FBI investigating intrusion into university records system to alter grades

The Santa Clara University said about 60 current and former undergraduates had been affected

The computerized records system at Santa Clara University in California was compromised to alter student grades, an official of the university said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was notified of the intrusion, and the investigation has now reached a stage where it has permitted the university to notify the community of the intrusion, said Michael E. Engh, president of the university in Santa Clara in a statement on Monday.

Unauthorized access to the system between June, 2010 and July, 2011 resulted in grades being altered, affecting a handful of current undergraduate students and approximately 60 former undergraduate students, the university said. It did not provide information on who the intruders may have been.

Engh said there was no evidence to suggest that other personal information of students, staff or faculty had been compromised.

The university said it had examined affected records and was taking steps to restore them to their proper form. This will include contacting individual faculty, students, and former students whose grades may have been altered. The university said it had also enlisted the assistance of outside experts to review its internal processes and data security measures to enhance the integrity of its computer system.

It said it will pursue legal action if appropriate for the unauthorized computer access and grade tampering.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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