University student jailed for using a keylogger to up his exam scores

Photo by Alberto G., Flickr

Photo by Alberto G., Flickr

Cheating is a wrong act that is considered to be a serious offense to school officials. Birmingham University student Imran Uddin is facing severe consequences as a result of cheating. He has been jailed for four months because he used a keyboard spying device to steal staff passwords in order to up his exam scores by five points.

According to The Telegraph, Uddin is suspected to be the first British student to ever be jailed for cheating. He upped one exam from 57% to 73%. Uddin was pursuing his final year of a bio science course expecting to achieve a lower second class degree. He was jailed at the Birmingham Crown Court after admitting to six charges under the Computer Misuse Act.

Scholars will be prosecuted for illegal hacking

Uddin attached a “shadowing” keyboard device to the back of several university computers in order to steal passwords. The device could ultimately record the keystrokes of anyone using the keyboard as stated by prosecutor Madhu Rai.

Presiding Judge James Burbidge QC stated:

“For reasons not entirely clear to me, whether it was monetary, or pride or a desire to out-perform others, you decided to cheat and you formed a settled intention to do that. I consider your actions were planned and persistent.”

Among other checked university computers, three other devices were also found to have a similar keylogging/spying device attached. Miss Rai said one of the devices had been attached to a “staff only” computer in order to gain access to the exam grading software. The defense claimed that Uddin was under so much pressure that he could not see clearly.

A spokeswoman from Birmingham University in response to this stated:

“The University cannot comment on individual cases, however, we take any criminal activity extremely seriously and work closely with West Midlands Police.”

The ruling has yet to be decided on the case. The situation looks rather grim for Uddin because students convicted of serious crimes face a student misconduct investigation and permanent expulsion.

Do you think it’s fair that this student is facing charges for his cheating? Let us know what you think!

Have a safe (malware-free) day!