MU students arrested in grade hacking scandal

Published: Mar. 26, 2013 at 2:04 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 27, 2013 at 1:13 AM EDT
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David Callahan, photo from police report
David Callahan, photo from police report
Beckley Parker, photo from police report
Beckley Parker, photo from police report

OXFORD, OH (FOX19) - Two Miami University students are facing charges for allegedly breaching the school's computer system to change grades for themselves and more than 50 others.

A health teacher notified Miami's IT Department and police that grades she reviewed online did not match her paper copy of grades at the end of fall semester 2012.

Police say the students entered classrooms at night. An investigation by authorities found that a mechanism called a 'key logger' was used on classroom computers, recording keystrokes made by instructors whenever they logged into the system.

"There's software on it that translates it. So they get names, passwords and entry into the system," said Claire Wagner, Miami University Director of Communications.

According to a police report, Beckley Parker, 21, changed his own grades in 17 different classes as far back as spring 2011. In an effort to cover his tracks, police say he also changed more than 50 other students' grades, 28 of them being his fraternity brothers.

The other suspect, David Callahan, is accused of changing his grade and two others in a class.

"You'd like to think that people at this campus are above that. It's got a good academic reputation, so to hear that is disappointing," said Jack Onulak, freshman at Miami.

Police say that further investigation revealed that Callahan logged into professors' online accounts to download midterms and finals. According to a police report, Callahan shared these tests with his fraternity brothers.

Police say the majority of the other students didn't even know their grades were altered.

Both students were dismissed from the university and were charged multiple misdemeanors.

MU officials say all the grades changed are being corrected. In addition, the school is in the process of updating their security system and educating faculty on the use of key loggers to prevent similar crimes.

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