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Student accused of launching cyberattack against school over 'low-level' classes

OSAKA -- Police on May 11 reported a student to public prosecutors on suspicion of launching a cyberattack against the website of a junior high school he previously attended to cause trouble for teachers offering what he called "low-level" classes.

    The 16-year-old student, whose name has been withheld because he is a minor, has admitted to the allegations against him, prefectural police said. He reportedly looked up to the international hacking group Anonymous, and police quoted him as saying that he wanted to "cause trouble to teachers who offered only low-level classes."

    The teen is specifically accused of using malicious software from his home computer to send a huge amount of traffic to the website of the junior high on Nov. 15 and 27 last year, when he was a third-year student at the school, forcing the school to switch to a simple version of the site on which videos and photos couldn't be viewed for about 30 minutes each time. The websites of about 440 other municipal elementary, junior high and high schools in the city that shared the same server similarly switched to simple versions of their websites.

    Prefectural police said that peak traffic reached 15,063 counts over a 10-minute period, causing the server load to spike to 50-60 times normal levels. The Osaka Municipal Board of Education filed a report with prefectural police in December last year, and the student surfaced as a suspect during police analysis of communications records. Police reportedly seized a hacking manual and other material from the student's home.

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