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Student Faces 38 Years In Prison For Hacking Grades

CowboyNeal posted more than 6 years ago | from the wrath-of-kahn dept.

The Courts 645

the brown guy writes "An 18-year-old high school student named Omar Kahn is charged with 69 felonies for hacking into a school computer and modifying his grades, among other things. He changed his C, D and F grades to As, and changed 12 other students grades as well. By installing a remote access program on the school's server, Kahn was able to also change his AP scores and distribute test answer keys, and could be looking at a lengthy prison term. Not surprisingly, his parents (who have only recently immigrated to America) have decided not to post the $50,000 bail and Kahn is in jail awaiting trial."

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Not a good hacker. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884481)

He got caught - unlike me, because I didn't brag about it on a public web site...

Re:Not a good hacker. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884719)

It's how many criminals are caught, by bragging and showing off. Not smart.

A for effort? (5, Insightful)

theascended (1228810) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884483)

Even being a security researcher I might find some of those tasks non-trivial. In highschool I'm pretty sure that kind of action was out of my league. He has certainly learned something.

Re:A for effort? (4, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884503)

Including breaking and entering, stealing, and how to receive stolen property.

In these post 9/11 times... (1, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884637)

...priorities have changed. We see our government running rough-shod over the laws it holds us to, and we think, why must I follow these laws too? If the gov't can remove freedoms, liberties and rights in the name of 'homeland security' why can't I too bend/break the rules in the name of 'financial security' for my family?

Re:In these post 9/11 times... (4, Interesting)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884705)

Because its not about 'Us vs Government' in this case, its about 'Us vs Us' - this wasn't a crime against the nation or government, it was a crime that has the potential to reduce other peoples efforts at education.

Re:In these post 9/11 times... (4, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884813)

I'd tend to agree with you, if we were talking about adults trying to take care of their families. Surely, there are at least SOME desperate people out there who feel like govt. has caused much of their financial hardship in recent years - and they have to "step things up a notch" to get back out of the hole they've fallen into.

But we're talking about a high-school student here. His biggest responsibility in life is probably his schooling, and *earning* his grades. I think it's a stretch to claim his cheating via computer hacking was motivated by post 9-11 events. Rather, it's the simple desire to find short-cuts to "get ahead by any means possible".

I agree with the people who say he probably "learned something" with his hacking efforts. I also agree that they're brining a lot of "trumped up" charges against him here. (Conspiracy charges? Uh, right..... His scheme SURELY was really all about undermining our government to overthrow it with his fake A in math!)

Nonetheless, they can't just let this go with a "slap on the wrist" either. Too many students spent a whole year of their lives working to earn those letter grades the right way.

Re:A for effort? (5, Insightful)

internetcommie (945194) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884555)

If he had put that much effort into studying and learned what he was supposed to, maybe he wouldn't have had to alter any records to get A's?

Re:A for effort? (-1, Troll)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884793)

Here's a news flash: You don't learn anything at public schools in America. The so-called education system is strictly in place so as to mold said persons into the perfect citizen. That is why you're fed lies throughout history class and then forced by fellow students to conform socially. It is an elaborate system with the sole purpose of beating down your spirit before you enter the "real world", since no one would want a free minded, critical thinking, liability to society walking around untrained and untainted.

This kid was learning to survive in a modern world, and that is far more important than all of the music classes in the world. It's just too bad that he was stupid enough to get caught, as he is definitely viewed as being outside of the system now--a threat to conventional thinking.

Lessons (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884709)

I would hope he learned that he either shouldn't be doing it, or shouldn't get caught, otherwise he can should probably learn to get used to being in jail.

Re:A for effort? (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884927)

He still deserves to be punished for it, and he will be. He won't receive 38 years though, I could tell you that much without reading more than the headline.

He'll probably receive a few years and get out after a couple of years on good behavior, and know not to put the kids who earned their marks at an unfair disadvantage in the future.

Let's not make this kid into another Lamo; he doesn't deserve it.

Re:A for effort? (1)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884947)

I grew up in Europe. Cheating on tests in school is nothing foreign to public school students, so it's evident this kid brought that mentality with him here and thought he would get away with it. A lot of grade-keeping databases keep hashes and blind copies of grades stores in other places so it's likely that's how he got nailed.

