Friday, 10 October 2014

Apparently a twelve year old

Chinese boy has hacked into his school's computer. For some reason this has made news. I am surprised by that. I am not surprised by his ability to do so.
Some years ago two primary (junior) students hacked into the computer of a local school - at which they were students. Their teacher was foolish enough to tell them that the school had a new computer system and that it was "secure". Of course the two saw this as a challenge. They managed to gain entry that night - and left a polite note for the school secretary saying the system was not secure.  
Panic stations! They were in trouble. The parents of one child were beside themselves, certain that their child was on the path to a criminal career. The parents of the other were set to add to the severe punishment that the school was preparing to mete out. The two were left in no doubt they had "done the wrong thing".
Another parent, a neighbour of the second, told me about the incident. He was on the school's parent committee as well. The committee had been informed about the incident.
I asked him what had happened in the end. It seems that common sense prevailed. The two young hackers were advised that the behaviour was inappropriate and the parents were advised not to take any further action. Security was reviewed.
A couple of years after the incident the secretary admitted to me that she had actually quietly thanked the two young hackers. The note they left her, she told me, had been very polite indeed.
I met one of the hackers last year and asked him why he had done it. As I had always suspected he had seen it as a challenge, "Because it was there - like Hillary climbing Everest but not as difficult. The row was worth it although Dad was set to send me to boot camp. I still think we did them a favour."
I suspect they did. I wonder too what would have happened if they had, as planned, been suspended from school? Neither could have contemplated their present course of study - doctors.


jeanfromcornwall said...

There have always been some professionals who believe they are the fount of all wisdom, and who cut up rough if they are ever challenged. They tend to be the less adequate ones. The best ones will listen to their pupils/patients/clients and are ready to learn from them.

catdownunder said...

Oh yes, I suspect the real anger was at being bested by 10 year old students!