Embry-Riddle student, employee accused of hacking into school's computer

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Authorities say a 27-year-old student and a 32-year-old communications specialist at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University are accused of hacking into the school's computer system.

Kevin Scott, a former Ph.D. student,  is now charged with a felony, after FBI and Daytona Beach Police said he hacked into the university's system, to retrieve passwords and information.   Police arrested Scott Thursday after a year-long investigation. They also arrested university employee Jeanette Barrott,  who helped Scott, according to police.

In an arrest affidavit, Scott told investigators he stole at least six administrator passwords, and boasted, "… if I wanted to, I could grant myself card access to every single door on the campus."

University spokesman James Roddey said they contacted police after their security system detected the hack. 

"When the intrusion was first detected, we began working very rigorously to update and make sure all the security in places and made sure they worked as they should," Roddey said, "which they did."

According to the police report, Scott sent this a describing university security, which read, "They seriously have accounts that have domain administrator rights that have a password of p@ssw0rd... that hasn't changed in ten years."

Officials said Scott told investigators he had accessed the school's servers for two or three years but had no intent to cause harm. Investigators said Barott knew of Scott's behavior and didn't report it.

Roddey said students have to change their passwords every six months and staff also have to change their passwords periodically. To log onto the intranet, he said they have a two-step identification process.  It's unclear whether administrators also have that same requirement. 

Barrott is married to Scott's Ph.D. advisor. The advisor has not been charged.

Roddey said personal and financial information were never compromised during the hack.


Some information taken from the Associated Press.