A better list of charges (4, Informative)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884491)

Here is the list of charges against Khan

34 felony counts of altering public record
11 felony counts of stealing and secreting public records
7 felony counts of illegal computer access and fraud
6 felony counts of burglary
4 felony counts of identity theft
3 felony counts of altering book of records
2 felony counts of receiving stolen property
1 felony count of conspiracy
1 felony count of attempting altering of a public record

Re:A better list of charges (4, Funny)

Bandman (86149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884525)

"You said altering records twice"

"I like altering records"

Re:A better list of charges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884551)

Wow. I agree that he should be punished, but 38 years is ridiculous.

He didn't commit murder; he didn't even hurt anyone physically. I think prison terms should be limited to the current age of the person for crimes that don't physically harm someone.

Re:A better list of charges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884569)

On the sixth day of trials, Omar Khan was charged with
6 counts of burglary
5 changed grades
4 counts of identity theft
3 counts of altering records
2 counts of receiving stolen property
and a partridge in a pear tree!

Re:A better list of charges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884863)

reason number 423 why i will never understand legal jargon:

"11 felony counts of stealing and secreting public records"

how do you steal and "secreting" (???) PUBLIC records... especially if this information is electronic, it's not like he walked off with the one and only hard copy that they had. (or maybe he did?)

Re:A better list of charges (5, Funny)

mauthbaux (652274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884875)

Well, if his current modus operandi continues, I suspect the court's records will soon show his list of charges as being:

34 felony counts of awesomeness
11 felony counts of 1337 5ki11z.
7 felony counts of pwning n00bs.
6 felony counts of acting as an electronics deity.
4 felony counts of extreme overclocking.
3 felony counts of proving the Goldbach conjecture.
2 felony counts of saving the world from the Covenant.
1 felony count of conspiracy to pwn.
1 felony count of actually winning a fight against Chuck Norris.

it'll be reduced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884493)

to like 3-5

Cumulative... (5, Insightful)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884497)

Summary is unnecessarily sensational.

I'm willing to bet the 38 years is if he gets convicted for all the charges, and doesn't get any concurrent sentencing - very unlikely.

Re:Cumulative... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884581)

Yes and no.

No doubt this is what he's being threatened with in the initial rounds of poker style plea bargain negotiations.

If he told took a principled stand, they would probably only prosecute for the charges they thought they could prove. This would not add up to 38 years. Even if they did prosecute him for all of them, and he was found guilty of all of them, it's still unlikely that he would be dealt the full sentence.

ST2 greets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884505)

"Khaaaaaaaaan!"

Jail time, that will teach him (2, Insightful)

sanferrera (800725) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884509)

It's amazing how they can turn a talented, although with obvious problems kid, into an outwright criminal. He is 18, for God's sake!!

Re:Jail time, that will teach him (4, Insightful)

Bandman (86149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884537)

Well, I'm not going to argue that he's obviously talented, but that's the sort of talent that gets you thrown into jail when misapplied

Re:Jail time, that will teach him (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884689)

You sir, are and idiot and and asshole.

Re:Jail time, that will teach him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884817)

This post not meant at you, rather the guy that seems to think it's ok to send a kid to prison for 38 years for this.

Re:Jail time, that will teach him (4, Insightful)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884613)

If he is guilty of those charges, he is a criminal. Those actions undermine society's trust in the system that if someone graduates from an institution and that institution certifies that the student did what the records say they did, they may or may not be qualified for jobs, further education, etc. While 38 years is certainly harsh, that is criminal behavior. Our education system is far from perfect but guys like this certainly do not help make it better.

I would much rather that he applied himself to do well in school and set a good example of what good behavior, studying, and hard work can do when working with the grain, not against it.

Re:Jail time, that will teach him (1)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884867)

> Those actions undermine society's trust in the system
> that if someone graduates from an institution (...)

Makes me think, how many did not get caught?

Re:Jail time, that will teach him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884699)

Yes, it would be nice if we could be more forgiving until kids reach an age where they can be responsible for their own actions. Like, 18.

Re:Jail time, that will teach him (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884717)

He seemed to accomplish that himself - not that I disagree that jail time will harden him however.

Re:Jail time, that will teach him (4, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884723)

I don't know. If you are willing to break into the school's system to improve your grades, and generally compromise their data, I am not sure it is _they_ turning you into a criminal. I think, if you do that, _you_ are already over the line.

