U. of Delaware Student Is Charged With Breaking Into
Computer System and Changing Her Grades
By BROCK READ
A student at the University of Delaware faces numerous
charges after she allegedly broke into the university's
computerized records and awarded herself passing grades
in three courses, according to the campus police.
According to police records, Darielle Insler, a junior
at the university, located in Newark, Del., placed two
calls to the university's human-resources department in
June. In each call, she allegedly impersonated one of
her professors, claimed to have forgotten the password
to the professor's computer account, and received a new
password that she used to log in to a campus-wide
record-management system. Ms. Insler altered a third
grade after correctly guessing another professor's
password, according to the charges.
In two of the courses, Ms. Insler reportedly gave
herself A's instead of F's; in the third, she replaced
an incomplete grade with a passing one. Campus police
became aware of the alterations after the professors
whose passwords were changed contacted the university's
Office of Judicial Affairs.
Ms. Insler is charged with three counts of identity
theft, two counts of criminal impersonation, and three
counts each of unauthorized access of a computer system
and misuse of information on a computer system. She is
free on bail and awaiting announcement of a trial date.
Cynthia E. Cummings, Delaware's associate vice president
for campus life, said she could not comment on the case
or on what disciplinary action the university might take
against Ms. Insler. "We are acting independently of the
court," she said.
According to a statement released by Delaware's public
relations office, the university has charged Ms. Insler
with three counts of academic dishonesty and three
counts of violating its responsible computing code.
In response to the security breach, the university has
announced that it will review its computer security
practices. Bruce Raker, manager of Delaware's management
information service, told the Associated Press that his
office has already installed software that issues e-mail
warnings to professors when their passwords have been
changed. Mr. Raker said that human-resources officials
had erred in issuing new passwords over the phone.
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The Chronicle of Higher Education