An aspiring medical student from Rockville was punished for trying to change his MCAT scores by hacking into the Association of American Medical Colleges database, The Washington Post reports.
Bosung Shim, 24, was sentenced Friday to three months in prison. Prosecutors, who had asked for a 10-month prison term, depicted him as the desperate son of South Korean doctors who was willing to do anything to get into medical school, The Post reports.
Shim first tried to hack his alma mater, University of
Michigan, in order to change his grades, but he was unsuccessful, according to
federal court records Patch accessed online.
He resorted to submitting a faked paper transcript as part of his medical school application. Shim paid $1,000 for 5,000 sheets of paper made to look the same type of paper the University of Michigan used on its transcripts. He also used a fake transcript to get a research position at National Institutes of Health, court records show.
Shim then tried to hack the Association of American Medical Colleges’ system to either change or erase the record of his MCAT scores—a test he took seven times between 2009 and 2012, according to court records.
After his own hacking effort failed, Shim paid others $6,000 to break into the database, though one of the hackers made off with $600 of Shim’s money, according to court documents.
The Association of American Medical Colleges began blocking IP addresses related to the hacks, which forced them to shut down two of its databases.
In March 2013, Shim was questioned by the Secret Service and reportedly admitted to the hack, though months later he would start preparing a bogus graduate transcript to submit to employers, according to court records.
Shim pleaded guilty in October to intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization, court records show.
According to The Post, Shim reportedly told the judge that his actions were “unacceptable” and said that he wanted to be an “honest person.”