Hacking into Harvard
The case “Hacking into Harvard” involves the applicants of some of the nation’s most prestigious MBA programs, who thought they had a chance to find out sooner what admission decisions the business schools made in their case. On Businessweek Online message board they saw instructions left by an anonymous hacker on how to get into schools databases and find out the decisions made. It was not hard – all schools used the same application software from Apply Yourself, Inc., and the instructions posted were very clear and simple. During nine hours that it took the business schools to fix their security problems, around two hundred students got curious and checked the results of their applications. Those students were subsequently rejected the admissions to the schools they applied for. The decision were based on prospective students’ actions being unethical.
1. I would have taken an opportunity to learn my results sooner, if I have been one of the MBA applicants in the case, and I would have considered it to be a moral decision. Businessweek Online, as far as I understood, was a reliable message board that thousands of students used. If there were some instructions posted on the board, that the schools’ officials did not like or approve of, they (officials) should have posted a note to all the applicants on the same message board to not use the instructions and stay away from trouble. It was not stated in the case that anything like that was done, so I assumed it was not. We could even assume that the officials did not take any measures on purpose to get rid of at least some pull of numerous applicants. Also, how weak the security systems of the nation’s most prestigious schools needed to be for regular (not IT) people to get in? I would have made the decision to follow the instructions out of curiosity and desire to find out the results of my application sooner, rather than basing it on my moral principles.
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