to wake up. Japanese school administrators need to wake up. The ministry for education in Japan need to wake the hell up.

Japanese kids deserve more and have the right to demand more.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ian Robertson,

Why on earth the rest of the world holds the Japanese education up as an example to be emulated beats me.

It beats me too, Ian, but on the other hand, because of the ministory* (sic) of education's total failure to teach Japanese students to actually use the English language, wareware gaijin can make a good living here.

(Sarcasm)

*I saw this spelling on the front cover of a thick, printed volume titled "Ministory of Education, Report for the Year 1979."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

However, considering the student is a minor and the number of people actually affected (i.e. people who wanted to access a school website during those times) was likely in the high single digits at most, he ought to get off lightly.

If this is true, then the kid actually has a point. Our school division has EIGHT schools and when you add in the administrative web site that means only NINE websites and if our schools were down due to a DDOS attack for an hour, the school division would get about forty or so calls from parents, the school staff, and the school board members. 90% of our school communication is done through our websites. If only 9 or 10 people are trying to access the websites of 444 schools in an hour's time, then I imagine the web pages are not current and yes, the staff is incompetent (at least in regards to web presence).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well done!!

While it is nice to see someone with backbone, simple rebellion offers nothing.

Nothing, except a convenient excuse for more authoritarianism,

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

*I saw this spelling on the front cover of a thick, printed volume titled "Ministory of Education, Report for the Year 1979."

Yeah, even the big prestigious universities appear to have brain farts sometimes. I remember a few years ago where Radford University diplomas misspelled the name of the STATE, calling it "Virgina". Almost 1,500 diplomas had to be reissued because not only was the state spelled wrong, there was also a "therto" instead of a "thereto" in the diploma.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tamarama

Thanks for sharing that story.

Some schools in Japan have a huge problem with pride. It means they can do not wrong whatsoever. Sometimes it's right up to the day they find themselves closing due to a lack of students. Lots of schools are closing as the number of children falls. Pride said to be the worst of the seven deadly sins, because it forms the basis of the others.

My advice would be for your relatives to record every meeting with the school.

My son got badly injured during a club activity several days after joining. The club paid for his treatment during his recovery but the coaches and other club members made no effort to contact him afterwards. No "get well soon" type card or encouragement or little whipround to buy him some chocolates or something. This is for a kid who couldn't walk for two months. They even posted photos on Facebook without him captioned "club no zen'in" (every member of the club). We got the impression that they lost interest in him the second he stopped going. My daughter goes to a different (actually rival) club, and the coaches there talk to the kids on the kids' level and treat every kid the same, whether fast or slow. Based on this, I think the coaches and their attitudes play a huge role in determining what a club is like. As some Japanese do, you cannot say that they are universally a good experience.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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