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.

Filed Under: grade changing, hackers, identity theft

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  1. identicon
    Jaywon, 5 Nov 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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