Do Grade Changing Hackers Deserve 20 Years In Jail?

from the seems-a-bit-extreme dept

Over the years, we've had numerous stories of kids caught changing their grades by hacking into school computer systems. However, is it worth a $250,000 fine and 20 years in jail? That's apparently what two men face after hacking into California State University's computer system and changing their grades. The guys have been charged with "unauthorized computer access, identity theft, conspiracy, and wire fraud." Obviously, these guys did a bad thing, but it's hard to see how the possible sentence matches with the crime. Of course, it seems unlikely that any judge would give them the maximum sentence, but even hearing that it's possible just for changing your grades seems ridiculous.


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  1.  
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    dorpus, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 7:25am

    They deserve 200 years

    Do we want system administrators at universities changing grades for cash, thinking they will get off on light sentences?

     

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    Ben Van Treese, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 7:31am

    Isn't this what paper is for?

    I don't want to sound like a smart... but isn't this why we keep paper records too?

    I mean its not THAT hard to go double check paper records at the end of the year.... make the TA's do it.

    Or the teachers at smaller schools, my school doesn't have any classes with over 50 kids in it.

     

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    Danny, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 7:41am

    I wonder...

    what type of sentece they would be facing if they had kidapped the dean and threatened to kill if their grades were not changed. I don't understand how when it comes to tech related crimes to possible penatly seems to far out weight the crime in question. First there was the substitute teacher that could have faced 40 years for her class accidentally seeing porn on the classroom pc. She could have raped one the children in the classrom in front of the rest them and would be facing a lighter sentence. Then there is the lady that was found liable for inducing copyright infringment on 24 counts who may have to pay over $200K. I think this comes to about $9k per count. Terrible...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 7:43am

    Re: Isn't this what paper is for?

    My high school computer teacher just kept all her grades on a disk that literally kept on her person at all times. This disk had all her grades on it so even if someone had gotten to the grades stored on her pc she would go by what was on her disk.

     

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    Casper, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 7:55am

    Stupid

    Stupidity reigns supreme right now. Of course they are going to crack down on this demographic... they are easy to push around. You don't see them sentencing drunk drivers to 20 years in prison on their first offense and they could have killed someone.

    For a legal system that is intended to find punishments to fit the crimes, it seems to fail at all of the above. Not to mention we take our schooling system far too seriously. Does a changed grade by a teenager warrant the devastation of the rest of their life?

     

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    Al Gore, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 7:55am

    Last I checked

    While I agree with the arguement about the goofy sentencing for various crimes, the answer isn't to say oh well it WASN'T that bad compared to ...

    the answer is to issue more severe punishment for the severe crimes. If you murder someone, jail for life, you commit a crime with a deadly weapon, jail for life. You sexually assualt a kid, jail for life. Not 20 years and parole in 10. I'll gladly pay more taxes for jails and guards rather than probabation officers, public aid and all the grief Counselors.

    Remember the old adage 20% of the people do 80% of the work? Well I would suggest that 20% of the criminals commit 80% of the crime. You lock that 20% up for good and let's see what happens with crime. Then you won't need to spend all the money we spend on the criminal justice system and we can spend it on important things like making sure cows don't spew carbon dioxide into the air. OR sending our military secrets to China.

     

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    Boris, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 7:57am

    Yes. It is worth it. They deserve the penalty, if not more.

    It's hard enough being in a top 5 engineering school. I don't need some lazy prick with no social life and less intelligence to skew the class average to put everyone else at a disadvantage. Fuck them. They had no business changing their grade. They did the crime, knowing the consequences, with bad intentions. None of it was an accident (aside from them being caught) - and I sure as hell don't want to let them potentially have a second chance - so they deserve maximum sentence.

    There are smarter fish in the sea, why waste our efforts on these assholes.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 7:59am

    So they weren't kids, they weren't just changing their own grades (paid the other cash), and there's more to the indictment thatn just changing grades.
    The only part of the story you got right was the potential 20 years - billiant, who needs proper journalists ?.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:00am

    Ummm...

    It's called sending a message.

     

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    Thom, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:02am

    Rediculous

    Criminal penalties for changing your grades should be minimal but mandatory. Perhaps a $100 fine or 20 hrs community service per changed grade, plus mandatory reimbursement of costs incurred correcting them or verifying the integrity of other student grades. Perhaps that could be multiplied (factor of 10) for outsiders who change grades for students.

    School policies should be where the real punishment occurs. For changing your own grades (or participating in having yours changed) - automatic failure in and repeat of each class where you changed your grade. For those who change fellow student's grades - mandatory expulsion and loss of all credit.

     

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    James, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:03am

    I'm with Boris

    Changing grades, even when it's only your own, *can* be more permanently damaging to more people than stealing money since it has the potential to change the availability of opportunities by changing the permanent record of a person's knowledge. In this case, since an individual changing his own grades is only likely to shift the curve by one head, I'd expect the judge should not grant the max, but I can certainly see why the max is ava.

