Yesterday while reading through some articles on my way to work I happened to come across a CBC article on a Montreal student who had been expelled from Dawson College for hacking into the school’s network.
20-year-old Hamed Al-Khabaz was a enrolled in the colleges computer science program. He was working on a class project when he stumbled upon a flaw in the schools web portal allowing pretty much anyone with intermediate coding knowledge access to the system containing students personal information. Which is pretty damn horrible alone without taking into account the web portal is used across the province.
Up until yesterday representatives of Dawson College have remained tight-lipped as to why they’ve chosen to expel Hamed for disclosing a HUGE security flaw to the school administration. I mean really, if Mr. Al-Khabaz had devious intentions and intentionally hacked into the web portal looking for a security flaw why the hell would he disclose it? Usually one would do some in hopes of being rewarded for his work and helping beef up security: guess not at Dawson.
Below is an excerpt taking from a GlobeMontreal article in which a representative of Dawson college speak out on the matter due to the ever growing media attention this matter has gained.
Filion said the student was kicked out because he breached the college’s code of professional conduct.
“Dawson College has the responsibility to instil the principles of proper conduct in the workplace so that employers hiring our graduates know they are responsible citizens and qualified workers who understand how to behave in a professional environment,” Filion said.
But it gets better.
Filion said Dawson considered pushing for criminal charges against Al-Khabaz but the institution decided to deal with the matter on an academic level and leave any further action to Skytech.
So, the college left criminal prosecution up to the company behind the software. I guess assuming they’d be peeved at the breach of their security – instead, the president of Skytech personally reached out to Hamed offering him a position at the company.
Isn’t that funny, the school who lost nothing and gained improved security was the only one to condemn the actions of Hamed.
Thankfully in lieu of the media attention Hamed has been offered 10 jobs. One of which in my eyes should have been at the school itself.
Another case of “hacking” blown out of proportion.