Cheating student jailed for hacking Birmingham University computers

News by Doug Drinkwater

25-year-old bio-science student Imran Uddin, of Chesterton Road in Balsall Heath, has been jailed for four months after being found guilty of hacking into the University of Birmingham's computer system so that he could 'improve' his exam results.

Uddin, who was in his final year of his bio-science course, was found guilty to have used a keylogging device to steal passwords from staff, after which time he upped his five exam marks, including one which he increased from 57 percent to 73 percent. He had been expected to achieve a 2:2 degree.

However, the Birmingham Crown Court yesterday ruled he was guilty and sentenced him to four months in prison, after Uddin admitted six charges contrary to the Computer Misuse Act.

“For reasons not entirely clear to me, whether it was monetary, or pride or a desire to outperform others, you decided to cheat and you formed a settled intention to do that. I consider your actions were planned and persistent,” Judge James Burbidge QC told Uddin.

“This kind of conduct undermines or has the potential to undermine public confidence in the degree system, set up by this university. I have decided I cannot pass a suspended sentence because there needs to be an element of deterrence.”

Uddin apparently attached a “shadowing” keyboard device at the back of a number of university computers and the incident came to a head when staff members discovered the unit when carrying out routine maintenance on October 7 last year. Three devices were found in total.

A police search of the student's home found that Uddin had searched on eBay for keyloggers, while he had also made attempts to access the university marking system.

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