Business and Law Features
Student steals passwords to bump up his grades
A former student from Orange County, California, has admitted carrying out a series of break-ins and hacks to improve his grades.
Omar Kahan, together with another student, started breaking into Tesoro High School's offices in 2008 to steal tests, change his grades and install spyware on the computers of several teachers and administrators.
Using the spyware, Kahan managed to get hold of the user name and password of his physics instructor and the registrar. he then accessed the classroom computer to change his test scores and grades.
In what was probably his biggest display of chutzpah, he broke into the administration offices one night to change his transcript grades and the grades of other students in the district’s grade database program.
The next morning, he asked for certified copies of these transcripts in order to appeal against his rejection by several colleges including the University of Southern California and the Universities of California, Berkeley and Los Angeles.
Khan has pleaded guilty to two counts of commercial burglary and one each of altering public records, stealing or removing public records, and attempting to steal or remove public records.
He'll be sentenced in August and is expected to receive 30 days in jail, three years of probation, 500 hours of community service, and over $14,900 in restitution.
His co-defendant, Tanvir Singh, pleaded guilty in 2008 to attempting to steal or remove public records and to computer access and fraud. He was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and three years of formal probation.