Coach: Hacking won't hurt team

The hacking and grade-changing scandal at Corona del Mar High School will not interfere with the Sea Kings' quest for a state title, school and CIF officials said Friday.

CdM will battle Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton Saturday in the CIF Division 3 State Bowl game in Carson.

CdM head coach Scott Meyer said none of the students implicated so far are on the football team.

Even if athletes are later implicated, the CIF wouldn't become involved in the situation, spokesman Thom Simmons wrote in an email.

"That is a school and school district issue and would be outside our governance authority," he wrote.

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District and police are conducting an investigation of system data to determine the number of students involved in hacking into Corona del Mar High School's computer system to change grades and review tests, district officials said Friday.

A dozen students have been identified so far as being involved in the incident, which was discovered by the district on Tuesday, said district spokeswoman Laura Boss.

The students' identities haven't been released, but officials said they are in various grades and face school discipline as well as potential criminal charges.

"We're working hand in hand with Newport Beach police to investigate this incident," Boss said. "I'm not sure when we'll have more information."

The district has not revealed how the hackers were discovered.

Newport investigators were continuing to search for tutor Timothy Lance Lai, 28, of Irvine who allegedly provided the students with a key logger, a small device that can be placed in the back of a computer to monitor keystrokes, police said Friday.

Police allege Lai taught the students how to use the device to swipe logins and passwords to access grades and exams.

Anyone with information about Lai is asked to call NBPD Det. David Syvock at (949) 644-3771 or Sgt. Doug Jones at (949) 644-3775.

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