Mom hacks into school computer system to change kids’ grades

The following ‘Globe and Mail‘ article describes the legal/criminal consequences that a mother now faces for hacking her children’s school computer network to change their grades.

“Allegedly, Ms. Venusto admitted she improved her children’s marks and recognized that it was an unethical decision, but added she didn’t know it was illegal.”

Yes it is illegal and will likely involved some jail or prison time.

This reminds me of a hacking incident  to which I was privy in my own life.

The first dates back to my days in high school back in the mid-1990s.  When I was in grade 11, two guys in OAC (Ontario Academic Credit Year, aka grade 13) hacked our schools internal network–via the school’s computer lab– to improve their grades. Both were very good students with good reputations. They were  not in the super popular crowd but were well liked and respected by teachers, administration and their peers.

These young men had always done well in school with averages in the 80% . At this time grade inflation didn’t happen–at least not at our school.  They were motivated by the desire to get better scholarships and improve their chances to get into their first choice schools.  They got caught in February or March  of  1994. All their hopes and dreams of attending a post-secondary institution fell apart. They were expelled. All the credits earned that year were rescinded. This hack went on their transcripts. I learned from a mutual acquaintance that even though both guys completed high school with good grades in the 80% range the next year neither received acceptance  to university. No institution  would accept them because of this significant ethical blight on their academic record.  They were 18 or 19 when this happened and were lucky that they were not officially charged with breaking the law. Today in Ontario they would be charged! Although they escaped getting a criminal record, this ethical violation forever altered their goals, opportunities and lives.


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