Making and Re-Making the Grade - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Cybersecurity

Making and Re-Making the Grade

If at first you don't succeed, tamper with the grades afterward

1:40 PM -- Okay, class, may I have your attention? The following items have been reported in the last three weeks or so:

  • Last Friday, a University of Utah student admitted hacking into a professor's computer account and changing his math grades. At least one of the changes improved his score from failing to passing. He was sentenced to four months in prison.

  • On Dec. 28, the press attaché of a Montana Congressman was caught trying to hire hackers to break into the systems of Texas Christian University and change his grades. He wanted to bolster his grades to improve his resume in anticipation of a future run for office. He was summarily fired from his job.

  • On Dec. 14, the senior class president of Cooper City High School in Florida was taken to jail from school and charged with hacking into school systems and changing the grades of 19 students. It is not clear whether he changed his own grades. (See Prez Busted for Hacking.)

I just have one question in all of these cases. Did any of them try studying first?

Hacking isn't easy. It takes a level of intelligence, desire, and (especially) time. I'm not saying school systems are the most secure, but certainly changing your grades online isn't as easy as filling out a change of address form.

Wouldn't it have been easier just to do their homework?

I'm betting that these cases of grade-changing are only the tip of the iceberg. Ever since movies like "Wargames" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," kids have fantasized about hacking the school's computers and changing their grades. And among a security-savvy audience like Dark Reading's, I'm guessing there are some pretty interesting stories about it out there.

Have you ever electronically changed your grades? Do you know someone who did? Post your story to the message board attached to this blog. Remember, all postings are completely anonymous.

And believe me, none of these postings will be graded.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Slideshows
10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
News
Tech Spending Climbs as Digital Business Initiatives Grow
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  4/22/2021
Commentary
Optimizing the CIO and CFO Relationship
Mary E. Shacklett, Technology commentator and President of Transworld Data,  4/13/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll