Entitlement mindset: Purdue student hacks his grades because it was easier than 'working real hard'

  • Roy Sun, a former Purdue student, got all A's his senior year despite failing to attend any classes.

A former Purdue University student was sentenced to 90 days in jail after hacking into the school’s computer system and changing grades.

The ploy, devised by 25-year-old Roy Sun, began after the student successfully altered a singe grade in 2008. The change went unnoticed. 

“When I came back in 2009, I felt really arrogant. I thought I was untouchable,” Sun explained during his sentencing late last month. “It became so much easier to change my grades than going to class and working real hard.”

The New York Daily News reports that Sun received perfect grades during his senior year while failing to attend any of his classes.

In order to carry out the plot, Sun and fellow student Mitsutoashi Shirasaki installed keystroke logging devices on professors' computers. That allowed to Sun hack into professors' personal information and changed grades remotely. A third student, Sujay Sharma, served as a lookout for the two.

When the scam came to light, Sun lost his bachelor’s degree and was expelled from his graduate program at Boston University. He also lost his $70,000 salary job and now works as a busboy.

Mitsutoashi Shirasaki fled to his native Japan, reportedly at Sun's behest. Sharma was given three years probation for his involvement.

Sun netted a four-year prison term which will consist mostly of supervised probation.

“The most troubling thing about this is how brilliant you are and how capable your are to devise this and carry it out. ... I worry about people who are as bright as you who are as dishonest as you because you can do more damage,” Judge Thomas Busch said prior to Sun’s sentencing.

“I think you have the opportunity to rebuild your life and make your parents proud of you,” he said.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter @SteveLarson

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