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University of Kansas student used keylogger to change grades

University of Kansas is the latest victim of a cybersecurity breach which may lead to further problems in the higher education sector.

University of Kansas professors are concerned their data may be at risk, after an engineering student used a keylogger to change his failing grades to straight A’s, after stealing their login credentials to the grading platform.

Although the hack occurred in the 2016-2017 academic year, university administrators failed to inform the faculty who only found out about the hack last week in a meeting with the dean of the School of Engineering.

“He may never even have gotten caught, but he got greedy,” said Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, professor of aerospace engineering at KU and president of the KU chapter of the American Association of University Professors. “It does look a little suspicious when you are on academic probation and the dean’s honor roll at the same time.”

Keystroke loggers are cheap and easy to get on the web for less than $50. Because they record any information typed on the computer, University of Kansas professors are concerned their data has been exposed, allowing hackers to tamper with their private information such as Social Security Numbers, log in credentials for the human resources platform and bank accounts.

“A person could change the routing number on payroll direct deposit and have a faculty member’s payroll dumped into a different account,” Barrett-Gonzalez added. The students’ behavior “transcends student conduct violation and goes into criminal. It is a security breach.”

About the author

Luana PASCU

From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.

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