App developing Totnes student excluded for hacking into school system
A COMPUTER whizzkid named as the youngest app designer in Europe has been expelled for hacking into his school's computer system.
Aaron Bond (pictured), 14, is the managing director of his own web design firm and has designed six apps used on smartphones.
He was among hand-picked delegates at the Apple conference last year, and was even being considered for university courses because he is so advanced with computers.
But the predicted A*, A and B grade student has been permanently excluded from King Edward VI College in Totnes after admitting accessing confidential information on the school's computer system.
He has also been given a formal reprimand by police.
Aaron said: "I am very sorry and if I had known the consequences, I never would have done it."
Aaron said he became curious after a list of passwords was displayed on a white board in the school's IT room.
The self-confessed 'app-geek' accessed private information before the alarm was raised.
The school insists the passwords were 'examples' and that no one has access to passwords within the school.
Aaron was able to access staff accounts and documents relating to year 10 and 11 pupils. He insists he only 'glanced' at the information and cannot remember details.
The student was also able to edit the school's IT room booking system and the daily newsletter The Bulletin.
He was also able to access the vice-principal's financial information even after the alarm was first raised.
The system was locked down when staff realised there had been a breach, but Aaron was still able to access the site when he tried to log in again.
He said: "I was a bit scared and curious and I wondered if I would be able to get in again."
The student was at first excluded from the school for five days. Police were called in and Aaron gave DNA samples and fingerprints at Totnes police station. His photo was also take before he was given a formal reprimand.
He was permanently excluded from the school and lost an appeal against the decision on February 23.
The youngster has since started school at a new school.
Mum Kate, 36, said Aaron was curious, 'like any school boy would have been'.
She said: "If that information had not flashed up on the white board then we would not be in this mess. I think the security of the school computer system should be a lot better. A 14-year-old boy should not have been able to get into the system.
"I don't see why they can't give Aaron a second chance."
Principal Kate Mason confirmed Aaron admitted accessing the school's IT system without permission on several occasions.
She said: "The password information Aaron said he saw were examples, but provided an initial idea which Aaron then used to interfere with school systems and access other accounts. No one has access to staff passwords."
She said the closure of the college portal for two days, over the weekend, denied access to staff and students to examination preparation materials and other teaching and learning documents.
She said: "Aaron was excluded from the college in accordance with the serious nature of the offence and the college's behaviour policy and acceptable user policy, which he had signed."