Gawd 'elp us
"Act of God" ?...................... Blimey, that IS the sound of a desperate woman. Must speak to Richard Dawkins about that. Mine's the one with the mitre hanging above.
A university student in Florida on Tuesday was sentenced to 22 months in prison for his role in a bungled scheme to hack into his school’s computer system and make hundreds of grade changes. Christopher Jacquette, 29, of Tallahassee was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release for his part in the plot, which …
"When police questioned Barrington's sister about changes made to her grades, she said she believed they were an act of God."
I believe that is a perfect alibi these days... Even Pres Blair said he asked for God's guidance before invading Iraq... If it was the voice of anyone else he was listening to his head he would be locked up... Personally I think it was Napoleon.
"Because the changes to grades and residency status would have allowed students to receive lower tuition fees"
Residency status, fine.
But...grades affecting tuition? So grades given out *by the institution* directly affect the revenue received *by that institution*?
Anyone else see something wrong with this picture? Whoops, revenue's down a bit this year - better hand out fewer As!
Please don't call this a hack.
Yes they used key loggers - but they were not smart enough to use an anonymous email account or to access the records from a public computer. Emailing themselves passwords using traceable accounts is inviting the police to catch them. Changing from an F to an A is also obvious. Moderate changes to only a few accounts might not have been noticed.
This should not even go under the title of script kiddies.
Paris: because even she knows about protection
Just so much...
users with admin access w/ accounts that weren't even locked / logged out
Grades on same database / partition as registration records
Florida A & M
"Act of God"
No proxies from a home account
keeping passwords on a cell phone
software key loggers, that weren't uninstalled at that
I can't go on, just so much idiocy, on everyone's part. My head hurts.....
I can grant that the keyloggers would be enough to get in and change the grades. But a simple audit should have shown all the changed grades, and reversed the changes. detection + 30 minutes, the damage should have been reversed.
Then they fall for the keyloggers again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Having gotten the passwords, the group... uses them? Wrong course of action. Use a good Russian proxy, and change the grades of someone you don't know. Adjust them up by one letter. That person will get the blame, or the intrusion will remain undetected.
If the intrusion remains undetected, then the passwords will still stay the same, and you can make some other changes as well.
There is a fine line between professional and amateur in some cases.
In this case you can pose family members for memorable photos in front of the cliff edge beyond which can be seen picturesque sandstone ledges jutting up from the floor of the gigantic canyon that denotes the line between the pros and the not so pros here.
So, have they arrested the bastard yet? Inquiring minds want to know.
Officer: We're charging you with illicit grade fiddling and computer misuse.
Perp: I'd like a few other offences taken into consideration.
Officer: Such as?
Perp: The Crusades, the Inquistion, the witchhunts, 9/11, the massacre of the innocents........
Well, if a uni/college gives out undeserved high grades, it doesn't take employers long to catch on and then the university's name is mud. Quality applicants drop and you are left with a student base predominantly like those featuring in the article. Sponsorship/research funding/grants/bequeaths drop off to match. Even a hint of such from a story like this can make money move down the road to the next uni.
And the deserving students who went through just before the uni went down find themselves considerably undervalued at job interviews for the next several years until they can let their academics drop off the bottom of their CVs.
(Sorry for going on, I spent most of this decade trying to explain to Chinese universities why graduating by quota rather than ability wasn't doing the country, the universities or ultimately the students a favor).
No, it's just really annoying to see something you love doing cheapened by idiots.
Sort of similar to when you get a self-appointed "Homeopathic Doctor" or a cleaner called a "Sanitation Engineer". These are professional titles that people work for many years to achieve and are then either self-appointed by someone who thinks they're good enough or given to someone to make them feel better about themselves.
This isn't hacking proper in the same way as a drunk guy who slashes wildly as you with a scalpel isn't a surgeon even though he's using some of a surgeon's toolkit (the scalpel) for the purpose it was designed for (cutting flesh).
Alternatively it's awesome hacking and they've been royally framed.
"But...grades affecting tuition? So grades given out *by the institution* directly affect the revenue received *by that institution*?"
Actually, most universities over here in the States require a student to maintain a certain minimum grade to retain scholarships. In addition, while many scholarships are funded from outside the institution, some are directly funded by the university. So yes, it is entirely and legitimately possible for the grades handed out by an institution to impact the revenue received by the institution.
...arrive at school, both at 9am, one of them has traveled 5 miles, one has traveled 50 miles, how does that cost the school an extra penny/nickel?
IMO, having residence status changed isn't "costing" the school money, they're just not making as much money as they previously were, the two are quite different things.
