Thursday, June 18, 2009

Student Arrested On Computer Hacking, Porn Charges

VICTIM: Collier County School District

ARRESTED: Jason Warner Cooper, 16, 4158 Lorraine Ave., East Naples

CHARGES: Possession of child pornography (20 counts); offense against computer user/government/communication/transportation/utilities (one count); and disrupt or deny computer services to authorized user (one count)

SUMMARY: Cooper is charged with hacking into the School District’s main private computer network and changing passwords and transferring unauthorized documentation to his personal computer following a CCSO investigation that began in December 2008.

Investigators say Cooper determined a way to penetrate the School District’s virtual private network to gain remote access into the system. He was then able to transfer documents from databases that contained teachers’ user names and passwords, which he used to obtain test information and change grades on his exams and homework assignments as well tests and assignments of other students.

Cooper also set up a rule in the e-mail of a district IT employee to forward all incoming and outgoing e-mails to his cell phone number, according to investigators.

The School District ran a spreadsheet of every log-in to the network during December and discovered the same Internet protocol, or IP, address logged in and out hundreds of times between Dec. 23 and Dec. 30, investigators said. That IP address was determined to be the source of the unauthorized access into the district’s private network.

Investigators matched the IP address to Cooper, they said.

On Jan. 2, investigators with the sheriff’s Economic Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at Cooper’s residence and seized three laptop computers, three external hard drives, two computer towers, one cell phone, two flash drives and numerous CD-Roms and floppy discs.

Investigators also found e-mails transferred from the district’s private network to Cooper’s cell phone.

Further investigation turned up numerous images of child pornography on the external hard drives removed from Cooper’s bedroom, investigators said.

Cooper was arrested on felony warrants on June 11.