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Church elder charged with hacking

by on22 January 2018

She was also a seven-time double Jeopardy winner

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.

Apparently, Jass accessed the accounts because of an April 24 issue with the college email system, hosted by Google.  Frank Hribar, vice president for enrolment 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 the 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", alleged Hribar.

After the outage, Jass had a document "that consisted of notes and comments and 'problems'" regarding faculty members, a professor learned during a lunch meeting with Jass on May 3 at an Adrian cafe.

The two talked of academic staff in need of improvement and mentoring, Jass revealed the document on her mobilephone and told her associate it was from the accounts of Docking and Caldwell.

"During the conversation, Jass commented to (the professor) that Caldwell did not like her and that Docking was 'crooked,'" states the report, obtained this week through a Freedom of Information Act request

"Based on the tone used... (the fellow professor) stated that she felt like the information was being downloaded for blackmail although this was never said."

Jass, 47, of Tecumseh, was charged in December with unauthorised 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 on 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."


Last modified on 22 January 2018
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