Breach, Threat Management, Data Security

University of Iowa student arrested, charged with hacking school system to change grades


Former University of Iowa student Trevor Graves was arrested last week and charged in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa with hacking into the school's system to change grades.

Court documents state that between March 2015 and November 2016 Graves allegedly attached a keylogger to several university computers in order to compromise faculty, staff and student information. In January 2017 the scheme was identified when a keylogger was discovered and reported by a staff member. The university then warned its members that their university identifications and login credentials may have been compromised.

The school estimated that about 250 people had their HawkID and password stolen.

The court documents state that Graves allegedly used the information taken to escalate his privileges within the school's computer system enabling him to change grades, an ability given only instructors.

The FBI became aware of the situation shortly after the school posted its warning and started an investigation that resulted in a search of Graves' residence where two keyloggers and other computer equipment were found. A forensic investigation of these devices yielded texts that law enforcement believed discusses the keyloggers and how they were used to alter grades on homework, quizzes and tests.

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