Monday, November 19, 2012

Preventing Damage by Preventing Grade System Intrusions: Actors

Simplistically, those who would access, without authorization, a grade management system could be labeled as hackers or crackers. These two groups, according to Dittrich and Himma (2006), are computer users who engage in unauthorized system accesses; though they are differentiated by motivation. Where hackers are driven by arguably noble or ethically neutral purposes, crackers are driven by malice or profit. Describing possible manipulators in the introduction, the author separated out a subset of crackers as cheaters. This paper will be discussing crackers as intruders driven by malice or financial profit and cheaters as driven by academic profit.

When the target is an education institution’s grading system, the pool of potential hackers, crackers, and cheaters draws primarily from stakeholders relating to the grades stored in the specific target system. (Altman, 2012; Borja, 2006; Gibbons, 2012; Lupkin, 2012) Stakeholders are not limited to the grade-holding students but also can include relatives or contracted third parties.

Altman, L. (January 26, 2012). 3 Palos Verdes High students arrested in grade-tampering plot. Retrieved from:

Borja, R. R. (2006). Cyber-Security Concerns Mount as Student Hacking Hits Schools: Districts Straining to Safeguard Online Networks. Education Week, 25(19), 1,.

Dittrich, D., & Himma, K. E. (2006). Hackers, Crackers, and Computer Criminals. Bidgoli, Hossein: Handbook of information security-Information warfare; social, legal and international issues, 154-171.

Gibbons, M. (February 8, 2012). Bucks college student fails in attempt at an easy A. Retrieved from:

Lupkin, S. (July 19, 2012). Mom Arrested For Hacking School Computers to Change Kids' Grades. abc News. Retrieved from:

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