Purdue Students Charged with Hacking to Change Grades

The Journal and Courier’s Sophia Voravong reports that three former Purdue University students, Roy Chaoran Sun, 24, Mitsutoshi Shirasaki, 24, and Sujay Sharma, 24, have been charged with hacking into their professors’ accounts to change their grades (h/t CNET).

The investigation began last November, according to Voravong, when a professor contacted Purdue’s IT department because someone had changed his password. The IT department then discovered that the account had been accessed to change a student’s grade, and contacted Purdue police on January 3, 2013.

Shirasaki allegedly broke into professors’ offices and installed keylogging devices in their keyboards, which then allowed the three suspects to determine their professors’ account passwords.

“This was … students who were very smart, who decided to take their knowledge and their wisdom and used it for things they shouldn’t have used it for,” Purdue police chief John Cox told the Journal and Courier. “Obviously, there will be consequences for that.”

Sun is accused of changing his grades from nine Fs and one incomplete to straight As, while Shirasaki is accused of changing 24 grades from failing gardes to As and Bs, and Sharma is accused of changing just one grade from a D to an A.

The charges are extensive, including conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit theft, conspiracy to commit computer tampering, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, attempted burglary, burglary, forgery, computer tampering, theft, and receiving stolen property.

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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