Re:Jail time, that will teach him (1)

Libertarian001 (453712) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884739)

No, this kid turned himself into a criminal. Were there no laws on the books prohibiting his actions he would still deserve a serious ass-kicking.

Yes, he's 18, old enough to know better.

Re:Jail time, that will teach him (4, Informative)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884845)

The 'he's only a kid!' defense does not apply to someone who is legally an adult.

Also, he is an outright criminal. This isn't just Ferris Bueller slipping in to adjust his grades a little because he's too cool for school. Burglary, identity theft, multiple counts of fraud? Bueller? Bueller?

Huh? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884865)

How 'they' turned him into a criminal? He broke the law. Probably several laws. He is 18. By that age people should know right from wrong. Is it worth 38 years? Not even close. In fact I'd be in favor of probation rather than a jail sentence. However, 'they' didn't turn him into a criminal. He did.

What happened to common sense? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884511)

Sure the kid is an idiot, but does he deserve 38 years? That's insane.

Kick him out of school. Hold him back a year. Put him to work in community service.

People who think he deserves 38 years in prison for being a teenage idiot probably deserve to be in prison themselves.

Re:What happened to common sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884545)

It's more a case of the sentancing for the number of crimes adding up. They probably could push for a more lenient sentance, but they're probably embarrassed that their security is so poor that some "teenage idiot" could break in to their school computer system. It's a little like how a string of petty burglaries can easily net you far more prison time than a one-off murder.

Re:What happened to common sense? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884629)

It hasn't been decided that he is going to spend 38 years in prison just yet.

It wouldn't be shocking if he spends 10 though.

Re:What happened to common sense? (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884735)

38 years? 10? What's the "correct" number?

Remember that these numbers are thrown about by people who wouldn't want to spend a SINGLE NIGHT in prison.

Yes there must be consequences for his actions. But YEARS in jail? This kid isn't really a "threat" to society or someone who needs to be, what's the word they like to use now? - rehabilitated... It's just a dumb kid who needs to be taught a lesson. 38 years, or 10, or even 1 will probably break him and ensure that society gains yet another underachieving, useless supermarket bagger (if that).

Re:What happened to common sense? (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884873)

I don't know, the B&E charge shows quite a lack of judgment. If he'll break into a school to fix his grades, it is likely that he'll embezzle without hesitation, lie, cheat, steal, etc. each and every time that he thinks he can get away with it.

I'm all for making the penal system as improvement based as possible (after all, taking care of someone is expensive, and 'hardening' them is a poor outcome), but the news on the ground shows that there also needs to be a deterrent aspect (large numbers of people consistently act in a manner that shows no regard for society or others).

Kamp Krusty (5, Funny)

russoc4 (1223476) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884513)

"You know, a D turns into a B so easily. You just got greedy."

They don't know the half of it... (4, Funny)

Recovering Hater (833107) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884515)

Just wait until they find out what he has done to WOPR.

Re:They don't know the half of it... (1)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884693)

World of Public Relationscraft?

Re:They don't know the half of it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884765)

Just wait until they find out what he has done to WOPR.
He added cheese!

Correction (2, Informative)

poeidon1 (767457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884529)

its not Kahn (repeated several times in post) but Khan

The name (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884619)

its not Kahn (repeated several times in post) but Khan

No matter how you slice it, it sounds like one of those brown-skinned-terrorist names. I wonder what his sentence would have been if it were "Biff Jones".

Re:Correction (4, Funny)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884725)

You mean KHAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNN?

(additional caps-filter dodging text goes here)

Re:Correction (1)

PetoskeyGuy (648788) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884749)

So this is how it starts. Soon he'll be genetically-enhancing his followers, going into suspended animation and then who knows what else...

Re:Correction (1)

Binkleyz (175773) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884755)

Ok, sorry, can't resist..

Khaan!!!! [khaaan.com]

Khaan!!!! [khaaan.com]

What would 38 years in prison achieve? (1, Insightful)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884531)

Surely a combination of barring him from ever entering an academic instution again, access to computers, heavy community service, etc etc would be more of an effective punishment then the state feeding, clothing and sheltering this guy for 38 years. I'm not being soft on the guy but it seems like if he had commited a violent crime he would have been looking at less time.

Re:What would 38 years in prison achieve? (1)

Captain Centropyge (1245886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884639)

Most likely, he won't see much prison time, if any. But asking what good prison does is complete ignorance. Should these crimes be treated without any real threat of punishment? He's 18, and he's obviously smart enough to commit this type of crime. There's no reason to think he shouldn't have known it was illegal, and carried possibly major consequences. After all, it's not like he's the first one to get busted for the same exact thing.

