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Accused Concord Student Hacker Apologizes For Changing Grades

CONCORD (KPIX 5) – A student at a Concord high school accused of hacking into school computers to change grades has apologized.

"I'm very sorry for all the people that I put grades up and grades down. And I'm sorry for the teacher that I hacked," said David Rotaro, a 16-year-old student at Ygnacio Valley High School.

KPIX 5 received permission from his father to be interviewed.

David Rotaro
David Rotaro. (CBS)

Authorities said Rotaro adjusted his grades and the marks of more than a dozen other classmates. The student told KPIX 5 that he raised grades for his friends and lowered them for people he didn't like.

Police said Rotaro was able to gain access to school computers through a phishing email sent to teachers.

"[The suspect] made an e-mail that looked like a Mount Diablo School District site asking to log in to refresh your password or reset something and, when one of the teachers did it, he captured their log-in information," Concord police Sgt. Carl Cruz explained.

Rotaro also said accessing the computers was not difficult. "Very easy, it was like beginner level," he said.

On Wednesday, authorities searched Rotaro's home and found key pieces of evidence in the case, including a hidden thumb drive.

Contra Costa County K-9 Officer Helps Nab Student Hacker
Authorities seize evidence in a case involving hacking computers at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord.(CBS)

Rotaro faces 14 felony counts.

The 16-year-old said he hopes to move forward from this. " I would like to be an IT type person at the top-notch level," he said.

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