For the sake of simplicity let's say it costs $1,000 per day to teach a student:
Student A - Lives across the street from school, let's charge them $1,000 a day
Student B - Travels 50 miles to school, so let's charge them $1500 a day
So they make £100,000 from "in-state" and £150,000 from "out of state" students a day. Then the out of state students stop having to pay the extra $500 a day, it shouldn't then "cost" the school any more to carry on teaching everyone. On the other hand, if they embarked on a typically poorly managed, ill-advised IT project without consulting anyone who knows their mouse from their elbow, then that would "cost" them money.
I don't understand how or why you have to pay an "out-of-state fee" for going to school in another state. Presumably the reason you go there is because it's the best school available, and you're willing to travel the distance to go there. So the school then feels the need to charge you extra? Where does the fee go? Do out of state students get extra tuition or privileges than their "in-state" class mates?
...they're not really hackers at all. Just idiots attempting to use computers to do a bit of crime.
You never really hear anything about some highly specialised computer-crime unit catching out anyone doing anything subtle - a small level of 'insider' trading using stolen info, for example. This is either because: a) they really don't want to divulge their methods; b) they don't target people like that as the overall impact on society is low compared to the effort required to catch them; c) they just don't catch them because it's actually relatively easy to cover your tracks and not make these kind of schoolboy errors.
Anyone voting for 'C'?
If it is anything like the UK schools/colleges, then the local authorities give a grant on top of any paid fees for each student. If the student is 'visiting' from abroad, then the college gets no grant from the govt. so must recoup the money from the student. Therefore a foreign student pays an awful lot more than a UK resident for his/her Uni education.
"Most of their intentions seem noble"
Defrauding the University of money and creating false academic qualifications? that's a pretty strange definition of "noble".
Sounds like some strange freetard definition; "hey man, an A is the same number of bytes as an F, so nobody's lost anything!".
I think you will find that some of the cost of tuition to the state school is covered by taxes paid to the state, thus covering the cost of some of the education for the in state students. The out of state students have not been paying taxes to that state thus should not get the benefit of reduced tuition costs.
The university receives funding from the state of Florida specifically to the benefit of students whose parents paid taxes to Florida so their children would have an opportunity for a higher education experience at a somewhat lower rate. The parents of students across the border in Alabama and Georgia would have performed similar "voluntary tax donations" for universities in their respective states.
However, pitifully few high achievers are touting the benefits of their University of Alabama degrees as the reason that they advanced so far so quickly in their field. Thus the difference in the "out of state" and resident fees. Although the reality is that the universities in the US today are primarily bloated cash cows for lefty propagandists - but that is another discussion for another day.
His evil Steveness, cause they probably placed the key loggersMacs (it is a uni after all and Macs are immune from malware, aren't they?)
Did these geniuses never think that a school might actually notice when someones grades shot up overnight? Even setting aside their horribly botched means of tampering with their GPA, unis do keep paper records of these things and one would think registrars are smart enough to do a little digging when someone at the bottom of the class rankings suddenly rises to the top. Even if the tampering went undetected due to failure at every level of responsibility solving the matter would take about a minute (plus ten hours scheduling time judging by standard uni efficiency):
Reg: So, how did Mr. Jacquette do last term? Good student?
Prof: Oh him, never attended classes, got one question right on the final. I think he was drunk at the time.
Reg: Thank you.
Of course, if these students truly were getting a lot of Fs then perhaps they're too dumb to realize that, though it also makes one wonder why they weren't punted for academic underperformance before they had a chance to act out their script kiddie fantasies.
In Ads by google we get:
* Top 10 Keyloggers of 2009
Side by side comparison of the best keylogger programs available!
* Police Auctions Uk
* Student Marketing HE/FE
* Students Excess Baggage
* Student Credit Cards
* School Software
AB Tutor Control. PC Monitoring Software. Free Trial Download
The extreme irony of the first and last items actually disturbed me. Some of the others are pretty relevant too. So we can rest assured that el Reg is ensuring that the next attempt by some students will be better organised.
This wasn't too bright. What I can't believe is, after the grades were changed back, they tried it AGAIN. That should have made it obviously they were caught at it, at that point doing it again is just going to draw attention.
<QUOTE>But...grades affecting tuition? So grades given out *by the institution* directly affect the revenue received *by that institution*?</QUOTE>
Well, certainly if they flunked out the tuition would be 0... ohterwise, I agree, I haven't heard of a school were grades affect tuition. Out-of-state status sure woiuld.
<QUOTE>I can grant that the keyloggers would be enough to get in and change the grades. But a simple audit should have shown all the changed grades, and reversed the changes. detection + 30 minutes, the damage should have been reversed.</QUOTE>
They were audited, and the changed grades WERE caught. These doofs tried to change them a *second* time, which was also caught (and, if the school wasn't already looking for them, certainly prompted them to track them down.)