A Birmingham University student hacked his way into the school’s computer system to give himself better grades.
Imran Uddin is a 25-year-old bio-science major and was already on his final year at the university when it was discovered that he hacked into the school’s system to alter his grades.
University officials found several hacking gadgets that Uddin is said to have used to get into the school’s network, including “shadowing” devices and keyboard spying equipment.
The bio-science major reportedly sneaked the spying equipment into the school, including the “shadowing” devices that looked like USB memory sticks. These devices, which reportedly costs around $74, records and saves everything a computer user types on the keyboard of the computer where the spying device is connected.
Uddin allegedly used the data recorded by these devices to steal the passwords of university staff, and later on logged on to their accounts to alter his grades.
Uddin’s criminal activities were not discovered until Oct. 7 of last year, when he ran out of luck.
It was in that day that the university started upgrading their computer systems, and while doing so the school staff found the suspicious-looking devices, which prompted them to check all other computers in the university.
They found a total of four of Uddin’s spying equipment.
It is unclear how the university staff were able to arrive at the conclusion that Uddin was behind the spying devices, but further search conducted by police officers at Uddin’s residence revealed that he had been looking for such devices on eBay, which they discovered after carrying out an analysis on his computer.
Judge James Burbridge of the Birmingham Crown Court sentenced Uddin to four months in jail last Thursday, citing that the justice system needs to show some deterrent to prevent criminals from carrying out activities that could undermine the country’s educational system. He told:
“For reasons not entirely clear to me, whether it was monetary, or pride, or a desire to outperform others, you decided to cheat and you formed a settled intention to do that. I consider your actions were planned and persistent.”
“This kind of conduct undermines, or has the potential to undermine, public confidence in the degree system, set up by this university. I have decided I cannot pass a suspended sentence because there needs to be an element of deterrence.”
Uddin’s defense lawyer, on the other hand, claims that his client committed the crime because Uddin felt pressured to do well in school, with him being the first member of his family to have actually gone to a university.