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Students Hack High School Computers To Change Grades

A senior and a fresh graduate from a Cherry Hill High School were arrested for stealing data from protected computers. Authorities accused them for hacking into the school computer system to change the grades of four other students, according to police and school officials on January 9, 2007.

The arrested person Johathan To, 18 who graduated from the elite high school in 2006 would bear a 10-years incarceration if proved guilty. The other high school senior who is 17 years old and whose name the police have withheld could be sent to prison in juvenile facility when he becomes an adult and is proved guilty.

To was supposed to appear in court on January 12, 2007. He immediately returned to a call asking for comment. The court did not make any immediate hearing for the senior student.

According to William J. Kushina Jr., police spokesman of Cherry Hill, these defacers were not failing students who wanted to change their marks to passing grades. They were those brilliant students who desired to change their rankings. So they made minor changes.

They also changed the grades of five students for the 2005-2006 annual sessions, said Susan Bastnagel, a spokeswoman for the district. She said the students acquired access to school computers by making unauthorized use of passwords. During a routine audit the tampered grades came into light.

The school is disciplining the student charged with the cyber crime and four others, said Bastnagel.

In December 2006, Kushina cited a source (without mentioning the name) that knew something about the internal investigation of the school district. He reported that at least five students paid to improve their grades. Kushina, however, did not say if the alleged hackers got any payment for their act.

The Cherry Hill High School is one of the best in the affluent Philadelphia suburbs. It has strength of 2,200 students of which nearly everyone graduates. 98 percent students belonging to the 2005 class aimed directly for college.

After the particular case, the school sent letters to college admission officials assuring that the students' mark sheets and college applications this year were accurate.

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