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Court Sentences Utah University Student For Hacking

A student of University of Utah admitted making illegal access of a university computer system to improve his grades. You Li applied software to decrypt the password of a math professor's computer account and changed his grades. The court imposed a four-months imprisonment on Li.

Li had actually accessed a backup file, so his hacking could not change the official record. The professor maintained the original mark sheet on a laptop computer therefore despite Li's efforts the primary report remained unscathed.

Li admitted to the U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell that he used the professor's username and password to lay a hand on his grades. He also read the professor's e-mails and captured information relating to his bank account. He told Judge Campbell that he had nothing to deny his actions, and that he wanted to lead an honest life from then on.

Li committed this offense in December 2004, when he was studying for an undergraduate degree in computer science. He pleaded guilty on two counts; one for hacking a protected computer in an attempt to launch a fraud, and the other to gather information from another protected PC.

Li presented a written description of his offense in which he mentioned using a software or a "hacker's tool" to decrypt the password of his professor. He then found an excel sheet, which listed the names of all his fellow mates and their respective grades on tests and assignments.

He wrote that in order to improve his overall grades that his professor assigned him he changed a few of his grades. He even changed one failing grade to a passing one.

Federal prosecutors wanted that Li should get a one-year incarceration. But Campbell described Li as repenting and his crime was a deviation of his mind. It would be all right if he served his sentence in jail or in a halfway house.

In the opinion of assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Garland, Li's crime necessitated a punishment to set a lesson for other students of computer science. The U.S. Justice Department was particularly concerned that organized crime groups could recruit such students.

Related article: Court Acquits Student From Generating Fake Boarding Passes

» SPAMfighter News - 11-01-2007

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