Hack on Naviance terrifies the MOCO community


Courtesy of Nur Yavuz

Students have all of their important information stored within Naviance and were worried it will not be there during the college application season.

By Nur Yavuz, Assistant Observations Editor

The safety concerns of administration greatly increased after the news of two students in Montgomery County hacking into the Naviance college-prep database system came into light. The suspects were able to see the personal and school related data of 1,344 students at Wheaton High School and are now under police investigation.

Naviance is a commonly used database for high school students to help with career finding and college research. Furthermore, under each student’s personal account, they can find their SAT and ACT scores, GPA, ethnicity and race. 

Knowing that your personal information can be viewed by someone random at your school may raise eyebrows for some students. 

“The data in my account is for me to plan my future,” sophomore and member of WCHS hack club Gilang Arifin said. “Although it’s just classes, I don’t like the idea of having a random student being able to see my plans at all.”  

The suspects found the usernames and passwords of accounts at their school, downloaded them and proceeded to share the information with other students. 

Counseling has recently been coming into English classes to have students’ passwords changed as soon as possible to prevent something like this occurring at WCHS.

“I’m not that big of a coder, but it seems incredibly easy to get into,” Arifin said. “All you really need is a students ID and you’re in.”  

The reason of the sudden password change was sent via email to all MCPS parents and Naviance users. 

According to an article written by the Washington Post on Oct. 20, a similar instance of this type of crime happened recently at a high school in Pa. This incident involved the accounts of 12,000 students being hacked, leading to their test scores and GPAs being vulnerable to strangers from an unnamed database. 

“I’m sure many kids are self conscious about their scores, as this is a very competitive community.” Arifin said. 

MCPS is especially more competitive with a lot of expectations to live up to. According to statistics on Niche.com, the average SAT score for WCHS in is a 1340 with an average of 30 for ACT, while all MCPS have 1240 for SAT and 28 for ACT.

“I believe administration should have caught how simple the login process was from the beginning,” Arifin said. “I think in the future, administration should be more careful when setting up the students’ login information for them.”