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May 18, 2013

OU student allegedly changed his grades and faculty members’ passcodes

NORMAN — Charges were filed against a University of Oklahoma student Thursday after the student allegedly changed faculty members’ passcodes and his own grades on Wednesday.

Roja Osman Hamad, 24, was charged in Cleveland County District Court with five counts of computer fraud or unlawful use of a computer or system.

OU’s IT department contacted the University of Oklahoma Police Department after finding that a student employee had used his access to change the passwords of six OU faculty members without their consent, according to the affidavit filed with charges.

The student then used the passwords to access the OU network and altered his grades, the affidavit states.

“(Hamad) had exceeded his access in doing so,” the affidavit states. “In changing their passwords, the (defendant) prevented the six faculty members from being able to use the University Computer Network.”

The affidavit further stated that the IP address that was used to access the OU network also was used by Hamad to access his webmail using his university username, which included the first four letters of his last name and last four digits of his OU identification number.

“Upon discovery that the individual hacked into OU’s computer system to change his grades, OU immediately took steps to eliminate access that would allow any further abuse of OU’s systems. He also has been terminated from employment at the university. In addition, the university notified law enforcement and turned the matter over to them for criminal prosecution,” Catherine F. Bishop, OU Vice president for public affairs, said.

Hamad’s bond has been set at $50,000 and the case has been automatically assigned to District Judge Tracy Schumacher.

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