Dawson student accused of a cyber-attack offered job in IT security
Published Tuesday, January 22, 2013 8:18AM EST
A Dawson College student who was expelled after discovering a security flaw in the school’s online portal has been offered a job with the company that created it.
Hamed Al-Khabaz was expelled in November after being accused of launching a cyber-attack on the school’s website. Al-Khabaz said he stumbled upon a breach in the Dawson College online portal that could have jeopardized the personal information of thousands of students. He alerted school officials about the flaw and was told the problem would be fixed immediately.
Two days later, he confirmed the fix had been completed, but found other problems with the site. During these checks, Al-Khabaz said he received a call from an official at Skytech, which was getting messages that someone was trying to gain unauthorized access to the system.
On Nov. 14 Al-Khabaz was expelled from the school after being accused of launching a cyber-attack.
Skytech Communications, the company that created the school’s website, which contains students’ ID numbers, grades and social security numbers, say that they’ve offered the 20-year-old a job in IT security.
“We feel that this situation should not prevent such a talented student from doing what he loves most,” the company said in a statement released on its website. “Just as we are already collaborating with the other student who helped discover the flaw, we will also offer this student to work for us with mandates in IT security in order to allow him to work in the subject area he loves.
Al-Khabaz said he read about the job offer on Skytech’s website, but claims that the company has not tried to contact him directly.
“I think it’s a very courageous move on their part,” Al-Khabaz told CTV’s Canada AM on Tuesday. “They’ve understood my intentions, unlike Dawson College.”
Citing Quebec privacy laws, the Quebec school has said it would not discuss the circumstances surrounding Al-Khabaz’s expulsion, but a statement posted on the Dawson College website says it stands by its decision.
Meanwhile, the student union has launched a petition in hopes of having Dawson College reinstate Al-Khabaz, however the 20-year-old said he doesn’t have any intentions of returning to the school.
“At this point they really don’t want me and I guess it’s OK, even though I think they had great teachers and a great program,” he said. “But at this point, I think I’ll find another private school to go to.”