We all know very well that probably we have all dreamed about the possibility of hacking the notes: modify a simple number that can help to take away tens of hours of suffering. Despite being illegal, a student wanted to carry out this idea, and managed to change his grade more than 90 times, and steal more than a dozen exams.
OMG! This Student Hacked Grades 90+ Times, Stole Almost A Dozen Test Papers
Trevor Graves changed his grades more than 90 times during 21 months
The student in question is Trevor Graves, a 22-year-old former student at the University of Lowa. The hacking method he used was relatively simple: installing a keylogger on computers used by teachers. This is usually solved by resetting each session on the computers of the teachers so that when they start, they do not load any program or malware installed in the previous session. However, in the computers of the University of Lowa this did not happen.
This entire process of changing grades, tests and assignments lasted 21 months (between March 2015 and December 2016), until a teacher discovered that the grades of Graves had been changed without their authorization, informing the technicians and security managers of the campus.
The investigation, carried out by the FBI, showed that Graves changed the notes in those 21 months more than 90 times, as well as those of at least five other colleagues, including business, engineering and chemistry subjects. Other Graves colleagues told the FBI that he had shared more than 10 exams before its conclusion. Many users say that they accepted to see the exam so as not to get bad marks compared to their classmates.
Up to 20 years in prison for changing notes and stealing exams using hacks
In the raid on Graves’ house in January, the FBI intercepted the keyloggers, mobiles and USB flash drives with copies of the exams. On Graves’ mobile, there was a photo of him accessing a teacher’s email, where an email with the subject of “Exam” was visible.
On the mobile, there were messages with other colleagues that he used as henchmen. For example, I would tell a classmate to go to a class to see if a teacher logs into their account, and they referred to the keylogger as “Pineapple” or “Hand of God .” In the message where he called the keylogger with this last name, he affirmed that “the less people know about their existence, the better it will work”.
The investigation, the traps and the improvements in security have generated to the university a cost of 68,000 dollars. Trevor Graves has charges of unauthorized access to computers to obtain information, and of transmitting a computer program to cause damage. Both charges amount to a prison sentence of up to 10 years.