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Mom Busted for Hacking Into School Computers to Change Kids’ Grades

devcentre, flickr

Helping your kids with their homework is one thing. Breaking into the school’s computer systems to change your kids’ grades is something else entirely — but that’s what a mom in Pennsylvania is accused of doing.

Earlier this year, Catherine Venusto, 45, a former employee of the Northwestern Lehigh School District, logged in to the district’s system using the superintendent’s password. Once she was in, she changed her daughter’s failing grade to a “medical exception.”

Then, oddly, she altered her son’s grade from a 98 to a 99 (because nearly-perfect apparently wasn’t quite perfect enough).

After an investigation led authorities to Venusto, she admitted changing the grades and said she accessed the district’s computer system out of “curiosity and boredom.” She’s since been charged with three counts each of unlawful use of a computer and computer trespassing, all third-degree felonies.

“When she resigned [from her job], we took her out of the system,” Northwestern Lehigh Superintendent Mary Ann Wright said. “Unfortunately she found her way around security protocol through unauthorized access to my information.”


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