Santa Clara University: Hacker changed grades of 60 students

A former SCU student brought the hacking scandal to light.

Santa Clara University’s (SCU) academic records database was recently hacked to improve the grades of more than 60 former and current undergraduate students, the university announced Monday.

The university called in the FBI, which is assisting in the ongoing investigation, according to university officials. No arrests have been reported.

“We are taking it quite seriously,” said Dennis Jacobs, Santa Clara’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We are reviewing and enhancing all security measures to reduce the likelihood of any intrusion in the future.”

The FBI, in a written statement issued Monday, confirmed it is involved in the investigation.

SCU officials said they were unaware of any other hacking incidents at the university.

This one was particularly sophisticated, they said, and was only discovered when a former student came forward in August because she noticed a grade on her transcript was better than the one on a previously printed transcript.

SCU officials launched a probe that reviewed tens of thousands of student records going back more than a decade.

At SCU, grades cannot be changed without a strict protocol that includes signatures, a review and a software audit of approvals. But the probe found unauthorized grade changes on student transcripts across all three of the University’s schools going back to 2006.