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Former Student Gets Year In Prison For College President Election Fraud 274

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the of-all-the-elections-to-steal dept.
Gunkerty Jeb writes, quoting Threatpost: "A former Cal State San Marcos student was sentenced to a year in prison this week for election tampering by using keystroke loggers to grab student credentials and then vote for himself. Matthew Weaver, 22, of Huntington Beach, Calif., stole almost 750 students' identities to try and become president of the San Diego County college's student government. His plan went awry when the school's computer technicians noticed an anomaly in activity and caught Weaver with keystroke loggers as he sat in front of the suspicious computer."
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Former Student Gets Year In Prison For College President Election Fraud

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  • by Apharmd (2640859) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @11:28AM (#44308745)
    in national politics. But who will get him, the Dems or the Republicans?
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      in national politics. But who will get him, the Dems or the Republicans?

      Follow the money -- as in: who is the highest bidder?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rod Beauvex (832040)
      The GOP. Duh.

      Dems are neither intelligent nor ballsy enough for this sort of thing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Dems. Duh

  • Job Offer (Score:5, Funny)

    by overlook77 (988190) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @11:28AM (#44308747)
    He did receive a job offer from the NSA afterwards however.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Unlikely, they want the ones who don't get cought

      • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @11:42AM (#44308873)

        The ones that cough are diseased.

      • by Russ1642 (1087959)

        They want the ones with no sense of ethics or morality.

        • Re:Job Offer (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Valdrax (32670) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @02:03PM (#44310303)

          They want the ones with no sense of ethics or morality.

          Actually, they probably want ones with a strong sense of ethics that can be bent in a direction of their choosing. You don't get nearly as hard work out of someone ethically unmoored as you do out of someone who is acting for a "greater good," and you get even more work out of someone who doesn't even see the lesser evil. Worse for the former, you may get junk data since they don't care enough.

          No, no greater evil is committed than by those who believe they are doing a great good. There are plenty of people in this country that passionately believe the principle that only those who do wrong have something to hide and that privacy is nothing but a shield for criminals. That's a form of strong ethics, though it's one I'd disagree with.

          Hire those people, and you're golden.

    • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @11:46AM (#44308923) Journal

      I don't know why, he was sloppy. Well, I guess they could train him in the details but his heart was in the right place.

  • by jasnw (1913892)
    A year in prison for the crime of fixing a vote while not being a professional political operative. At least the kid knows he's got a shot at a good job when he gets out. Better prospects than if he had finished his program at Cal State San Marcos.
    • I'd love to see all the carefully organized evidence you have of professional political operatives engaging in vote fixing. Oh right, this is just a cynicism race-to-the-bottom, driven by paranoid conspiracy theories.

      • Re:Wow! (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @12:13PM (#44309161)

        How about the mayor in Florida that lost voting machines that were later shown to contain many more votes for the Ds than those for R. The mayor is a stanch R supporter, and when questioned how the fuck did these voting machines get lost, she replied "it happens, voting is a complex business". Yup, so complex, they were deliberately disconnected, moved to another room, and covered in a pile of boxes to disguise they were there.

        That's just one example of the Bush / Fox / FL stolen election.

        • or in washington two gubernatorial elections ago where the judge said yup there was evidence of cheating and dismissed the case anyway, did i mention the judge was former classmates with the "winner"

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Oh right, this is just a cynicism race-to-the-bottom, driven by paranoid conspiracy theories.

        Sadly, I have found that both of those tend to be surprisingly accurate in the long run.

        Assuming the worst of politicians (and, really, everyone else) proves right more than by simple chance. Assuming you can trust them just leads to more problems than assuming you can't and keeping a close eye on them.

        • by Meeni (1815694)

          The problem is that often, cynicism is not about having a close eye on them, but taking that sheep stance of "yeah, everybody does it, meh". And the, just because nobody cares, indeed, everybody starts doing it.

      • http://www.blackboxvoting.org/ [blackboxvoting.org]

  • all he needed to do was use a keystroke logger to work his keystroke logger.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      all he needed to do was use a keystroke logger to work his keystroke logger.

      I see you made a typo, then corrected it. Well done. (c:

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      all he needed to do was use a keystroke logger to work his keystroke logger.

      Yo dawg, I heard you like keystroke loggers ... ;-)

  • Settings examples (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GeekWithAKnife (2717871) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @11:31AM (#44308777)
    He's small time, he cheated, he got caught and made an example of. If only we could have this sort of efficiency and insight into real politicians.
    • by Kookus (653170) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @12:11PM (#44309133) Journal

      If someone steals my credentials, I'd expect that kind of punishment. I don't think he's being made an example, he's actually getting off light.
      There's a lot of other things that he could potentially do, or has exposed those students to by capturing their passwords. It's not that he was caught trying to rig an election, it's that he was impersonating other individuals, stealing their identities.

    • He's small time, he cheated, he got caught and made an example of. If only we could have this sort of efficiency and insight into real politicians.

      I hope you're joking. This is simply publicity that will jump start his public political career. There is no such thing as bad press anymore. Morals were thrown out the window a couple of decades ago.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      He's small time, he cheated, he got caught and made an example of. If only we could have this sort of efficiency and insight into real politicians.

      A year in jail is not being made an example from. This person set out to cheat the school, then installed keyloggers to get access to people login info.

