Klein ISD high school student accused of launching cyberattack, disrupting STAAR testing

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Thursday, May 30, 2024
Former Klein ISD student accused of hacking district's computers
A high school student is facing a felony charge for allegedly launching a massive cyberattack in April, which caused disruptions during a STAAR test.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Keontra Kenemore, 18, is facing a third-degree felony charge of electronic access interference after investigators accused him of launching a cyber-attack.

The attack, called a DDoS, otherwise known as distributed denial of service, overwhelmed the district's network services during state-mandated STAAR testing in April, according to court documents.

More than 24,000 students were impacted, according to the district.

Court documents show that Kenemore allegedly used his school-issued Chromebook to access sites that initiated the attack.

"This is analogous to pulling the fire drill to get out of an exam," University of Houston professor Chris Bronk said.

The court documents state that the disruptions impacted all campuses district-wide, and about 3,000 students were impacted on the first day of testing during the English Language Arts test. Those students were locked out and had to stop and restart the exam.

"The technology is different, and it makes people nervous," Bronk said.

Another 700 students had to restart the exam the following day on April 17.

Kenemore told district officials that he used websites to send the attacks on multiple occasions, according to the records.

A district spokesperson said that Kenemore was immediately expelled and pursued the charges.

In the court documents, the district said this could impact the accountability rating from the Texas Education Agency.

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