Next Steps for Miami U After Grade Tampering
Following the dismissal of two Miami University students found guilty of tampering with grades, the school says they are taking steps to security on their IT syeyems..
In late October of 2012, a Miami University faculty member contacted IT security and campus police to say that she was sure grades she had entered electronically did not match her paper records. After a lengthy
investigation it was determined that two students used a device, plugged into a port in the back of a computer, to record teachers' keystrokes. This allowed them to obtain faculty usernames and passwords. The students changed their grades, and they changed the grades of other students to cover their tracks.
Claire Wagner, Director of University News and Communications says they are now taking steps to see this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.
Wagner says the University is "Moving the USB plug-ins for the keyboard to the front of the computers where possible, so that it’s more obvious to see if something else is plugged in there." She adds that, "IT departments and the academic divisions are aware now to look for these when they do checkups across the classrooms. And we are also investing in some procedures that will let us know if they use another type of key-logger that can be slid into the keyboard apparently."
Wagner says other changes will be made to the University’s electronic systems. Faculty members will now get a series of emails when grades are changed that ask if they meant to change the grade.
She says the University now realizes, “There’s a certain vigilance that we are seeing we need to have, and we are really glad it looks like this is the only set of cases at Miami.”
Both students have signed a statement that they violated the University’s code of conduct and academic integrity policy, and accepted dismissal. One student has been charged with six misdemeanor counts related to breaching university computer systems, and the other was charged on three counts.