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7/27/2006
12:44 PM
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Hackers Face Prison Time For Boosting Grades

A pair of California college students each face up to a year in prison for hacking into a professor's computer to give out bogus grades.

A pair of California college students each face up to a year in prison for hacking into a professor's computer to give out bogus grades to themselves and other students, Los Angeles prosecutors said Thursday.

Jennifer Ngan, 19, of Alhambra and Lena Chen, 20, of Torrance -- roommates who attend California State University Northridge -- face misdemeanor charges of illegally accessing computers, among other counts.

After hacking into an unidentified professor's computer, the two handed out grades to nearly 300 other students, and boosted their own marks in the teacher's class. Ngan's grade, for example, was changed from a D+ to an A.

According to Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the L.A. city attorney's office who was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, the Ngan and Chen "felt the professor was unfair, and it was on behalf of all the students" that they hacked his system.

They also allegedly used personal information gleaned from CSUN's network to order pizza, more than 20 magazine subscriptions, and a box of blank CDs to be delivered to the professor's home.

Ngan and Chen are scheduled for arraignment Aug. 21.

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