Mummy Buzz


College Expels Student for Hacking

Computer Whiz or Cyber Attacker?

Dawson College in Montreal has expelled a computer science student after he unwittingly discovered flaws in the school's online security, leaking personal information of students on the school's database.   

According to an article in the Star, 20-year-old Hamed Al-Khabaz informed the school of the vulnerability of its computerized data while trying to create an app to give students access to their school accounts. 

In the process, he cracked encrypted data with such confidential information as "SIN numbers, transcripts and home addresses."

“It was completely insecure,” Al-Khabaz said. “Anyone in the world could log in and access someone’s data.”

He then contacted the school's IT department, alerting them of the system's vulnerability. What happened next shocked the student. He was accused of "launching a cyber attack" no less, and threatened with jail time. He signed a nondisclosure agreement, and complied at every step. 

Instead of embracing and harnessing the talents of this budding Zuckerberg, the school decided to expel him. 

His appeal to the dean was denied, and his school record blighted. 

Al-Khabaz is now fearful that he will be rejected from other schools to which he applies. His story has gone viral, with the Dawson Student Union launching a website and an online petition to have him reinstated. 

Was the college's reaction justified? Do you think the student deserved to be expelled?