A recent University alum was arraigned Friday afternoon on
charges that he hacked into the University’s computer system and
stole uniquenames and passwords of over 60 University students and
professors.

Ning Ma, a 24-year-old former Rackham student, was arrested and
charged on Thursday. He was arraigned Friday at 1:30 P.M. at the
14th District Court in Ann Arbor.

Ma could face up to five years in prison, according to a written
statement from Sage Eastman, a spokesperson for Attorney General
Mike Cox.

Eastman said Ma hacked into other peoples’ e-mail accounts and
network storage space to forge e-mails and to obtain copies of
final exams and answer sheets from professors. He was also able to
access private information such as a credit card number and bank
account and PIN number of another student.

In one instance, he forged an e-mail from a professor to a
female student, in which he told her that she was failing a class
and offered to tutor her in hopes of receiving sexual favors in
return. In another, he also canceled a student’s job interview,
Eastman said.

Cox has levied 23 charges against the Chinese citizen currently
on a student visa, including counts of unauthorized access to a computer, computer system or network, eavesdropping, unlawful possession of eavesdropping device and using computers to commit a crime.

DPS spokesperson Diane Brown said Ma’s bond is set at $1 million
– he will have to post $100,000 in cash to get out of jail. She
said his next court appearance is a preliminary exam August 13 at 1
p.m. at the Fourteenth District Court.

James Hilton, the associate provost for Academic, Information
and Instructional Technology Affairs said in a written statement
that the case has been handled in accordance with the
University’s Proper Use Policy. “Based on this policy, we have
procedures in place to track misuse of our system, and policies
that provide appropriate sanctions for those who abuse it.” Hilton
said. “The (University) takes this case very seriously and has been
working closely with the authorities on this investigation. We are
committed to providing a highly secure computing environment for
our users.”

Ma could not be reached for comment.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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