Mother Hacks Into School Computer System, Changes Her Child’s Grades
A mother in the Northwestern Lehigh School District has been accused of illegally accessing the district’s computer system and altering information. Catherine Venusto changed her children’s grades in the system and could land some jail time.
Venusto used knowledge she gained as a former employee of the district to gain access to the system. She allegedly signed on using the superintendent’s password, as well as the passwords of nine other employees.
The Morning Call reports that Venusto altered her daughter’s failing grade to a medical exception and changed her son’s grade of 98 to 99.
Venusto admitted accessing the school records, saying that she was motivated by “curiosity and boredom.”
When superintendent Mary Ann Wright suspected the potential security breach, the computer system was shut down and an investigation was launched.
Court orders revealed the ISP information, which showed that Venusto entered the computer system 110 times using the superintendent’s password, and thousands of times altogether.
The school district issued a press release quoting Wright as saying: ‘The acts were intentional, criminal action to obtain protected information.’
Venusto reportedly said that she believes her act was unethical but not illegal.
Authorities charged Venusto with three counts of unlawful use of a computer and computer trespassing.