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updated 5/2/2012 2:18:29 PM ET 2012-05-02T18:18:29

Eighteen Atlanta high school students are facing a rocky future after they allegedly paid to have a senior hack into the school's online database and change their attendance records.

The ringleader of the group was a senior at Washington High School's Senior Academy who, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, allegedly used the login username and password of his parent, a counselor at the school, to infiltrate the school's database and change the attendance records. The student has been suspended for seven days; the 18 students who allegedly paid him were each suspended for three days.

Atlanta Public School spokesman Keith Bromery told the Journal-Constitution that a student blew the whistle on the attendance-changing operation, and that "all of the altered records were changed back to accurately reflect the affected students' true attendance and course assignments."

Bromery said the student who ran the hacking ring illegally accessed the school's database between February and April, but changed only attendance records, not grades.

This is the second major high-school hacking scandal  in as many weeks; about 50 students at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, Calif., are facing suspension for stealing an administrator's password and clearing students' absences from the school's computer.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

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