Canadian Student Expelled After Finding Critical Flaw in Software Used by Colleges

Unfortunately, there’s still a very thin line between security research and hacking. That’s the lesson learned by 20-year-old Ahmed Al-Khabaz, a computer science student at Dawson College in Montreal.

According to the National Post, Al-Khabaz identified a security hole in the Omnivox software – an application used by most general and vocational colleges in Quebec – while working on a mobile app designed to allow students to access their accounts more easily.

He found that because of “sloppy coding,” anyone with basic computer skills could gain access to the personal details of over 250,000 students, including their social insurance numbers. The student immediately reported the flaw to the Director of Information Services and Technology, who promised that he and Skytech, the company responsible for developing Omnivox, would address the issue.