     

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    chris (profile), Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:04am

    at least they get a trial, unlike kevin mitnick

    kevin mitnick served 4 and half years in a federal prison, with 8 months in solitary confinement WITHOUT A TRIAL.

    that means he sat in a cell for 4 and half years BEFORE they found him guilty or innocent. once they finally convicted him he only got 5 years.

    the precedent is clear: if you scare the public you will go away forever, even if the public has no clue what you actually did.

    hackers are the new child molesters. they scare us and we throw the book at them rather than taking real measures to protect what we think is important.

    so if you ask me, if they get a trial and have a decent case they most likely won't get 20. plus, since it sounds like they are actually going to get a speedy trial i say they are getting off easy compared to kevin mitnick.

     

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    oldster, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:05am

    Presumably the $250,000 fine and 20 years are statute maximums and the judge has leeway on actual sentencing based on circumstances, etc. But maximums sure do make better headlines.

     

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    anthony, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:07am

    i think kids should be rewarded for changing their grades. all of you ignorant people should know how hard hacking really is. you need good english skills, logic, and a good programing language, These things dont come up in the wild. So think, read a book on hacking, look at the jargon file, and comment again.

    -Anthony

     

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    Duodave, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:08am

    No sympathy here

    These weren't high schoolers changing a couple grades on a lark. These were adults in a college. If my kid was going to that school and someone cheated the system, I'd want the cheaters prosecuted to the maximum amount of the law.

    They'll get out on good behavior in a couple years anyway. Maybe less.

    -d

     

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    anthony, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:10am

    Re: No sympathy here

    yeap, your still ingorant.

     

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    Haywood, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:10am

    Re: Last I checked

    Bonus: the locked up 20% won't be out on the street recruiting and training others to increase their numbers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: No sympathy here

    And you cannot spell, anthony.

     

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    anthony, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Re: No sympathy here

    wait, where did i mess up?

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:18am

    Re:

    Employees of the college should be rewarded for hacking their employer's systems? Yeah that makes complete sense. Maybe, you should read the article.

     

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    anthony, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re:

    yea, uhh, there students. They hacked into their grades.

     

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  22.  
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    Bobby Romanski, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:28am

    Big Punishment=Police State

    long sentences get the public used to being locked down and scared for the smallest offense. The following full length film addresses the present police state in the USA and where it is headed. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6495462761605341661

     

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  23.  
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    Michelle, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:30am

    "wait, where did i mess up?"

    "yea, uhh, there students. They hacked into their grades."

    there = they're.

    "yeap, your still ingorant."

    you're, ignorant, yeap?

    Bleh.

     

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    Clint, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:34am

    deterence

    Deterrence doesn't work... If it did, we should have a pretty low murder rate considering we're one of the few countries with a death sentence. Most criminals don't think that they'll get caught and that they're smarter than the system, so the possible punishment doesn't really matter to them.

     

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    me.g33k, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:42am

    Rewards for hacking

    Get a grip. We're not in the eighties anymore where impact the impact of a hack can be isolated to small segments. Everything is interconnected today and effects in one system can easily ripple and cause problems in other more significant ones. The idea that rewarding a successful hack should be considered is sophmoric at best. And this opinion used comes from someone who DID hack back in the old days when it was largely innocent fun. Now given the understanding of thins that I have, even those light hearted efforts frighten me because of what I didn't know and could have precipitated with my old brute force techniques.

    The majority of 'real' hackers today don't get rewards from their victims. Their coin is the creds that they get form their own closed and insular group of peers.

     

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    TheDock22, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 9:00am

    Money

    The money part of the crime seems perfectly reasonable to me, but I have always been against jail time for white-collar criminals. House arrest, probation, and community service for 5-10 years seems reasonable enough, but actual jail time? Come on now, I think the only people who should go to jail are ones that do serious damage to someone (beyond taking money from them).

    Maybe our jail system would be able to handle more inmates if we shut down the low security prison and convert them to house the dangerous ones, then keep them there for the appropriate amount of time.

     

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    TSO, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 9:12am

    Re: #11

    > changing the permanent record

    You need to get your English straight. If it can be changed, it's not permanent by definition.

     

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    Ken, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 9:19am

    So, Anthony...

    So Anthony believes that hackers should be respected? I wish that the English language could gain a bit more respect as well. With gems like this on from Anthony,

    "you need good english skills, logic, and a good programing language, These things dont come up in the wild."

    I am sure that hackers are getting all the respect they deserve from Anthony and other supporters. I see and hear this type of horrific sentence formation more and more these days. Perhaps this is because so many hackers have focused too hard on scamming instead of cramming.

    Ba dump bump...pssshhhh!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 9:46am

    Re: They deserve 200 years

    hey, as long as the money's green...