Re:What would 38 years in prison achieve? (4, Insightful)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884871)

With all due respect but disregarding what good prison would do this kid as "complete ignorance" is ignorance in itself. The kid is 18, even if he saw just a year of jail time, you mix him up with all kinds of career criminals you end up getting out something worse than what you put in. Or you could belive the incarcaration industry that he will come out a reformed character. Tag him, limit his activities, get him to do community service that gives a net gain instead of the cost of sheltering and feeding from the state.

I'm not against prison, I just think there are more effective ways of punishing him.

Re:What would 38 years in prison achieve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884651)

The 38 years is most likely prison term if he were to be convicted on all counts and the judge sentenced him to serve consecutive sentences.

More likely, even if he is convicted on all counts, much of it will be set to be served concurrently.

Re:What would 38 years in prison achieve? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884655)

If he mugged 50 people he would probably be facing more time.

One good thing to do is to wait and see what his actual sentence is before worrying to much about a miscarriage of justice.

Re:What would 38 years in prison achieve? (1)

Binkleyz (175773) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884827)

Or, I suppose that we could place him into suspended animation and send him (and a few of his hack3r buddies) into space....

That would certainly keep him from, say, mucking about with his genes and turning himself into some sort of charismatic leader while attempting to take over the world.

Well, this time we are safe (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884533)

At least they got him before he starts World War III.

OK, it's a terrible joke, but someone had to do it.

Huh. (-1, Troll)

AkaKaryuu (1062882) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884543)

The kid can do all that... but wouldn't take the time to actually study and make an honest living? Surely he didn't think this would go unnoticed. Maybe the prison system will teach him some common sense and to always keep a bottle of petrolium jelly on hand.

Unbelievable (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884553)

Really? 38 years? This kind of thing really ought to be a fine. And, even more, the school ought to be ashamed that they didn't secure their system correctly.

Even for breaking & entering / burglary... 38 years is insane... though not unexpected in our runaway legal system.

PUNISHMENT FITS THE CRIME (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884579)

He didn't just accidentally probe/exploit something, he INTENTIONALLY did this with malicious intent! I can't believe the Slashdot crowd automatically goes on the defensive and supports this guy. Not only did he physically compromise the computers in school, he installed software so he could connect from home to the school.

I think 3 years in jail might put a spook into him, but anything longer than 10 years is too long.

Re:PUNISHMENT FITS THE CRIME (4, Insightful)

Paranatural (661514) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884663)

Who is supporting him? No one is saying he did a good thing, they are just saying 38 years is pretty insane for changing some grades. You can get less time for killing someone. Or maybe even two someones.

Re:PUNISHMENT FITS THE CRIME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884921)

He won't get 38 years, it's the standard charge him with everything and add up the maximum sentences. Since "killing someone" is one crime of course on average you get less for it than the maximum penalties of 69 felonies added together.

And he certainly deserves a serious penalty - not going into prison in high school and coming out when you are in your fifties though.

The good news is that the school noticed, otherwise you have a dozen people getting into college and doing the same thing there. That's the "A student" accountant you want managing your money, or the "A student" engineer designing the bridge you drive to work over...

Re:PUNISHMENT FITS THE CRIME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884721)

Your confusing the reaction to the absurdity of the potential imprisonment with people defending him. The only question here is the punishment and whether jail time is required and home much if so or if another punishment is needed. The little dumb ass deserves something but bare minimum I suggest is all of his grades for the year be revoked and he be forced to repeat his last year and some jail time for the break and enters, at least his summer and he can be released just in time to start his school year over again.

Sensationalist? (2, Insightful)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884587)

Forget the post being sensationalist, what about the legal system? What kind of legal system (or university or whoever is bringing the prosecution) pushes for 40 years for this kind of thing? Clearly not one that expects to do any public good...

Re:Sensationalist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884901)

I wonder what would happen if the 18-yr old son of a white Hollywood star were caught doing similar. Would "Preston" be facing 38 years in the can? Instead, I'm sure we'd be hearing about what a "great kid" he was but how he was maybe too much of a prankster "kind of like his dad", etc.

One can only hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884593)

that Kirk works for the school's IT department.

