Police: Embry-Riddle student, employee hacked into school's computer system

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A 27-year-old student and a 32-year-old employee at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University were arrested Thursday after police said they hacked into the school's computer system.

Investigators said Kevin Scott, a Ph.D. student, and Jeanette Barott, a communications specialist in the College of Engineering, hacked into the university's computer system to see information they weren't supposed to.

The school's information technology department noticed an unauthorized access in November and contacted the FBI and the Daytona Beach Police Department, a police report said.

Investigators said Scott admitted to accessing the school's servers using administrator accounts for two or three years, but he said he did so out of curiosity and had no intent to cause harm.

Police said Barott knew of Scott's behavior but did not report it.

Scott figured out the passwords to at least four administrator accounts of people in the information technology department, Ehrenkaufer said.

Police said the passwords allowed Scott to visit restricted websites and to access the university's security program that manages keycard access on campus.

A police report said Scott bragged to another person, writing, "They seriously have accounts that have a password of password with an at sign."

"Lucky for the university and for everybody involved, this guy was in there more to show that he could get into it, to prove a point," Daytona Beach police Sgt. Timothy Ehrenkaufer said. "(It) doesn't look like he ever breached any doors, never gave anybody permissions they shouldn't have for doors."

A university spokesman said no personal or financial information was stolen.

Scott and Barott were booked into the Volusia County Jail on charges of computer fraud, but they were released after each paid a $10,000 bail.