Dawson College expels student for exposing vulnerabilities in student portal

MONTREAL, Jan. 21, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - On November 14th, 2012, Dawson College expelled Computer Science student Hamed Al-Khabaz for discovering weaknesses and security flaws in their Online Student Portal. Since that time, his appeal has been rejected, his University prospects have dissipated and he has been ordered to repay the grants allocated to him by Aide Financière aux Études.

"Hamed is a brilliant computer science student who simply wanted to help his school," said Morgan Crockett, Director of Internal Affairs and Advocacy of the Dawson Student Union. "Dawson College should be thankful for his talent and foresight. They must immediately reinstate Hamed, refund the debt he has incurred as a result of his unjust expulsion and offer him a public apology."

Although Québec students were spared from the HRSDC security breech announced last week, Al-Khabaz unearthed massive shortcomings in Omnviox, a system run by Skytech Communications and used by Dawson College and many other Post-Secondary institutions. Though he offered to assist Skytech to fix malfunctions that could lead to the theft of over one hundred thousand students social insurance numbers, Al-Khabaz's good-will was rejected and he was instead greeted with increased hostility, character accusations and legal threats.

"Skytech has been entrusted to safeguard student's personal information. It hasn't done so and it's absurd that the Dawson College administration has turned a blind eye to their colossal oversight," said Geoffrey Graham director of Communications and Mobilisation. "Dawson has a responsibility towards its students. When a third-party calls a student in the middle of the night and threatens to jail them, you should be questioning your relationship with the company, not expelling the whistleblower."

For more information, visit http://hamedhelped.com.

The DSU represents all 10,500 Dawson College students in Westmount, Québec.

SOURCE: DAWSON STUDENT UNION

For further information:

For more information, accompanying documentation or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Mathieu Perron, Executive Director, 514.743.6329 or exec_director@mydsu.ca (English/Français)