University of Central Florida student Sami Ammar surrendered himself to the Orange County Jail on Wednesday after allegations of logging or hacking into a UCF computer under someone else’s identity and changing his engineering class grade from an “F” to a “B” were made public.
University of Central Florida Police Department Chief Richard Beary explained how they found Ammar was one of the students who allegedly committed the crime.
“This is actually some good police work," Chief Beary said. "Once the professor determined someone had altered the grades, he came to us and we worked with the university information technology staff to back track. We used the surveillance videos in the building, and were able to figure out that individual was in that building at the exact same time the grade was changed.”
Sami Ammar was released on bond the same day. However, he was automatically suspended from the university, according to UCF PD.
The criminal case is separate from the university.
The University of Central Florida abides by “The Golden Rule,” which according to the university webpage is “a compilation of policies and procedures from different university areas intended to define your rights and responsibilities as a student and provide you with a better understanding of your role as a member of the UCF community.”
Chief Beary said Ammar broke the golden rule.
Allegedly, Ammar also broke several of the rules of conduct stipulated by the Office of Student Conduct.
Jabari Long, forensic science major at UCF, said that the university would probably need to beef up their security system because if they could change a grade, they could change anything.
However, Long does not believe Ammar should face certain repercussions.
“He should probably not be up for expulsion - maybe probation because he found a flaw in the system,” Long said.
UCF student Bridget Masa, a mechanical engineering major, shared a different opinion.
“The fact that he actually tested the theory and it worked is crazy,” Masa said. “But I mean, I’m assuming he’s gonna get kicked out school. I think he should be kicked out.”
Chief Beary said this is not a minor incident.
“I hope people realize this is not a minor thing,” he said. “This is fraud, and when you commit fraud you have committed a crime and there are going to be repercussions.”
Originally published May 25, 2017.