      They want to set an example? Give him 5 years in jail.

      What I see is a slap on the wrist for something that is serious.

  • True Story (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @11:34AM (#44308807)

    I did something similar at "Canada's Premiere Undergraduate Experience"

    Long story short, one of the people running for Student Union President won my House election the year before. He did so by getting the competition kicked out on technicalities. No, I wasn't running, and No, I wasn't friends with anyone who did. Since every day a poster is up is a "violation" they racked up fast. This guy was going out with the person who's job it is to notify people of potential violations, and they were never warned.

    Fast forward two years, and I logged in as every. single. student. from a MacDonalds down the road. Didn't actually vote, just logged in, logged right back out. Then repeated 8k times. Once a student logged in, they had an hour to finish. Since everyone's hour was up at 9AM, almost no one voted.

    Somehow, there was still a landslide win. Not only did he have 90% of the votes, he had more votes than there were students in the entire university.

    The whole election should have been thrown out. People complained on official forums, topics were deleted as fast as they went up.

    It pays to play dirty apparently.

    • Re:True Story (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @11:51AM (#44308975) Homepage Journal

      I did something similar at "Canada's Premiere Undergraduate Experience"

      Long story short, one of the people running for Student Union President won my House election the year before. He did so by getting the competition kicked out on technicalities. No, I wasn't running, and No, I wasn't friends with anyone who did. Since every day a poster is up is a "violation" they racked up fast. This guy was going out with the person who's job it is to notify people of potential violations, and they were never warned.

      Fast forward two years, and I logged in as every. single. student. from a MacDonalds down the road. Didn't actually vote, just logged in, logged right back out. Then repeated 8k times. Once a student logged in, they had an hour to finish. Since everyone's hour was up at 9AM, almost no one voted.

      Somehow, there was still a landslide win. Not only did he have 90% of the votes, he had more votes than there were students in the entire university.

      The whole election should have been thrown out. People complained on official forums, topics were deleted as fast as they went up.

      It pays to play dirty apparently.

      Have to be careful when playing dirty. In my elementary school was a fellow running for class president and he was well liked and popular. One of his competitors for the honor (as there really wasn't much to the office) found he had been born outside the US (he was an Aussie by birth) and this revelation -- why it was even considered by the faculty baffled me -- meant the popular student was ineligible. It really broke his heart and seemed incredibly unfair, particularly to classmates. Keep in mind most of us were 12 or younger, but we already had a pretty well developed sense of what is fair and how you deal with weasels who succeed in removing competition by devious means, the weasel was soundly defeated in the vote. So the lesson here isn't that you cannot have your competitor diminished by technicalities or smearing, but you should always have a surrogate do it on the side so you don't get caught for the 'Swiftboating'.

  • Mixed feelings (Score:3, Interesting)

    by istartedi (132515) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @11:35AM (#44308811) Journal

    On the one hand, fraud is bad. On the other, student government is usually a joke that deserves to be pranked. At the college level it is, AFAIK, not much better than HS. Our Class President gave a friggin' 15 minute speech at commencement. Holy Crap! That was the only real debacle at graduation. I'll never forget it. That's all I remember about the class president.

    • Re:Mixed feelings (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 91degrees (207121) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @11:41AM (#44308865) Journal
      the problem is that this job comes with a stipend. Once you actually make money from this sort of thing (even a relatively small amount), it's financial fraud and taken a lot more seriously.
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      On the one hand, fraud is bad. On the other, student government is usually a joke that deserves to be pranked. At the college level it is, AFAIK, not much better than HS. Our Class President gave a friggin' 15 minute speech at commencement. Holy Crap! That was the only real debacle at graduation. I'll never forget it. That's all I remember about the class president.

      Student government is seldom more than a popularity contest.

      It can be good training (relatively speaking and tongue firmly in cheek) for figuring out social engineering skills - what are the hot buttons for people, what people are likely to remember of your (ha) promises after you've been elected and practice in keeping skeletons from accumulating in your closet.

    • by tverbeek (457094)
      Stealing an election at my college (back in the day) would've been a lot easier than this. I should know: I was in charge of running them one year, and I could've simply picked who I wanted to win (but I didn't).
    • On the one hand, fraud is bad. On the other, student government is usually a joke that deserves to be pranked.

      Yeah but "prank" and "stealing credentials from 750 people and then using their identities without consent" don't really go hand in hand. Bad judgement on an epic scale..

  • Choose wisely where you go to school

  • When I was in college my roommate and friends successfully ran a campaign to get Gumby elected student President, highlighting how useless student government really is.

    Aside from his 15 minutes of fame, I don't really see how the reward justified the risks he took, although encore proved a significant lack of common sense.
  • You only go to jail for election fraud when the election officials do not get paid by the elected office of which you have just stolen.

  • If only (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JavaBear (9872) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @11:54AM (#44309005)

    If only they would take the real elections half as seriously, maybe then we'd regain a (small) measure of confidence in the election process.

  • Prison (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @11:56AM (#44309023)

    He's probably going to prison for accessing the students accounts, not for the election fraud itself.

  • by benjfowler (239527) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @12:04PM (#44309083)

    "The reason academic politics are so bitter is that so little is at stake." -- Henry Kissinger

  • Was doing it himself. No Politician today woudl do that, they woulrd hire someone else to do it and pay them under the table with tax payer money.

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