A student at Blairsville High School in Indiana County raised his hand during class last month and asked his teacher if a 10-digit number he recited sounded familiar, police said.
It did. It was the teacher's Social Security number, said Trooper John Matchik of the Pennsylvania State Police in Indiana.
"So naturally, the teacher was alarmed and immediately talked to the student and asked how he got the information," he said.
According to an investigation by the state police, two male students at the high school, ages 16 and 17, gained access in May to private information in the school district's computer system, Trooper Matchik said.
It could have been a case of "hacktivism," a phenomenon in which people hack into computer systems not for financial gain, but just to prove a point, said Joe Ferrara, CEO of Wombat Security Technologies, a company based in Oakland that provides cyber security training and filtering solutions.
"Sometimes it's not for the money," said Ralph Massaro, the company's vice president of sales and operations. "Sometimes it's just for the thrill to get in, to prove that 'I can do it.' Sometimes because 'It's a game and I can beat the game.' "