KHAAAAAAAAAAAAN!

My school server is just as bad (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884599)

My school server (NetWare) is just as bad. Posted anonymously for obvious reasons.

First off, desktops are fairly locked down. But the server itself allows for RDP connections with any username (not just teachers or students).

When you're on any old desktop, you can only access your own network share as a virtual drive. When you're connected to the school server, you get:
-Any documents (class of 2006 or 2007, class of 2008-2011, teachers, ADMINS)
-Network shares with installer sources and keys in text files (e.x. Microsoft Office 2007 Pro Plus with VLK, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9, EasyGrade Pro 3, Houghton Mifflin Test Generator to accompany textbooks, etc.)
-Access to the attendance share (which is outsourced, but the administrative login is kept on said server in house)
-Access to backups from the other schools (junior high, intermediate, elementary)

I was appalled when I found this out. For ethical reasons (and the legal penalties), I decided not to tell anyone or anything. Mainly because in 8th grade, my friend got his computer privileges suspended for the year when we told the computer staff that you could get a command prompt through Internet Explorer, and he almost got a disciplinary record over it.

We tried to help them, and he got in trouble (luckily, no legal issues).(We'd send NET SEND messages to other computers - e.g. "Jane, this is the computer. That's a nice purple sweater you're wearing :)", freaked a lot of people out).

Ever since, whenever I've found a computer issue, I've kept my mouth shut, because it's not worth the trouble.


More on topic...this guy has what's coming to him. I think 38 years is too harsh (maybe a couple of years and more punishment in probation), but his malicious intent and clear intent makes me have no sympathy for him.

Re:My school server is just as bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884703)

Also... the above wouldn't be as bad if there weren't student/student and teacher/teacher username/password combos. Yes, you do have your firstinitial last name login with a custom password, but with generic logins, you can do damage without giving the school your name.

Mod parent up (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884769)

Because he gives a good example (his friend's computer privileges) of how a paranoid system deters white hat hackers, so the field is left to the real criminals.
Did you notice how reports about benevolent hackers have become rare over the last years, while computer criminality flourishes?

Re:My school server is just as bad (3, Funny)

William Robinson (875390) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884809)

"Jane, this is the computer. That's a nice purple sweater you're wearing :)"

Sweater???? You took all risk just to send message about sweater?? Jesus!!

Re:My school server is just as bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884815)

>My school server (NetWare) is just as bad.
>But the server itself allows for RDP connections

NetWare doesn't support RDP, nor does it have "shares".

It's probably a Windows-based server of some kind that hasn't been secured properly.

NET SEND is a Windows networking command (from the old days of DOS networking), it uses SMB (Server Message Block), not NCP.

Re:My school server is just as bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884925)

Net send is not NCP. I'm aware of that. It was a separate example...one of how knee jerk the school IT staff can be.

Well, the RDP server is Windows 2k3 based as a frontend for the shares, which are connected via NCP.

Maybe my post was unclear, but I was just trying to make the point that these systems aren't particularly secure (so "hacking" might be simply logging in) and that the school is so ridiculous that it's impossible to report vulnerabilities that might be used maliciously in the future.

Re:My school server is just as bad (1)

Trekologer (86619) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884949)

I feel your pain... you want to do the right thing but are surrounded by techno-morons who don't understand the technology are are usually afraid of the students that do.

In 8th grade, the computer lab network of Macs in my school stopped working one day while the computer teacher was out sick. Naturally, I, the only in the classroom with any knowledge or skills of or with computers in general, got the blame for doing "something" to cause the network to stop working. The computer teacher didn't know what I aledgidly did or how I did it, but it had to be me. I got sent to the principal's office and the network was down for three days whil they called a repairman (the teacher also threatened to send my parents the bill since it was obviously something I did).

Luckilly for me, the principal believed me over the computer teacher. When the repairman arrived, he quickly found the source of the probem... the AppleTalk PhoneNet modules in one of the computers was loose.

So now... (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884617)

We USians in a society that threatens to throw its students in jail for 40 years for changing grades.

If your a young person. Consider moving to Canada.

Re:So now... (4, Funny)

jo7hs2 (884069) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884681)

You're post. suggests that perhaps you USian may have needed to. Change a few grades to survive in skool.

Re:So now... (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884797)

I meant to write "Well, USians."

Re:So now... (1)

Binkleyz (175773) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884869)

That wouldn't really help all that much.

