A 14-year-old Florida middle school student was charged with a cybercrime after authorities said he gained access to his school’s electronic network in order to play a prank on a teacher by changing his computer wallpaper.
Domanik Green was charged by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday with an offense against a computer system and unauthorized access, a felony.
Police say Green logged onto the school’s network on March 31 using an administrative-level password without permission. He then changed the background image on a teacher’s computer to one showing two men kissing.
Officials says Green did not view or tamper with any network files.
“Even though some might say this is just a teenage prank, who knows what this teenager might have done,” Sheriff Chris Nocco said.
Police have called the incident “hacking” but Green said the password was simple: the teacher’s last name. He said he discovered it by watching the teacher type it in.
“I logged into a teacher’s computer who I didn’t like and tried putting inappropriate pictures onto his computer to annoy him,” Green said.
The teacher he was targeting was out that day. Instead, the substitute teacher saw the picture and reported it to the school administrators.
The teen’s mother, Eileen Foster, said she understands her son did something wrong, but doesn’t think he needed to be arrested. Also, she said, it shouldn’t have been so easy for students to access the system.
Sheriff Nocco said Green’s case should be a warning to other students: “If information comes back to us and we get evidence [that other kids have done it], they’re going to face the same consequences,” Nocco said.
Green was released on Wednesday from a Detention Center into the custody of his mother.
The teen also received a 10-day school suspension. It’s unclear if he’ll return to Paul R. Smith Middle School to complete the remainder of the year.
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