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Crime

Church Elder/'Jeopardy' Champion Charged With Computer Crimes (mlive.com) 102

Stephanie Jass, a record-setting, seven-time winner on Jeopardy, has been charged with two felonies for accessing the email accounts of two executives at the college where she worked as an assistant professor. An anonymous reader quotes MLive: Jass was able to access the accounts because of an April 24 issue with the college email system, hosted by Google. Frank Hribar, vice president for enrollment and student affairs, said there was network outage caused by loss of power. On April 25, users received a text message with a generic, standard passcode: "Please attempt to login to Gmail using this password. You should be prompted to change password after login..." Not everyone, however, was prompted to do so. Some did make the change using a tutorial. Some received an error and were unable to create a new password, the timeline states. Others did not alter the password at all. The method "worked just fine, had there not been manipulation of the system," said Hribar...

Jass, 47, of Tecumseh was charged in December with unauthorized access to a computer, program or network, and using a computer to commit a crime, both felonies... On May 5, the college deactivated Jass' email account and access to all other college software. The locks to her office door were changed and her desktop computer was confiscated, according to the timeline.

The police report "indicates Jass accessed emails while using an internet network at First Presbyterian Church of Tecumseh, where she served as an elder."
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Church Elder/'Jeopardy' Champion Charged With Computer Crimes

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  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Sunday January 21, 2018 @05:38PM (#55974195)

    power loss = reset passwords ????

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well look at the statement made after filling in the implied subject nouns left out:

      The method to prevent manipulation of the system worked just fine, had there not been manipulation of the system, said Hribar...

      With such logic, it doesn't surprise me a bit that a power loss results in reset passwords.
      They probably print out all the students SSNs on papers that are put up on the walls for all to see every time it rains too, because why not?

    • power loss = reset passwords ????

      Even more to the point, power loss at a local facility = reset passwords for gmail ???

    • They probably use federation to log into their gmail accounts; something like Shibboleth or ADFS or CAS. When the power went down, their federation server went down with it, which locked everyone out of their email accounts. At my work we use Office 365 and ADFS to do federated logins. We've generally don't have extended outages, so this hasn't been a problem, but some schools with more flaky architecture have elected to place backups of their AD domain/LDAP/SAML infrastructure in the cloud to prevent these

    • by jrumney ( 197329 )
      also... reset passwords = a generic standard passcode ????
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The shitty summary doesn't even mention motive.

    Non story.

    Captcha: grassy

  • Clickbait headline (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt.nerdflat@com> on Sunday January 21, 2018 @05:44PM (#55974225) Journal
    The fact that this person was a former Jeopardy champion, or the fact that she may have been recognized as an elder of some church is entirely irrelevant except insomuch as it might make some people who wouldn't otherwise give two shits about what this person did to instead click on the link to read about it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "School employee accesses colleagues' emails without permission" doesn't sound as good.

    • The fact that this person was a former Jeopardy champion, or the fact that she may have been recognized as an elder of some church is entirely irrelevant except insomuch as it might make some people who wouldn't otherwise give two shits about what this person did to instead click on the link to read about it.

      I agree, somewhat. A former Jeopardy champion, and therefore a minor celebrity, breaking the law is perhaps news. A church elder breaking the law doesn't sound like news to me, how many people even know what a "church elder" does?

      I'd think what would be more interesting of a headline is a college professor was caught trying to blackmail a fellow professor. I'd think a more appropriate headline would be, "Professor/'Jeopardy' Champ Caught Hacking College E-mails", or something like that. I'm sure some pe

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Christianity is still incredibly popular, so most people know what a church elder is and does.

        And, as they all know, church elders are chosen by their community, in part, because of their solid moral values.

        So, church elders accused of a crime has shock value.

        This should all be obvious.

        • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Sunday January 21, 2018 @08:32PM (#55975019) Homepage Journal

          Christianity is still incredibly popular, so most people know what a church elder is and does.

          And, as they all know, church elders are chosen by their community, in part, because of their solid moral values.

          Um, no, I bet most people do not know this. Most christian varieties don't have elders, and while they may have heard the word, would have no way of knowing whether they were elected, appointed, graduated to being one, or just got old.

          Don't presume that everybody else lives in your tiny world.

          • by labnet ( 457441 )

            Just about every Protestant based church has a local board of elders that oversees the church staff.

            • by arth1 ( 260657 )

              Just about every Protestant based church has a local board of elders that oversees the church staff.

              This is mostly the case for Presbyterian-derived churches (Presbyter = elder), but many other protestant denominations have no concept of elders. They may have people with similar functions, but tend to call them other things like pastors or deacons.

              In fact, I'd think most Christians except those from Presbyterian-derived churches would think of Elders as young Mormons knocking on doors.

        • I know about no christian cult in Germany that has 'Elders'.
          Josuas Wittnesses perhaps or Methodists ... the only Elders I see are 18-20 year old americans trying to mission in Germany ... which is kind if funny as everyone ignores them but they are always super confident ... and Elder would be translated into 'the older one' in German, and such young guys are called Elders.
          Anyway, people who never saw such 'Elders' walk around and connect them to a christian cult, don't know what an
          Elder is supposed to be.

    • It may cause Alex to release a statement that the former champion obtained undue prominence if they used their Jeopardy!-level smarts as part of their being hired or kept.

  • Bad move. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Sunday January 21, 2018 @06:12PM (#55974349)

    From TFA:

    Jass admitted to school authorities to accessing the emails of Docking, Caldwell, Assistant Vice President Bridgette Winslow, several unnamed fellow faculty members and students, including her stepson. She made these acknowledgements May 8 in a meeting with Human Resources Director Renee Burck; Vice President of Business Affairs Jerry Wright; and Patrick Quinlan, president of the faculty union, according to a timeline put together by the college and contained in the police report.

    If I've learned anything about crime from corporations, it's that you should deny everything until the end of time and frustrate the prosecution endlessly until they are willing to let you go with a slap on the wrist but without admitting guilt.

    • by thomst ( 1640045 )
      Gravis Zero noted:

      From TFA:

      Jass admitted to school authorities to accessing the emails of Docking, Caldwell, Assistant Vice President Bridgette Winslow, several unnamed fellow faculty members and students, including her stepson. She made these acknowledgements May 8 in a meeting with Human Resources Director Renee Burck; Vice President of Business Affairs Jerry Wright; and Patrick Quinlan, president of the faculty union, according to a timeline put together by the college and contained in the police report.

      If I've learned anything about crime from corporations, it's that you should deny everything until the end of time and frustrate the prosecution endlessly until they are willing to let you go with a slap on the wrist but without admitting guilt.

      It's worth noting that being a former Jeopardy! champion doesn't mean you're immune from acting foolishly.

      There's a reason why Gary Gygax made Intelligence and Wisdom separate character traits, even way back when the D&D ruleset consisted of three stapled pamphlets in a white box ...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    tell me she has a brother named Hugh.

    • She also knows a seat cushion tester named Maya Surts, and is part of a working mother's support group with Erasmus B. Dragon.

  • I read the title, saw "Church", "Elder", and "Jeopardy champion". The first two made me think "LDS" because of my upbringing and that plus Jeopardy champion... well.
  • by buddyglass ( 925859 ) on Sunday January 21, 2018 @08:58PM (#55975161)
    She plays Learned League [learnedleague.com], and is a damn sight better at it than I am.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So wait a second. There was a power outage. Somehow that equals reset passwords. Then they apparently send the same temporary password out to everybody via text message? The IT guy should be held in criminal contempt.

  • Worked fine?!? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SecurityGuy ( 217807 )

    They set ALL the passwords to the same thing, then told EVERYBODY the password, and that meets their definition of "working fine"? That meets my definition of fundamentally broken.

  • Is her husband's name Hugh?

  • What is this church hiding? They used a vicious badlaw to purge and silence this woman. What did they fear she would reveal to the public?

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