Friday, September 12, 2008

White hat hacker faces jail

One of my fellow students at Carleton University, Mansour Moufid, has just been charged with two criminal offences for hacking into student accounts.

Good, you might say. You'd be wrong.

The student in question did the hack and then wrote a complete report of it to the university administration, stressing how easy it was to do and urging tougher security measures. There is no evidence that any of the data he accessed had been misused. This is a near-classic case of white hat hacking.

I suspect that some ego on his part was at work here, but what this student did was an act of good citizenship. The university administration, however, to cover its own embarrassment, is lashing out in a fit of pique, threatening a young man's future. The charges should be dropped forthwith. As someone who uses a campus card myself, I think this fellow deserves an award.

If you agree, please send a politely-worded email to Dr. Roseann Runte, President of Carleton:, and share your thoughts.

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