     

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  30.  
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    ProphetBeal, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    These students aren't hackers. They are being pegged as hackers but if you read the article 1 of the guys worked at the IT help desk for the college and acquired his bosses password (which isn't that hard and doesn't require any hacking). Then he used the password to gain access to other user info which in turn led him to having access to his and his friends grades. None of this had anything to do w/ programming or jargon files...just a bit of logic. Although the guy was pretty stupid cause he pulled this scam while they were auditing the systems, and so he was caught.

    -PB-

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 9:55am

    Re:

    Your average idiot is, under normal and reasonable circumstances, unable to crack a secure server's database and make changes to grades and records.
    Your overzealous pride and elitism aside, the ability to hack into the school's server shows intelligence and motivation. Perhaps they should be hired by a security firm instead of being punished, especially if they do something creative in the hacking process.

     

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    dazcon5, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 10:03am

    Bull!!

    They should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
    Then...get a PBJ and put them to work for the FEDS to teach them how they did it and the techniques used. If you can't do the time don't do the crime! But 20 years is excessive IMHO.

     

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  33.  
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    AlGhoul, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 10:04am

    Re:

    "Yes. It is worth it. They deserve the penalty, if not more.

    It's hard enough being in a top 5 engineering school. I don't need some lazy prick with no social life and less intelligence to skew the class average to put everyone else at a disadvantage. Fuck them. They had no business changing their grade. They did the crime, knowing the consequences, with bad intentions. None of it was an accident (aside from them being caught) - and I sure as hell don't want to let them potentially have a second chance - so they deserve maximum sentence.

    There are smarter fish in the sea, why waste our efforts on these assholes."
    Less intellegent? They "hacked" into the school system, right? Seems like they're fairly intellegent. The issue is that they are either lazy, or did not want to do the work...

    In my high school Algebra class (yes, I'm in college now, taking calc and such...), I never did homework, slept in class, and only did the tests... I got straight A's... Granted, I didn't go in and change my grade or anything, but why work more when you can work smarter?

    I don't think they deserve maximum sentence simply because they thought outside of the box (compared to you) and decided not to do all the grunt assignments...

    "So they weren't kids, they weren't just changing their own grades (paid the other cash), and there's more to the indictment thatn just changing grades.
    The only part of the story you got right was the potential 20 years - billiant, who needs proper journalists ?."
    Sadly, the news article linked in this article says the same thing that this article says (including the identity theft, which is just the acquisition of the usernames and passwords of those individuals capable of changing grades...). This article is accurate to the linked article...as well as to the indictment linked...

    "Changing grades, even when it's only your own, *can* be more permanently damaging to more people than stealing money since it has the potential to change the availability of opportunities by changing the permanent record of a person's knowledge. In this case, since an individual changing his own grades is only likely to shift the curve by one head, I'd expect the judge should not grant the max, but I can certainly see why the max is ava."
    I'll remind you that a grade in a class is not symbol of knowledge gained, only criteria met (i.e. passing tests, doing assignments/homework, etc.). I can get straight A's by doing all of my assignments, but forget it the very semester after I've taken the course, which is often the case with students taking core required classes...

    "So Anthony believes that hackers should be respected? I wish that the English language could gain a bit more respect as well. With gems like this on from Anthony,

    "you need good english skills, logic, and a good programing language, These things dont come up in the wild."

    I am sure that hackers are getting all the respect they deserve from Anthony and other supporters. I see and hear this type of horrific sentence formation more and more these days. Perhaps this is because so many hackers have focused too hard on scamming instead of cramming.

    Ba dump bump...pssshhhh!"
    Lol! It's true that Anthony doesn't user proper grammatical formations...but the meaning of his sentence is clear...sort of. :D

    I agree that hacking shouldn't be rewarded, but it also shouldn't be punished with such scrutiny. I mean, I understand that everything is interlinked and affects on one system could damage another quite easily, but changing a grade is hardly equivalent to attempting a fire storm...

    Yep...ProphetBeal makes a good point. :D

    "Your average idiot is, under normal and reasonable circumstances, unable to crack a secure server's database and make changes to grades and records.
    Your overzealous pride and elitism aside, the ability to hack into the school's server shows intelligence and motivation. Perhaps they should be hired by a security firm instead of being punished, especially if they do something creative in the hacking process."
    Technically, ProphetBeal is right... Social engineering is NOT hacking; it's merely manipulation of the "average idiot"... That's why the largest security threats nowadays are social engineering techniques instead of trojan viruses.

