Man allegedly hacked systems at work and schools to steal data, change grades

Posted at 1:43 PM, Aug 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-06 23:23:36-04

LINDON, Utah -- A 26-year-old Brigham Young University student was arrested on charges of identity theft and computer crimes.

Police say Gabriel Camacho stole personal information of his co-workers, other students and even professors at BYU and the University of Utah.

It all started when Camacho was fired from his job when his employer suspected he had hacked into their computer system. Turns out, the employer was right and after authorities searched a flash drive Camacho left behind, they said they learned he had hacked into more systems.

"We're talking passwords, account numbers, birth dates, all of that information,” Chief Cody Cullimore of Lindon police said.

And it’s sensitive information Lindon police say Camacho has admitted to stealing. There could be more than 50 potential victims between his recent employer, U of U and BYU.

“We are still in the process of trying to determine exactly what he may have done to use that information,” Cullimore said.

BYU Police said Camacho is behind at least two other similar hacking incidents, where he allegedly tried to steal tests and change his grades.

Lt. Arnold Lemmon said: "He burglarizes an office, installs a key logger, and later retrieves that so now he's got passwords, access codes, all of that. So now he can go into that professor's account or whoever he's targeting, gets into the account, now he works on his academic record."

Camacho was not a currently enrolled student, but had been in the past. Several years ago, he pleaded guilty to a class B misdemeanor for stealing and tampering with a personal computer, so campus police believe he was altering his school records to try to get back into school at BYU.

Police said Camacho was able to work around extensive security measures where he worked, and also at both campuses.

"He obviously knows his way around a computer,” Cullimore said. “He appears to be a very intelligent person from what my detectives have told me about the interviews, maybe to the point of believing he was too smart to get caught."

The counts of identity theft and computer crimes Camacho is facing are felonies, and if the investigation finds that he's used any of this information across state lines, he could face federal charges in this case.