University systems hacked to derail student elections

Monday, 23 June 2003, 12:43 PM EST

A 21-year-old student was arrested for allegedly hacking into a university computer system during student elections to cast hundreds of votes for a made-up candidate he named American Ninja.

Shawn Nematbakhsh, a computer science major at the University of California, Riverside, was arrested Friday for investigation of drug possession and altering computer data without permission.

If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison and a US$10,000 (RM38,000) fine.

He was being held Saturday on US$10,000 bail. Arraignment was set for Tuesday.

School officials said Nematbakhsh cast the 800 votes in April, forcing the university to scrap the election results and hold a new student government election the following month.

Nematbakhsh told police he did it to show the university network was vulnerable, said university spokesman Ricardo Duran.

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