     

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    Duh, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 10:07am

    Not getting 20 years

    So IF they get indicted on all counts and IF the judge decides to exercise the maximum penalty and IF they behave poorly in jail, fail all parole hearings, don't appeal, and generally give up, THEN they get 20 years and a quarter million dollar fine.
    Funny, if you copy one single DVD the potential penalties are more severe. The maximum sentences are there for people who commit heinous and egregious acts that are covered under the laws. Take the same accusations (unauthorized computer access, identity theft, et. al) and apply them in the worst possible way (ID theft to intentionally ruin someone's life, framing them for several things, stealing all their money; unauthorized computer access to take down security networks to allow people to infiltrate places of high sensitivity (i.e. military bases)) and the penalties don't seem so severe. Remember that MAXIMUM sentence is not what you're always going to get. Just think of the murderers who get a good 8-10 years and go back into the world after that. Happens all the time.

     

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  35.  
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    Mitch the Bitch, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 10:16am

    The idea that anyone can decide which laws they deem worthy is the same idea that will be the end of our civilization as we know it.

    50 years hard labor, and I mean really hard labor makes anyone think twice. What we have now isn;t punishment. Hang wit da boyz, 3 square meals, health care... Yea that will prevent crime and the metrics prove it (and I have a bridge for sale)...

    Freaking libs shut the f$%^ up already before you piss the real men off and make us TAKE back America by force.

     

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  36.  
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    R3d Jack, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 10:54am

    Wait a minute!

    No judge has imposed that sentence. Do you expect me to get all worked up about something that hasn't even happened? I'll save my outrage until they do get the maximum, which they won't...

     

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  37.  
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    Jaywon, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 11:28am

    There is always a maximum sentence

    Just because the maximum sentence is there doesn't mean that they will get anywhere near that amount of time by a judge. Also, where do you draw the line for what is harmless hacking, and what is serious. If the two students broke into their schools office to change the physical records, is that not still breaking and entering, thus facing the maximum sentence for breaking and entering? In this case, when facing a judge they would most likely not get the maximum sentence since there was no theft damage, etc..., as I'm sure a judge in this case will consider the same criteria. However, the judge might be a bit harsher to teach them a lesson, before they are drawn to more dangerous hacking exposes.

     

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    college boy, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 11:37am

    take heed

    Maybe the lesson that people should take from this is that they should study instead of cheat.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 11:37am

    Re:

    great, militant conservatism. just what the country needs. not.

    You do know that the constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, right?

     

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  40.  
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    Duodave, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What do you think hacking is? Ok, by definition it could be called "cracking". Sure these weren't script kiddies - this is social engineering. Acquiring a password legally (as an IT guy) doesn't make it legal to use it for your own purposes.

    "These students aren't hackers. They are being pegged as hackers but if you read the article 1 of the guys worked at the IT help desk for the college and acquired his bosses password (which isn't that hard and doesn't require any hacking). Then he used the password to gain access to other user info which in turn led him to having access to his and his friends grades. None of this had anything to do w/ programming or jargon files...just a bit of logic. Although the guy was pretty stupid cause he pulled this scam while they were auditing the systems, and so he was caught."

     

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  41.  
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    Rich, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 11:52am

    Most are not that smart

    Most hackers are not very intelligent, actually most are very stupid. They should get the MAX and do all of it, no getting out early. If it destroys live so be it. I am tired of all of the liberal attitudes we have in this country. People must pay for the there actions. Old enough to care about grades then old enough do take the punishment and do the the time.

    Rich

     

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  42.  
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    SM, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 11:54am

    I heard that one of these students logged on to change his grades, and then almost started an international crisis when he tried to play Global Thermonuclear War on the server.

     

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    freddy, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: No sympathy here

    Speaking of ignorance, "your" is the possessive form of you. So you can say "your ignorance is showing." Or you can say "you're ignorant." But you can't correctly say "your ignorant." That would be the pot calling the kettle black wouldn't it.

    I don't even know where to start about "yeap."

     

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    Ferris Bueller, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 11:58am

    I'm not amused

    I do have a test today. That wasn't bullsh*t. It's on European socialism. I mean, really, what's the point? I'm not European. I don't plan on being European. So who cares if they're socialists? They could be fascist anarchists. It still doesn't change the fact that I don't own a car. Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in The Beatles, I just believe in me." Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people.

     

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    freddy, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 12:02pm

    The reason hackers get long sentences is not that they hacked, per se, it's that they're computer nerds. Normal, decent people everywhere are repulsed by these dangerous little freaks and have a natural desire to make them disappear.

     

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    ProphetBeal, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I never said that what this dope did was legal or right. I fully agree that they are in the wrong and should face some consequences. All I was saying is that people labeling it as "hacking" is also wrong. It is social engineering and people (especially on a tech blog) should use the correct terminology.

     

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    Bucky, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 1:02pm

    You can thank Sen Orrin Hatch for this mentality

    Under the Patriot Act Hatch made computer intrusion a crime punishable by up to a term of life in prison.

