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Students hack university system; Anonymous to shut down internet?

March 31, 2012

University students hack into database to alter grades

Displaying ingenuity apparently absent from their exam performances, students at the University of Guadalajara (UdeG) have been hacking into a college database to change their grades.

Twelve students from the University Center for Economic Sciences (CUCEA) campus paid a hacker from 300 to 1,000 pesos to alter their grades on the University Management and Integrated Information System (SIIAU).

The hackings occurred in January 2011. They were detected after teachers noticed some of the grades that appeared in the SIIAU were different from those they had approved.

Upon investigation, university staff discovered that students had been contacting a subject with a fake Facebook profile to enter the system and modify their information. The students in question refused to reveal the hacker’s identity.

Nine students were suspended for six to eight months in July 2011. After a meeting of the university’s general council on Monday, CUCEA Rector Tonatiuh Bravo Padilla confirmed that a further two students had been expelled for reoffending and another was suspended for one year.

Internet to shut down March 31?

Online vulnerability made headlines across the world this week, with the hacker group Anonymous having threatened to shut down the internet on March 31.

Under “Operation Global Blackout,” the hackers vowed to bring down the world wide web by disabling the 13 root Domain Name Servers (DNS) upon which it runs. Given that these 13 top-level systems are in different countries, are managed by different organizations and run on different technologies, this would prove a formidable task.

Anonymous claims its intent is not to destroy the internet, but to protest “SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), Wallstreet (sic), our irresponsible leaders and the beloved bankers who are starving the world for their own selfish needs out of sheer sadistic fun.”

With the operation planned for the day before April 1, some suspect it may just be an elaborate April Fools’ Day hoax.

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