Curve Breaker: Temple University Student Convicted of Hacking Into School System To Improve Grades

Temple University Edwin T. Kim, 31, has received a criminal conviction and two-years probation after pleading guilty to hacking into the school’s system to improve his grades. The tampering with records violation was discovered by one of his professors who found herself locked out of the system in trying to enter grades. What is remarkable however is the temerity of Kim who changed his F grade in a couple of classes to an A-.

I am fascinated by the choice of the faux grade. Rather than showing restraint and changing the grade to a B, Kim decided he deserved an A, but not a full A.

The first change was discovered in an accounting course. Later, two other professors found that their grades (in financial management and law and American society) had mysteriously moved from Fs that he had received from them also were upgraded to As. It appears that he relied entirely on hacking in seeking a higher GPA. It was remarkably stupid since, even without the access problem of the professor, most academics look closely at Fs in their class and there was a fair chance of detection in the regular course of business.

Kim had to work hard not to work on his studies. He used a “key logger” device that captures key strokes on a computer. After installing the device in a university computer, he was able to withdraw the device a few days later with the identification numbers and passwords of his professors. That is a pretty premeditated and outrageous act. He is fortunate to get only probation since his actions violated privacy protections for all of the students as well as the faculty.

Source: Philly Burbs

11 thoughts on “Curve Breaker: Temple University Student Convicted of Hacking Into School System To Improve Grades

  1. While he is a very clever young man he is not very bright. I went long before the days of online records but do work in IT security. I would have changed several people’s grades & even then I would never have moved an F – but then again I never would have had too. Even in the good old days I felt you had to work to get an F unless you were just really over your head in which case maybe that line of education was not an option.

  2. The sad thing is that all too many schools have laughably poor security. Young people who have grown up using computers understand them far better than the faculty and staff.

  3. Why were they so dumb to put the grades into a computer. They can have a one stop book on a shelf protected by a custodian that watches whoever takes the book from the shelf. If I want sonny boys grades I submit a request in writing and a staffer does the record check.

  4. Back in the 70’s I was friendly with a man who had a politically powerful Uncle. The Uncle had a political appointment ready for him at a very high level job, with a major NYC Agency. My friend, a handsome and very mild looking person, managed to access his file at his University, during a lunch shift and change a particularly pertinent grade for this new job from a C to an A. I was amazed at how this innocent-looking individual, could have pulled this off and due to it went on to have a long, well-paying career in the upper reaches of NYC government. He was also a very successful shoplifter. He had previously been surreptitiously discharged from a sinecure with this Uncle’s personal enterprise for embezzlement of funds. Failing upward is made possible by one’s heritage, as Donald Trump’s notoriety testifies.

    My problem is that I’ve always been plagued by undue honesty, mixed with existential guilt for every ill befalling mankind. Otherwise, I “coulda been a contender”.

    In the above instance one must gasp at the brazenness of this student and wonder whether his misfeasance is the result of sociopathy, or terminal laziness.

  5. Oh please, cheating has played a vital role in the Education of America. Have you ever spoken to many of our college grads? I read where a number of business leaders consider many college grads extremely very poor verbal and written communicators. Most college grads can’t even explain how free enterprise has worked in providing the world with its many products and more importantly the negative ramifications of taxation and regulation on free enterprise. They don’t understand it’s the lack of the govenment run judicial system to cure the injustices created by imperfections of free enterprise and that only free maket cures can cure those imperfections. How well did regulators do with Bernie Madoff and a host of other ripp off artists involved in corporate corruption and collusion with government?

  6. One of the world renowned hackers from decades ago is or was high up in the GOP not so long ago.

    Guess why the CIA, etc. has used hackers in the past … ??

  7. “Oh please, cheating has played a vital role in the Education of America.”

    H.Skip Robinson,

    I agree, but I never cheated in school and was a lazy and disruptive student.
    I viewed most teachers as pompous asses and the only thing that energized me to pass, was beating them at their own game within, their own rules. It was very satisfying and got this “C” student into the Ivy League, on scholarship.

  8. Heck when I was at temple I had 3 A’s and was going to get a B in the fourth class. I merely talked the prof into giving me an A do I could get my 4.0 I guess Kim figured he was a better hacker then possible convincer

  9. H.Skip – What does this mean: “They don’t understand it’s the lack of the govenment run judicial system to cure the injustices created by imperfections of free enterprise and that only free maket cures can cure those imperfections.”
    ** “Government run” is not needed as a modified for “judicial system” by the way. Most would understand the reference.
    ** What are “the imperfections of free enterprise” to which you allude?
    ** Can the free market cure itself?

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