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


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