Three Purdue Students Hacked into Professors' Accounts to Change Grades

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Three former students of Purdue University have been accused of hacking into their professors' computers so they could change their grades.

The students were Roy Chaoran Sun, an electrical engineering major, Mitsutoshi Shirasaki, an aeronautics and astronautics major, and Sujay Sharma, a nuclear engineering major.

They changed grades between 2008 and 2012.

While Sharma only acted as the lookout and changed one of his grades, Sun changed nine Fs and one incomplete to straight As. 

Shirasaki also changed 24 grades between 2010 and 2012, changing some fails to As and Bs.

"This was…students who were very smart, who decided to take their knowledge and their wisdom and used it for things they shouldn't have used it for," Purdue Police Chief John Cox said. "Obviously, there will be consequences for that."

Shirasaki said that Sun taught him how to access the accounts. They broke into offices overnight and switched the keyboards. Once they left the keyboards there for some time, they stole the keyboards back. Since the keyboards logged keystrokes, they were able to figure out the professors' passwords.

While it was an intricate plot, it was foiled when an engineering professor contacted IT security services because his password was changed twice, once in November and December. 

They found out that the professor's account was used to change a student's grade.

Shirasaki was identified as a suspect since he was logged into the university's wireless network while he hacked into the professor's account.

Sharma and Sun have been arrested but Shirasaki is in Japan.

The three face multiple charges, including conspiracy to commit computer tampering, conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to commit computer trespass. 

Sources: Daily Mail, IndyStar