The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Student suspended for sign-in scheme

A St. John’s student was recently suspended from the University for allegedly hacking into the Public Safety computer system and using it to sign people in and out of residence halls without ever going to the front desk.

The student, who also worked in the Public Safety office, had found a way to bypass the restrictions put on the software to prevent such incidents from occurring.

“I was disappointed because this student that we’re speaking of was also a Public Safety student worker,” said Tom Lawrence, vice president of Public Safety. “We expect our student workers and our personnel to be held to a higher degree of accountability.”

Following the discovery that a breach of the system had occurred, Information Technology immediately began working to correct the problem.

“Once it came to our attention, before the end of that day [IT] put in new restrictions so that people could not get in and compromise the system again,” Lawrence said. “They [have continued] since that time implementing additional measures as well.”

“We had set up the system so that only the student workers at that desk had access to them,” said Joseph Tufano, chief information officer for Information Technology. “They shared the information illegally with other students and subsequent to that we have had to take more stringent measures to protect it.”

After reviewing data logs stored in the system, the University knew that more than one student was involved in the practice.

“We see it in the logs, time, machine, location, and I also believe it corresponded to the working hours for the individuals involved,” Tufano added.

Numerous students were interviewed in connection with the security breach and a large portion of those students admitted to wrongdoing.

“There were a number of students at the University who had access to the system used to monitor visitors,” said Omar Estrada Torres, director of judicial affairs. “We have addressed and resolved these situations appropriately.”

Neither Torres nor Jack Flynn, assistant director of judicial affairs, could comment further on the situation since the investigation is still ongoing.

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