Feeds

Cash-for-grade probe may result in felony charges for 84 students

College admins receive crash-course in security

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

As many as 84 people could face felony charges for participating in a bribery scandal in which student employees of a community college in Northern California charged as much as $600 per grade to change their classmates' computer transcripts. There's no word yet if administrators who failed to police their networks will take a whack as well.

Police investigators suspect a core group of student employees at the Diablo Valley College (DVC) concocted the scam by seizing on an unusually lax security policy that permitted more than 100 people to access the network that housed the college's grade system. Registrars from other schools generally say no more than five employees should have the ability to change grades and students should not be among them, according to an article in the Contra Costa Times.

The number of employees with network privileges proliferated gradually over the years, as managers repeatedly asked system admins to grant access to new employees. Student workers took advantage of other oversights, including authorized network users who stepped away from their desks without first locking their machines.

The alleged scheme lasted more than three years and only came to light through anonymous tips given to administrators. It seems some co-workers of the suspects began to wonder how they could afford so many trips to Las Vegas.

Following a 15-month investigation, campus police at DVC, about 30 miles east of San Francisco, say they are close to submitting evidence to prosecutors in Contra Costa County. Felony charges could be filed against as many as 84 people.

Many of the suspects have already transferred to prestigious four-year universities, including the University of California at Berkeley and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The investigation has led to nationwide suspicion of DVC transcripts from schools considering admitting applicants from the two-year college.

Since learning of the suspected scandal, college administrators have removed access to the DVC's transcript network for all but 11 employees and grade changes must be approved by a panel of senior records administrators.

Oh and we almost forgot: employees are now required to block access to their computers when they go to the loo. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.