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Student expelled for reporting cyber fault

Jan. 22, 2013 at 11:59 AM   |   Comments

MONTREAL, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Students at a Canadian college say they are seeking the reinstatement of a fellow student who reported an online security flaw that exposed student information.

The student union at Dawson College in Montreal has set up a website and started a petition in support of Hamed al-Khabaz, who was expelled after he discovered a gap in the school's online security that allowed him to access information about 250,000 students in Quebec, the Toronto Star reported Tuesday.

Al-Khabaz made the discovery while developing a mobile app that would allow Dawson students easier access to their personal accounts, the report said.

He reported the breach to the school's head of information technology, who thanked him and reported the situation to the maker of the software.

However, the dean called al-Khabaz a "threat" and charged that he had acted with "criminal and malicious intent," the report said.

Fourteen of the 15 professors in the computer science department later voted to expel al-Khabaz.

He was given zeros in all his classes, and a note in his school record that he was expelled for unprofessional conduct, severely limiting his chances of being admitted to another school, the Star reported.

A representative of the student union said the maker of the software that al-Khabaz breached has offered the student a scholarship to a private university and a part-time job.

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