A student from Bucks College Edwin T.Kim, 31, turned to desperate measures in an attempt to improve his college grades.
Studying at the Temple University Ambler Campus in Upper Dublin, Kim has admitted hacking in to university systems to try and improve his academic records. The student purchased keylogging software online, which is a means to capture key strokes on a computer -- and therefore awards the owner access to anything that requires identification details and passwords.
Kim used his keylogger software by installing it on a university computer in the administration office, removing it several days later after the information he required had been harvested. He was able to acquire the different identification numbers and passwords of his professors, which provided access to an electronic grading system implemented by the university.
Temple uses an electronic system that is only meant to be accessible to academic staff, where a sign-on number and password is used to enter grade records. Kim began altering his grades after realizing that he was failing his Law and American society courses.
One professor who taught one of Kim's courses, Cost Accounting, discovered something was wrong when she was locked out of the grading system while trying to input the final grades of her students in 2011. When the professor later compared her personal files and the grades documented electronically, she found that only Kim's grades had been altered -- switching from an 'F' to an 'A-'.
Following from this revelation, two other professors at the university found that the 'F' standard they awarded him had also been changed to 'A' grades.
Once this was discovered, the authorities became involved. The authorities reviewed auditing logs for the electronic record system, and the changes were traced back to Kim's home computer and another computer registered at his workplace. In total, it was discovered Kim had managed to access six grading accounts, three attributed to professors teaching courses he attended.
The student, after apologizing for his actions, has received a two-year probationary period and $300 dollar fine, having been charged and pleaded guilty to tampering with records.
County Assistant District Attorney Steven Bunn said that Kim took full responsibility for his actions, and that Temple University "washed their hands of him" after his actions were brought to light.
Image credit: CNET
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