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January 22, 2013

Canadian student expelled after finding security flaw

Online campaign calls for Hamed al-Habaz's reinstatement.
Ahmed Al-Khabaz
Photo by safesolvent.com, used with permission.

Twenty-one year-old student Hamed al-Khabaz was expelled from Montreal's Dawson College last November after uncovering a security flaw in his school's computer system.

While working on a mobile app that would allow students to check their school email accounts, al-Khabaz stumbled upon a coding issue that jeopardised users' personal information. He reported the issue to Dawson administrators and ran security checks days later. Skytech, the company responsible for the school's email software accused al-Khabaz of a "cyber-attack". Weeks later the university formally expelled al-Khabaz, citing a "serious professional conduct issue".

On Monday, the Dawson Student Union launched a campaign called "Hamed Helped, Help Hamed", calling for the school to reinstate al-Khabaz. From the online campaign: