Police: Former UGA student hacked into system to change grade
ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia Police is trying to unravel a computer hacking case which, as of Monday, has landed one a now-former student in jail.
Investigators said it remained unclear if others were involved, but UGA said 21-year-old Michael Lamon Williams was arrested on 80 computer-related charges for hacking into an assistant professors account last month to change his grades.
Ryan Gould, who is majoring in Management Information Systems or MIS, at UGA’s College of Business said a computer hacking case involving Williams hit close to home.
“It was actually a teacher from the MIS department that discovered this and that he had a teacher’s login credentials,” said Gould.
According to the police report, an assistant professor at the College of Business reported someone had unlawfully gained entry to his UGA ID account and changed his password.
“I know school can be pretty tough, but obviously that’s not the right way to get your good grades,” said Quinten Garrison, a student at the College of Business.
At the time, Williams was a student and an employee of UGA’s technology services.
“Apparently he’s a smart guy if he can do something like that, but he’s gotta use that in a correct way,” said Shaun Ren, a student at the College of Business.
In a statement, a UGA representative Greg Trevor wrote:
“Based on the original complaint, the suspect abused his privileges as an employee and changed grades to benefit himself. The university is conducting a comprehensive review of its practices to make the necessary improvements to prevent this from reoccurring.”
Some College of Business students wondered if good grades equate to something else.
“They say like I need to maintain a certain level of grade in order to maintain my scholarship and perhaps the student faced that pressure,” said Danny Qin, a student at the College of Business.
The 80 charges include 71 counts of computer forgery and nine counts of computer trespass.
According to the police report, Williams lived in this student housing. UGA said Williams has withdrawn from the university.
“It seems to me, if he’d put in the effort to get the grades, he would have been fine,” said Gould.
FOX 5 News reached out to Michael Williams who said he had no comment other than the investigation is ongoing.