    Of course that didn't apply to him when his staff stole 5000 documents from the Senate computer.

    http://cita.es/democratic/

     

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  48.  
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    barrenwaste, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 1:03pm

    1. It is not 20% percent of the people commiting 80% of the crimes. I garauntee that every person above the age of 18 has committed a crime whether they know it or not. Most crimes simply go unnoticed by anyone.

    2. If at any time the number of criminals rises above that of law abiders then there is something wrong with the laws, not the people.

    3. When judging the penalties of a crime, one cannot look at what could have happened, only at what did happen. You cannot, in good moral conscience, sentence one person harder than another because thier crime could have lead to a greater disaster.

    4. These guys did break a law, that is a fact. However, the proposed punishment does not in any way fit the crime. Want to truely punish them? Flunk them and then expell them. Maybe tack on some comunity service. We are not talking about terrorists here.

    Just the fact that they could recieve such harsh sentences should raise the red flags in every americans head. Look around you people. Three strikes laws, life sentences for internet piracy, now 20 years and 1/4 mill for grade changes? This isn't rediculous, this is abuse of power by people riding the crest of a massive witch hunt, and I have news for you all, we are the witches.

     

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  49.  
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    ., Nov 5th, 2007 @ 1:11pm

    Re: They deserve 200 years

    And maybe you should be banished from the planet, Dorpus! Get a life, and get a brain!!!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re: #11

    You need to get your English straight. If it can be changed, it's not permanent by definition.
    By that definition nothing is permanent and we may as well get rid of the word.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Boris, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm not denying that hacking is a skill - but most people are not in college to learn how to hack. Yeah, in high school I rarely did my homework as well and yet ended up here, quite simply because i always knew what i was doing and felt like the only things that mattered were tests (which I did great on). I share classrooms with more than enough hackers, and you'd agree if you saw my classes. Linux is no stranger to any of us (in fact we've got several linux computer labs). I've got a guy sitting on the row to my left that has a workstation with 16 gigabytes of ram.

    Yeah hacking is nice skill, and I respect the skilled hackers out there fully. However, there's a reason that hackers (as well as all other computer proficient people) go to college - there are things out there you CANNOT learn on your own.

    The developer of the original intel processor isn't going to come to your home and teach you how to make one yourself. Nobel laureates aren't going to give lectures to you over your cell phone in high school.

    Like I said, I go to a top 5 engineering school (top 9 among ivy league - although we've got plenty of majors and programs surpassing theirs), I intend to go to graduate school when the time comes. My chances of getting there are definitely lessened by dishonest people such as these. Any kind of cheating that is caught in my school sends you to trial, and your minimum punishment, if you're lucky, will be nothing less than loss of credit (it's usually expulsion though).

    The fact that he needed to hack proves that he is NOT intelligent enough to keep up with things that are harder learned than by reading tutorials on public websites.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    fezline, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 1:22pm

    Changing grades

    Yes they did a bad thing and got caught. I personally don't feel that they should get this harsh of a punishment. I have not really searched out the details of this case but it appears to me that someone looked foolish so now they want these kids to pay. The punishment should fit the crime. The damages here are simply to a system admin's ego and possibly about 30 min to an hour of time dedicated to changing the grades back and some passwords. It seems to me that they should get some subtle fines in the area of a couple thousand, get booted out of school, and some community service. These charges are totally trumped up and the punishment is totally disproportionate to the damages.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Most are not that smart

    They should be executed. Period. Why should criminals get free room and board? When criminals were executed they don't do it again. Simple.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 1:25pm

    America is not the great country it used to be; it's full of stupid laws chasing the poor and setting them as "examples".
    If these kids were real hackers;it would have taken them years to find out that somebody changed their grades.

    God bless ignorance.. hey, is that Osama taking picture of the white house?

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 1:31pm

    Re: They deserve 200 years

    Anybody who thinks 20 years in prison is a "light sentence" is an idiot. Like dorpus.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Shun, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 1:36pm

    Maximum Exposure

    The 11-count indictment is what some folks like to call "the book". Usually, the prosecutor will do this to get defendants to cop to a lower plea. So, these two will plead nolo contendre to "Taking a dump in public" or "Using computers to do bad-bad things" and the prosecutor doesn't have to work as hard. Everybody's a Winner!!!

    But really: CSU--Fresno, one of the top 5 engineering schools? Really. Well, I heard it here first, on this most reliable techblog.

    The other thing I can't get over: the word permanent. We have to realize that the entire English language is not "permanent" in the literal sense of that word. We need a new definition of permanent, something akin to "it takes a huge amount of effort or time to change." Like the criminal-justice system, or people's hatred of/sympathy for "hackers", or people's opinions as expressed on this blog.

    Nah, no one will like that. Better leave it the way it is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Johan, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 1:36pm

    Only in the US...

