I have notice that college hacking is often treated differently and with even shorter sentences if they are strictly modifying their on situation or posting security wholes.

Numerous examples in the media

  1. Ryan Pickren no jail sentence modifying on grades
  2. Kevin Mitnick 5 years
  3. Daniel Beckwhitt no jail sentence modifying on grades
  4. Omar Khan 69 felonies 38 years in Prison college hacking

Do these fall into differently qualities as academic fraud? If its academic fraud shouldn't it be treated differently in real life?

Real hackers get often much longer sentences but there is discrepancy on what happens.

1 Answer 1


It's naive to assume a college age hacker (or a hacker who bases his/her attacks from an academic institution) is treated differently than a "real" hacker, whatever a real hacker might be.

The sentence any convicted hacker receives depends on many factors: the prosecutor, the evidence, veracity of witnesses, jurisdiction (academic or not), previous criminal records, the actual laws the person is being charged under, the judge, the jury, the lawyers, plea bargains, media coverage, etc.

There are so many factors that the outcomes of the prosecutions of "hacking" crimes can be very different, re: your examples. Read about each case and you'll find many differences.

Academic fraud or any form of fraud are completely different crimes. Hackers can commit fraud, but not all fraud involves hacking. Being convicted of fraud can sometimes happen if the evidence for a hacking charge is weak, or other factors. Again, that involves the specific case, the prosecutor, laws, the evidence, etc.

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