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Staten Island High School Student Accused Of Hacking Records, Changing Grades

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A teenage computer whiz from Staten Island stood accused Friday of hacking into the records at his high school and changing his grades.

As CBS2's Tony Aiello reported, the hacking allegations were talk of New Dorp High School Friday afternoon.

"Stuff like that happens a lot only in movies, not in real life," said student Brandon Telleria. "So it's pretty cool for a kid to actually do it."

"I think it's good that he knows how to do it, but I mean, I don't think it's good that he did it," said student Dennis Nudel.

The student who allegedly did it was Eric Walstrom, 16. He stood accused criminally Friday of various computer crimes for allegedly hacking into his high school's computer records and changing his grades.

"He's a quiet person," said student Michael Magnand. "He never really got involved with a lot of friends and stuff."

Investigators said Walstrom was so skilled that he was able to set up a program to check and change his grades by smartphone.

Court documents claimed Walstrom hacked his way through password protections and computer security software repeatedly over the last three months.

Investigators believe the teen then changed his own grades. They were trying to determine Friday whether he also fixed grades for friends.

When asked if he would like to be able to do such a thing, student Nicholas Thiemer joked, "Um, for the cameras, no."

Student Vanessa Quinones said she would have no desire to hack in and fix her grades.

"No, the grades I get, I get, you know?" she said. "It is what it is."

Walstrom lives with his mother in a Staten Island home. No one answered when CBS2 knocked on the door.

CBS2 has learned he already has been disciplined at school. But the Department of Education would not say what steps it has taken to better secure its computers.

Walstrom was charged as an adult with three felony and two misdemeanor charges. He was released without bond.

His attorney did not return a call seeking comment.

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