The United States is on high alert following a series of cyber-attacks on significant infrastructures like the Colonial Pipeline and the New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority last June.
Considering how cyber security has improved over the previous 20 years or so, it is astonishing to figure out that hackers always seem to find some new methods to discover and exploit supposedly secure computer networks.
Serious hackers tend to target government institutions’ or private companies’ network systems to access financial and other valuable data.
Hackers then sell the data on the dark web for a not unreasonable amount of money or demand a hefty ransom from the rightful owners.
In comparison to those potentially catastrophic attacks, what Emily Grover and her mother, Lara Carroll, did in October 2020 to the student data of the Escambia County School District might not seem like a big deal, but it was for the locals.
They allegedly hacked into the high school’s voting system to ensure victory for Emily’s homecoming queen contest.
The case has so far escalated to heated personal conflicts.
10 /10 A Sacrificial Lamb
Months after the investigation in November 2020, Emily Grover and Lara Carroll were arrested on March 15, 2021.
Prosecutors accused the pair of tarnishing the noble homecoming tradition, while friends and families believed Emily was a sacrificial lamb in some tech mix-up.
Some of her teachers also argued Emily did nothing wrong. The two arguments have become the critical narratives in the case against the daughter and mother, who have been charged with multiple third-degree felonies and a first-degree misdemeanor.
They face 16 years imprisonment, much harsher than most ransomware attackers would receive.
9 /10 Rig The Election
Suspicions had already come up the night before Emily was crowned the homecoming queen. Despite some red flags on the voting app, the ceremony on October 30 went without any problem at all.
She was wearing a silver dress with a bouquet of roses in her arm. It didn’t take a month until the investigation into the red flags went full stretch.
Lara Carroll has been suspended as an assistant principal in the same school district. Although Emily was 17 when arrested in March, she is now 18 and tried as an adult.