Quick tip- You're means "You are". Your means "belonging to you". You're != Your.

Re:So now... (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884943)

Frankly, that would have just made your post even more unintelligible

Re:So now... (1)

Tralfamadorian (115732) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884919)

We USians in a society that threatens to throw its students in jail for 40 years for changing grades.

If your a young person. Consider moving to Canada.

Threatening to move to Canada... that's a paddlin'.

For those of you so against telecom immunity (-1, Troll)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884631)

and who are all such sticklers for prosecuting lawbreakers, I'm sure you want to see this guy prosecuted too, right? Fine, mod me troll, but it is inconsistent to claim you are all so concerned about the law being followed when it is a corporation trying to help out after 9/11, but when it is some hacker who is a lot more like you nerds than AT&T happens to be, will you be consistent? After all, who else's grades did he snoop into? For the record, I think it is grossly excessive, and sad that young people can get 25+ years for doing things similar to what I did in high school when most of it wasn't illegal then. But then again, I am for telecom immunity for companies that tried to help after 9/11 in good faith, and relied on the government's assurances that they would not face legal sanction. I'd imagine that this hacker got no such assurances from authorities before he broke in!

Re:For those of you so against telecom immunity (1)

MariusBoo (883340) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884819)

Fuck AT&T. It is not a person, it is a company and as such deserves no sympathy. They shouldn't have broken the law because the "authorities" told them they can.

Re:For those of you so against telecom immunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884849)

Are you seriously comparing a student cheating on grades to national corruption? Why do people think that asking rhetorical questions is a good method of arguing?

Re:For those of you so against telecom immunity (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884859)

``I'm sure you want to see this guy prosecuted too, right?''

Yes.

<whining snipped>

Anything else?

Re:For those of you so against telecom immunity (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884915)

Well to date the possible prison terms are sheer speculation by a journalist wishing to sensationalise the story. With all the crimes the individual is accused of the actual damages have to be taken into account. For example stealing test papers and the answer, what is the real dollar value other than the cost of the paper, except of course if the school had to go to the expense of redoing the exam, which doesn't seem to have happened.

Can you really 'steal' your own exam paper, beyond cheating of course, which is as yet not a criminal offence. There is of course hacking into a computer network, not real hacking of course as it was done via an obtained user name and password which has been blown out into some sort of identity theft, a some what exaggerated postulation.

So it really all boils down to how good a lawyer he can afford and how anal the prosecutor is in seeking a publicity generating penalty.

Re:For those of you so against telecom immunity (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884917)

First of all, I strongly doubt that these companies felt that they were "helping out after 9/11." This companies were told, by the NSA, that the government had an interest in installing secret equipment in switching stations, and rather than stand their ground, they allowed wiretapping equipment to be installed. Second of all, this kid did not commit a wiretapping offense, he tampered with public records (assuming he went to a public school), and he hijacked some else' equipment. The punishment does not fit the crime in the either case.

Re:For those of you so against telecom immunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884945)

and who are all such sticklers for prosecuting lawbreakers, I'm sure you want to see this guy prosecuted too, right?

No moron, I want the legislature of the state that the kid lives in to pass a special law which not only provides complete amnesty for the kid, but also bans the justice system from ever bringing a case against him in the future if he ever breaks the law again by hacking. Also, I want that special law to give the governor of the state final say over what laws can be broken by the government and by private entities working on behalf of the government with no fear of judicial review.

Basically, I want this kid to get everything that the telecoms and the Bush administration are getting. It's only fair.

Dumb (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884645)

While I feel a certain amount of pity for anyone who has to spend time in prison, I think what he did was really unwise. What he did probably shows a certain skill and adeptness that could be useful, but he could have shown that without actually messing with the data and improving his own scores. By doing the latter, he has firmly crossed the line into malice. You just don't do that.

Unsurprisngly DIDN'T post bail? (5, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884675)

Not surprisingly, his parents (who have only recently immigrated to America) have decided not to post the $50,000 bail and Kahn is in jail awaiting trial.

I don't know what so unsurprising about that. No parent wants their kid to spend time in freakin' lockup. Further, they can leverage $5,000 of real dollars with a bail bondsman to post $50k, so they just need to sell the kid's computer and scrape together a few thousand more to spare him potentially weeks behind bars.

Heck, banks will loan the money for bail, and I seriously doubt they get the loan-shark like interest the bail bondsman would.

