Hacker gets prison time for trying to change MCAT score

Bosung Shim realllllly wanted to get into medical school. He'll be going to prison instead.

Asians behaving badly... MCAT hacker edition! In Virginia, a wannabe medical student was sentenced to three months in prison for hacking into the Association of American Medical Colleges computer system in an attempt to modify his lackluster scores on the Medical College Admission Test.

Aspiring medical student sentenced to three months in prison in MCAT hacking case

It's clear that 24-year-old Bosung Shim realllllly wanted to get into medical school. He'll be going to prison instead. Shim was sentenced to three months behind bars after pleading guilty to trying to hack into computer systems of the AAMC and the University of Michigan to give himself higher scores and grades. When that didn't work, dude hired other hackers to help him.

The computer crimes were apparently just the latest in several schemes Shim hatched to improve his med school prospects, including creating fake college transcripts, recommendation letters and diplomas:

Shim was legitimately awarded a bachelor’s of science in biomedical engineering in August 2011, according to a University of Michigan spokeswoman. Still, he sent his faked transcript to the Association of American Medical Colleges as part of a medical school application packet, prosecutors wrote. He also used it to help win a research position at the National Institutes of Health, prosecutors wrote. The NIH said in a statement that Shim worked as a fellow — not a full-fledged employee — from September 2012 to September 2013 and declined to comment further.

All the while, Shim struggled to earn an MCAT score to his liking. He took the test seven times between March 2009 and July 2012, and chose to receive only two scores: a 22 and a 25. Possible scores on the test range from 3 to 45.

Prosecutors wrote in court filings that Shim tried to hack into the association’s computer system in July 2012 to change his scores or to at least change the records so he could take the MCAT again. When his own efforts failed, prosecutors wrote, he paid hackers $6,000 to help him. At least one absconded with $600. While others were able to access the computer system, the association detected the intrusion and soon began shutting down databases and blocking IP addresses associated with Shim’s computers.
Shim's intrusion reportedly caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage to the medical college association's computer system. In addition to the prison time, Shim was ordered to pay more than $31,650 in restitution.

Just like the case of the Harvard student who sent a fake bomb threat in order to get out of a final exam, considering all the energy, resources and money Shim spent trying to fake his way into med school, he would have been better off just hitting the books a little harder. Pass or fail, at least he wouldn't be looking at jail time.

I think it's safe to say that Bosung will not be studying medicine at an accredited institution anytime soon.

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