A Gates-Chili student is facing felony charges after police say he hacked into the school district’s computer network using the credentials of the district’s former superintendent.
Seventeen-year-old Ajay Bhattacharyya is charged with computer trespass, identity theft, and falsifying business records.
The felony complaint says Bhattacharyya was able to gain access to Kimberle Ward’s account where he had access to secure information including Social Security numbers, grades, student records, disciplinary records, and a roster that would have shown the location of students throughout the day.
Bhattacharyya was also able to access detailed maps of every building in the district, software that could be used to view every surveillance camera in the district, and the IP addresses of servers in school buildings.
According to court documents, Bhattacharyya used a school-issued laptop computer to access the school’s network from his home address.
In December of 2018, Kimberle Ward left the district under unexplained circumstances even though she was already set to retire at the end of the school year. At that time the district deactivated her user account’s access to the computer system. Court documents say her account was re-enabled without permission in February.
It’s not clear if the hack and Ward’s departure were connected in any way.