Re:Unsurprisngly DIDN'T post bail? (2, Insightful)

Captain Centropyge (1245886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884795)

Maybe it's because his parents are actually pissed that he did something so blatantly stupid..? If you knowingly do something with bad intentions, there should be consequences. My parents taught me that. I'm glad to see teaching the principle of responsibility for your actions hasn't been completely lost.

Re:Unsurprisngly DIDN'T post bail? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884933)

Damn, he sure has one fancy pants computer if it's worth thousands used! Or are you saying it'll fetch tons of cash on eBay because some hacker doodz would think it's l33t?

Better Summary... (5, Informative)

UserChrisCanter4 (464072) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884733)

Is at Gizmodo [gizmodo.com]

The kid is also facing burglary charges because he stole a key to the school and used it to break in several times. The first thing to remember in this case is that it's not just a simple computer crime case, and that 12 other students also had their grades changed.

Further, of course the kid faces 38 years; every one of the small crimes he committed carry a maximum penalty. If you add them all up, you get 38 years. Obviously that doesn't mean that the kid is going to serve anywhere near that amount.

Now, I'm not sitting here saying that this kid should get 38 years. Far from it. But I do think that some jail time is called for. In addition to the burglary charge and the financial hit to fix the problems he caused, he hurt a lot of students. Consider this: For every one of the 13 kids who moved into the top 10% ranking, someone who had earned their spot had to leave. That student may not have been able to get into the college of his or her choice, and - far more importantly - may have missed out on substantial scholarship money. This kid wasn't just harming his high school through the added expense to audit records and security policies, he was hurting totally innocent fellow students.

too good to pass up (2, Funny)

Libertarian001 (453712) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884787)

KHAAANNNN!

[echo]

KHAAANNNN!

Don't do the crime if you can't to the time. (1)

ToasterTester (95180) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884799)

Don't do the crime if you can't to the time.

I doubt they will give him 38 years probably a couple year and get out in half of that. So he'll get a good lesson out.

Better punishment (2, Insightful)

j1976 (618621) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884807)

Guys like this should be sentenced to public service instead, for example to working for free as an assistant computer teacher for a year, under monitorship from the authorities. That'd turn his obvious competence into something useful, as well as being a net benefit to the society economically.

Waste to throw him in prison for 38 years... (2, Insightful)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884839)

That's 38 years under tax payer care. Honestly I say find a way to put him to work with the talent he has so he's not as much a burden and keep him under heavy watch as he does the work.

should have followed the prime directive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884843)

KHaaaaaaaaaaaan!

I don't know... (5, Insightful)

CyberData4 (1247268) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884851)

I mean...what the kid did was dumb, granted. But should his ENTIRE life really be completely ruined because he tried to cheat and boost his test scores in fucking high school? Seriously? There are rapists that face less jail time. Murderers who face less jail time. Corrupt politicians who start wars with other nations, unprovoked...that face no jail time. And you're going to hop on the "he's getting what he deserves" bandwagon? Shit, I *DO* support that kid. And yes, he's just a kid. A dumb, arrogant kid that made a stupid mistake. But in the end, no ones been harmed except himself. Expell him from school. Make him repeat the 12th grade. Let him stand on his own two at a community college until he can prove that he's ready for a 4 year program. I just don't think this is worth destroying a life over......

What's that saying that you guys ignore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884861)

Oh yeah..

If you DO the crime, you DO the time.

ENOUGH SAID.

38 yrs?! (1)

zmooc (33175) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884881)

And this is where? North Korea?

Burn him at the stake!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884893)

he culd be one of dem identity thievers!!!!

someone ratted him out? (4, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 6 years ago | (#23884913)

Ok, so the kid is a greedy one, changing all of his grades to As ;)

But he is also not very socially bright, think about the other 12 kids for whome he changed the grades, someone was bound to talk. Or maybe a parent saw a dramatic grade change and called a teacher for whatever reason etc.

You just don't include 12 more people into your 'crime'. It's not a secret anymore after that.

Still, 38 years is just nuts. Make him pass the highschool exams again, put him into community service (with the other 12 kids by the way.) Also fine him for a few thousand bucks for the trouble and that should be that. His parents will take care of the rest of the punishment, I am certain.

Anyway, Khaaaaaaan! I suppose.

Hmm....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23884939)

Save Ferris!

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