    20 years for changing your grades... Where I come from this would not go to court, but there would be a diciplinary hearing and the students might get expelled... 20 years in jail... you got to love America!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  

    Crazy Sentencing Laws Everywhere

    Expel the students, pay a fine and require community service. Unfortunately everybody loses in this situation.

    1. If they are expelled, they probably won't get the necessary education to guarantee a life with a decent income. Which then will cost the taxpayers due to the fact they won't have health care, maybe wind up on welfare, and won't be able to contribute to the economy.

    2. If they are put in prison, the taxpayers have to pay to house them, feed them and train them to be able to support themselves when they get out. Also we have to pay for a probation officer to track their movements and make sure they keep out of trouble.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    barrenwaste, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Crazy Sentencing Laws.

    You don't need a college education to get a job that will support you and your family. It won't be a great job, probably around 25 to 30 thou a year, but that is sufficient if you manage your resources correctly. And if your significant other has to take a job as well, what is wrong with that? No, expelling them won't hurt the taxpayers at all.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    nobodiesbusiness, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 2:41pm

    Can't trust prosecutors or judges

    It is clear from various recent egregious examples that prosecutors and judges can't be trusted in cases like this and it is up to one juror to simply refuse to convict. The only reason this is going to trial is because the prosecutor did not approach this in a reasonable manner.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    foobar, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 2:45pm

    Re:

    Why waste effort on them? Perhaps they know how to put question marks at the end of their questions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    foobar, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, you're wrong. Your chances are unaffected by these chumps, but they are greatly lessened by your poor grasp of English.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Bobik, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 3:00pm

    I wonder how much the Touro admins will get for changing degrees for cash.

    1) 'B.S.' DEGREES $CAM AT TOURO

    2) TOURO'S 'MASTER CHEATS'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Wrangler, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 3:01pm

    Re: They deserve 200 years

    Myopic at best, uneducated and uninformed at worst.

    Interesting handle - did someone give it to you?

    =;^)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Anthony, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re:

    Thank you. (spoken with an honest true tone)

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 5:54pm

    If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    mike rz, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:21pm

    i think expulsion and community service are more than enough. Note: they CAN go to another school, it's not the end of the world.

    and as for the "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime" people, what the hell? are you fucking retarded?

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Yelzin, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:32pm

    Re: Boris

    >> It's hard enough being in a top 5 engineering school.

    Do you imply that you actually go to one of these?
    Because for sure a person with your attitude does not belong there. Or maybe the opposite, you do belong there, so your arrogance can be satisfied.

    Yeah yeah, you really really want to be the best, don't you?

    Brrrrraa!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    A European, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:35pm

    Re: I'm not amused

    I think maybe you are going to fail the test.. :)

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Unclear On The Concept, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:36pm

    Re: Last I checked

    Al Gore said:
    ... we can spend it on important things like making sure cows don't spew carbon dioxide into the air. OR sending our military secrets to China.
    ---

    Cows are sending our military secrets to China?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 8:46pm

    Re:

    man, you're dumb as fuck. what b-movie plot are you living in anyways?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 9:05pm

    Re: Re:

    You do know that the constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, right?

    Like having to listen to you libbercrats.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Anon, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 10:08pm

    Re: Last I checked

    Speak for yourself newfag.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Anon, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 10:08pm

    Re: Last I checked

    Speak for yourself newfag.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    David, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 1:55am

    Oh my god

    After having read through the first 20 or so comments, I'm astounded. How is putting people away for 20 years going to help anyone? Naturally these guys should be expelled from the school, and perhaps fined a small amount (a couple thousand at most), but I don't see how jail time is going to help. Keeping people locked up costs a *lot* of money and resources.

    I think that criminals in general need to be incorporated into society through some kind of program/procedure. After serving a decent amount of time, of course; decent for example being 10-20 years for murder and rape, 5-10 for planned robberies, and so on. I don't think that many crimes justify the use of lifetime imprisonment, and I don't support capital punishment at all (so many innocent people have been executed over the years).

    We're all capable of committing mistakes, and those mistakes shouldn't cost us our lives. Now, these guys need to pay the price for what they did, but not with their lives (which 20 years in prison at the age of 30 essentially is). We need to think about the purpose of prison. Do we keep people locked up simply to punish them, or to protect others from them? Just make the analogy to a child doing something wrong. We don't beat the crap out of the child for taking a cookie from the jar. We restrict their access to cookies for a couple of weeks, and then they won't steal cookies again. (Not the best analogy, I know, but it's just to illustrate the ideas. You can probably come up with better ones.)

    I really hope you think about this, and reconsider your views.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Robert, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 4:41am

    Please

    @David

    You say 5-10 years for a planned robbery. That is exactly what they did. I would give them that penalty then. They knew exactly what they were doing and that what they were doing was illegal and had legal consequences.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 4:59am

    I work at a school.

