Case against former student charged with computer security breach still pending

0
1156
Print Article

A former student charged with hacking into his professor’s grade book and changing his grades made a recent court appearance and is no longer in custody.

An indictment must be issued within the next 180 days before the date of Vu Thanh “Steven” Phan’s next court appearance is scheduled.

The Tarrant County district attorney was unable to provide any additional information on the case.

Phan was arrested in January on a charge of computer security breach between $2,500 and $30,000 — a state jail felony — and had his initial appearance in Tarrant County Magistrate Court last Friday.

According to Texas penal code, breach of computer security is when an individual accesses a computer, computer network or computer system without the effective consent of the owner and with the intent to defraud or harm another or alter, damage or delete property.

Phan is accused of “knowingly accessing a computer system or network … without the effective consent of TCU, the owner and did knowingly obtain a benefit, defraud or harm,” according to arrest affidavits.

Video footage in Tandy Hall Room 226 taken on Dec. 12 shows Phan swapping the keyboard at the instructor’s work station with one from his backpack and returned later that evening to take his keyboard back.

Phan used the information captured on his keyboard to log into D2L to change his grades, according to arrest affidavits.

Special Agent Brian Sanders of the Secret Service said keyboard devices can be used to “log keystrokes and illegally obtain password information on computers,” according to the arrest affidavits.

According to a spokesperson for the university, Phan is no longer enrolled in TCU.