A disgruntled Japanese schoolboy is facing charges for allegedly shutting down the websites of 444 schools to “remind teachers they are incompetent”.
The 16-year-old boy reportedly launched a cyber attack against the Osaka Board of Education by hacking into its server before closing down hundreds of school websites across the region.
The incident, which took place last November when the boy was aged 15, was the first cyber attack of its kind against a local government in Japan, according to Sankei West News.
Following a police investigation into the incident, the boy has since been arrested and charged in relation to obstruction of business, with officers seizing his computer and books on hacking.
The boy’s hacking mission was reportedly motivated by a desire to highlight the incompetence of his teachers, according to media reports. “I hate how the teachers talk down to us and never let us express ourselves,” the boy told police, according to Rocket News. “So, I thought I would remind them of their own incompetence. It felt good to see them have problems. I did it several times.”
Penalties for such incidents of obstruction of business include a 500,000 yen fine or a maximum three-year prison sentence, although leniency is expected due to his age, according to reports.
Japan has been stepping up its measures against cyber defences in recent years, with Group of Seven ministers in charge of information and communication technology meeting to discuss the issue on Shikoku island last month.
Cyber security was a key issued discussed by ministers, who are keen to collaborate on an international scale in relation to clamping down on criminals and terrorists exploiting internet hacking skills.
A shortage of skilled cyber security experts is one issue facing Japan, the setting of more than 1,000 hacked organisations in recent months – ranging from the prime minister’s office to Nissan – according to media reports.