updated 11/16/2011 2:20:49 PM ET 2011-11-16T19:20:49

A hacker tapped into an academic records database at Santa Clara University in California and changed the grades of about 60 current and former students, the school announced Monday (Nov. 14).

"Unauthorized access to the system took place between June 2010 and July 2011 and resulted in grades being altered," Santa Clara University President Michael Engh said in an official statement on the school's website.

The school was made aware of the intrusion when a former student noticed a discrepancy between two of her transcripts. SCU began reviewing tens of thousands of student records going back to 2000 and found that grades had been modified, in some cases changed from F's to A's

The university is contacting current and former students whose grades may have been changed as well as their professors. The school says there is no evidence to suggest any other personally identifiable information of students, staff or faculty was exposed as a result of the breach.

The school, located in Silicon Valley about 45 miles from San Francisco, has brought in the FBI to investigate the incident, and hired outside experts to "review our internal processes and data security measures to enhance the integrity of our computer system."

The FBI has not found the person responsible for hacking SCU's system, but it reportedly has a suspect in mind.

SCU electrical engineering student Mark Loiseau, 25, told the Mercury News that on Monday (Nov. 14) three FBI agents came to his home with his Verizon cellphone records, grades and pictures of him, and suggested that he was behind the incident.

"Three federal agents just came over to my apartment and grilled me about some hacking scandal at SCU. They had my phone records!" Loiseau wrote on his  Twitter page. "It was like something off of primetime tv! Right down to the dialogue. They even banged on my door instead of ringing" he wrote in another post.

The agents asked if Loiseau noticed that about 18 of his grades were changed from F's to A's; Loiseau responded that he had never received 18 F's and denied having anything to do with the hacking.

The authorities asked to search his computers, but Loiseau did not let them, the Mercury News reported.

Despite the law enforcement pressure, Loiseau appears to be taking the event in stride. In a Twitter post, he wrote: "The best part was when one of the agents was like 'we just want the truth,' & my roommate was like 'YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!' True story."

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments