A California student has been sentenced to a year in prison after being found guilty of mass identity theft used to rig a student body election.
Matthew Weaver, a student at California State University San Marcos, was charged earlier in the year with stealing and using the passwords of 745 of his peers.
Prosecutors in the case say the 22-year-old college student intended to use the stolen password information to rig online elections for student body. Weaver was one of two candidates up for the position, BBC reports.
An investigation showed that Weaver had used keylogging software on school computers to accumulate passwords and log in information of hundreds of California State University students. Keylogger software records everything a user types; sorting through that, a person can easily find secret account information for a user.
Using this information, Weaver cast almost 630 votes both for himself and for his friends in other elections. However, the scheme began to fall apart after university officials continued to get complaints from students unable to log into their accounts to vote.
Noticing that some of the people reporting log in problems had already voted, officials found hundreds of votes coming from a single computer. Tracing the connection, the jig was up after campus police caught Weaver red handed at the suspicious computer, as online polls closed.
Despite being caught in the act, Weaver spent the next several weeks attempting to deny the charges, casting the blame on others, reports Courthouse News Service.
Weaver’s judge noted that had he not tried to cover up the crime, Weaver would have likely gotten leniency, saying “He’s on fire for this crime then he pours gasoline on it.”
The California student prosecutors describe as “an incredibly entitled young man” will be facing the next year in prison for the identity theft of hundreds of his fellow students.
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