    Our network is as secure as we can make it. Our grades are not even on our servers, they are at the county level. While I agree that the charges are harsh, you have to look at the circumstances.

    Once you leave our domain to hack ANYTHING in the outside world, you have a different story.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    ViP, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 5:37am

    Re: take heed

    Nooo. Seriously? You think that's why they're being punished? How insightful!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Ix, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 6:23am

    Deep breaths and calm rational thinking

    Seriously people, take some deep breaths and think before posting. It really does help.

    The main issue at hand is that these 2 guys are facing a punishment was too harsh to be appropriate for what they did. All these people who spout off crap like "I'm at one of the top 5 engineering school" whining about how hard it is to get there and people saying "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime" probably A, know nothing about computers beyond how to use a web browser and B, probably know nothing about law. C could be that Mr. top 5 probably isn't in a school good enough to even be ranked, much less a top 5.

    Seriously, think about it, a grade change affects your GPA and might mean you can qualify for a degree program you're not ready for if they limit entry by GPA, which means at most these people affected 2 other students lives temporarily. Maybe some faculty/staff now need to check the books and get everything put back in order, which would take all of about 5 man hours tops, and the other 2 students would be in the right program a semester later when the 2 jokers fail out. So at most affecting about 4-6 people for a 3 month period tops, yet for this inconvenience they face up to 20 years in jail. Anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together can figure out this is excessive and that the laws are broken.

    Proving my point, I was required to take some law classes for my major, including one that focused only on computer law. The punishments for even minor computer infractions often are harsher than murder, which means either someone hacking their credit card to be debt free is more harmful than someone taking a machete and putting it through someone else's head, or the laws are broken. Having shared in the grief of friends and family friends who were left to pick up the pieces of their lives after losing their relatives to murder I can say with certainty that the laws are broken.

    Yeah, a top 5 school might be hard for you, I was in a top 10 but it was a cake walk for me so quite whining and going on about how these people ruin everything for you and should be harshly punished, they shouldn't, and anyone who doesn't live in a self-centered bubble can see that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    David, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 7:18am

    Re: Deep breaths and calm rational thinking

    Well said, except for the last paragraph. I agree with you though, the legal system/laws are broken. Seems like people strive for the extremes. Murderers should be locked up for life, people who do dumb things shouldn't expect any help from anyone, and so on. It's too individualistic. We are a society, and we need to take care of each other, damnit! Even those who make mistakes, and EVEN those who do bad things on purpose.

    And something to think about: a lot of you argue that these guys should pay quite a big price for their crime. Yet, I think most of you "illegally" download material from the internet, and I doubt you would be as understanding if it were YOU being fined $1M for downloading a few songs. I think you would be outraged at the magnitude of the punishment. By the way, those of you who feel that you don't "illegally" download anything from the web need not state so, because no one cares.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 7:35am

    Wow

    Three errors in four words.

    I think that's a record.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    Ix, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: Deep breaths and calm rational thinking

    Yeah, I kinda did lose my cool on that last paragraph, but after dealing with too many people like him at school I lost respect for that personality type. At my school at least the only people who cared about it's rank were the ones with GPAs within 0.3 points of failing out and were the same people who screamed bloody murder when someone smarted aced a test (getting yelled at for being too smart by people failing the same classes I'm taking is one of the few ways to tick me off fast).

    As for intelligent discussion. Extremes give us a nice black and white look though, which makes people comfortable when dealing with the law since we can then say you do action ABC you get the punishment that goes along with it. No mercy, no quarter, plain simple punishment that is harsh.

    The simple fact is while people are caught up in themselves even educating people about how some crimes are punished to an inappropriate level won't fix anything, especially if we must move people out of their comfortable black and white zone. As a society we must change our entire culture to look out for each other always, and then we must look at crimes and their full effects to determine proper punishments. We also have a strong need for people who actually know what they're talking about to advise judges and the jury about technical crimes, but sadly most court experts don't have a clue what a computer is much less what it does (ok, slight exaggeration, but some experts really are close to this bad). All too often experts wind up doing things that spoil the evidence in computer based cases, forgetting to make a back up of a hard drive before investigating it for illegal materials for example.

    With the RIAA we have so many examples of threat of large fines for something far too minor to justify those fines. Several thousand dollars in damages per song is way out of line, and the possibility of 20 years plus a quarter mil fine for changing grades is obscene, even if it doesn't get used.

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    David, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Deep breaths and calm rational thinkin

    If anything, the Internet and file sharers have probably favored the music industry overall.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Ix, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Deep breaths and calm rational thi

    [semi-rant]

    Actually a recent study done by the Canadian government showed that people who file share more songs buy more CDs with a mirrored increase. A direct correlation can not properly be established from this study, but one can say there is proof now that people who file share more do buy more CDs and that file sharing does not actually harm the industry in any provable way.

