BackStories » Asia » Vietnamese Student Jailed in Singapore for Hacking Into Professor's Account to Modify Grades

A Vietnamese student was recently jailed in Singapore after he was caught hacking into his professor’s school account to change his grades as well as others'.

Straits Times reports that on November 8, 22-year-old Tran Gia Hung was sentenced to 16 weeks behind bars on 10 charges under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act and one of intentionally obstructing the course of justice as he had erased all evidence of wrongdoing on his laptop.

According to the newspaper, Hung is an ASEAN scholarship holder studying at the Singapore Management University (SMU). Last year, the university discovered that the first-year business management student hacked into the school account of his professor, Dr Rajah Kumar, to modify the grade of his final examination from D+ to B and his “Final Adjusted Grade” from B to A-. Hung also reduced the grade of several classmates.

The court learnt that he figured out the doctor's password through trials and errors after observing Dr Kumar's slow hand movements in class when he keys in his password.

On April 25, 2016, Dr Kumar uploaded the grades for two courses, “Technology and World Change” and “Business Government and Society” on SMU’s internal e-Learn system. However, in the evening, the professor noticed a few discrepancies between the latest version of the grades and the one he initially keyed in.

Dr Kumar informed the university of his suspicion and after an internal investigation, SMU uncovered a plethora of log-in attempts from the professor’s account pointing to Hung. However, the student repeatedly denied his involvement in the hacking and claimed that he was framed by his housemates.

Four days later, Hung had the data on his MacBook erased by an IT shop at Sim Lim Square, a local shopping mall.

SMU filed a police report on May 4 and a later investigation confirmed Hung as the culprit behind the grade alterations. He was arrested on August 4 last year, but continued to deny the charges.

The news source didn’t provide details on the status of Hung’s scholarship.

ASEAN scholarships are given out by the Singaporean government anually to prospective students from ASEAN countries.

[Photo via Straits Times]

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