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
    Boris, 5 Nov 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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