    Now some may say "but that's Canada" but this is the first study that hasn't been done by the RIAA or one of its many branches and I'd bet good money that the same holds true most places in the world. I realize that most people who post here would take the Canadian study at face value and accept it, but I aim to get all the arguments out of the way before some RIAA astroturfer finds this and says some crap.

    The study as I said is the first that wasn't done by one of the media organizations, the first study also that doesn't show billions or trillions of damages from piracy. It was also done in a controlled way that accounted for diversity in people/personalities by covering a large population over a moderately long time. It's the only study that hasn't been conducted using assumptions from the media groups as if they were facts, and the only one that can't be ripped apart by someone knowledgeable taking a look at it.

    [end semi-rant]

    So yeah, internet file sharing is at least related to buying more music.

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    anthony, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Wow

    that was stupid of you. your comment did not even stick to the wall...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Most are not that smart

    Huh? You mush have no sence in what you are saying. So lets say you downloaded Mac Os X 10.5 FOR x86 (not relesed offically by apple). Do you think you should get arested because you wanted to help apple in the spreading of MAC OS ?

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 2:01pm

    HACKING IS NOT A CRIME, NO MATTER WHAT. IT IS A WAY TO COMMUNICATE. I BELIEVE HACKING AND POETRY ARE THE SAME THING, THEY ARE JUST EXPRESSED ON DIFFRENT MEDIUMS.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Oh my god

    After having read through the first 20 or so comments, I'm astounded. How is putting people away for 20 years going to help anyone?

    It helps me. I like to see other people suffer because it makes me feel good. If I can't go out and take out my frustrations on people myself then I can at least get a vicarious thrill out of seeing it done on my behalf through the legal system. Kind of like how porn is a substitute for the real thing. So I say the tougher the penalty the better. And the more people in prison the better (as long as it isn't me). If the system wants my support then it better keep giving me what I want.

    Keeping people locked up costs a *lot* of money and resources.

    Maybe, but it's worth it.

    I don't support capital punishment at all (so many innocent people have been executed over the years).

    Too bad you weren't one of them.

    Do we keep people locked up simply to punish them, or to protect others from them?

    We do it because we like it.

    We don't beat the crap out of the child for taking a cookie from the jar.

    We're not allowed to do that directly. But we can convict him of theft and send him off to a boot camp where he will be beaten on our behalf. Then maybe we can read about it in the news (especially if they do a really good job and he dies). Still, not quite the same as doing it yourself though.

    I really hope you think about this, and reconsider your views.

    What's there to think about? Yeah, it's a compromise but then life is full of compromises. You can't always get what you really want.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 2:58pm

    Re:

    "HACKING IS NOT A CRIME, NO MATTER WHAT. IT IS A WAY TO COMMUNICATE. I BELIEVE HACKING AND POETRY ARE THE SAME THING, THEY ARE JUST EXPRESSED ON DIFFRENT MEDIUMS."

    Then maybe someday you can write a poem about all that "bubba love" you got while you were in prison for hacking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    *Noone*, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 6:25pm

    You'd think...

    You'd think they'd check the "digital grades" (computer) VS the "analog grades" (paper). So they change the grade, get quite a hefty fine, and 20 years in the slammer, while I knew someone who stole a teachers paper gradebook, and only got a few days of ISS. (In School Suspension) THAT is a little offset...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    anthony, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 6:12am

    haha at the comment above !!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 6:52pm

    well I guess i got lucky!!!!
    I hacked the fuck outta my school last year and got less than a "slap"! (the idiots found out after I graduated)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 6:54pm

    Re:

    how abour white hat hackers???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94.  
    identicon
    Ray, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 9:08pm

    I think the punishment is very harsh, but I would keep it that way... why? because it's not fair at all some people spend all their time trying to get a good education and not slacking in school then lazy pot head kid comes and just changes his grades, we know laws aren't ment to be broken if you do theres consequences you will face. And they should be harsh! so people don't break the law!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95.  
    identicon
    fierce, May 14th, 2008 @ 1:49pm

    i mean come on..20 years in jail? thats alot for changing a stupid grade. yeah so they hacked into the schools computer, gotta be some smart kids eyy?? anyways..20 years in jail is way to much for something like this i mean some people go to jail for 20 years for a murder. i think a fine is all thats needed for something like this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96.  
    identicon
    Funny, Jun 27th, 2010 @ 3:08pm

    Unfair

    20 years? Seriously, for doing MySQL injcections, you get minimum of 20 years imprisonment?
    That's unfair, the kids should only get an approximately 2-year imprisonment. Furthermore, why through those kids in jail? Why not put them in juvy, jail's taugh, don't you think?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97.  
    icon
    sam (profile), Feb 10th, 2014 @ 8:38pm

    Need Hacker

    Do you need a hacker for anything? contact me at samhart095 at gmail.com. serious clients only, NO BS

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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