Tech student pays price for ‘Greatest prank ever,’ hack of UGA

A Georgia Tech student who hacked University of Georgia computers and added “Get Ass Kicked by GT,” to the UGA master calendar two days before the annual football matchup in 2014 has done his community service and is coming clean.

“Today all of the charges regarding my incident with the University of Georgia have officially been dismissed,” Ryan Gregory Pickren posted on his Facebook site Thursday. “I would like to take a moment to tell my story about how I ended up in a jail cell Christmas 2014.”

Pickren, a computer engineering major, “became desensitized to the impact that a computer breach could have on organizations. But I was about to learn the hard way that not all “research” ends with cash rewards and free merchandise,” he wrote.

An ESPN reporter discovered it and wrote about it. The prank blew up, and Pickren was charged with felony computer trespass. He was offered a legal diversion that would keep him out of jail and drop charges in return for community service, an apology and keeping his nose clean. Pickren served Atlanta nonprofits, helping them protect their websites against hacks.

It apparently did not impress legal authorities in Athens that his addition to the calendar was true. Georgia Tech beat UGA 30-24.

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