Cheating student who hacked university's computer system to inflate his exam results is jailed

A cheating student who hacked into the University of Birmingham's computer system so he could get a better degree has been jailed for four months.

Imran Uddin, 25, used a keyboard spying device to steal staff passwords and then upped five exam marks, including one from 57 per cent to 73 per cent, reports the Birmingham Mail.

The student, of Chesterton Road, Balsall Heath, had been in his final year of a bio-science course and had been expected to achieve at least a lower second class degree.

But he was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court after admitting six charges contrary to the Computer Misuse Act.

Judge James Burbidge QC told Uddin: "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.

"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."

The court heard married Uddin had attached a "shadowing" keyboard device at the back of a number of university computers in order to steal staff passwords.

Madhu Rai, prosecuting, said: "It is effectively a case where the defendant has hacked into a number of computers at the university where he was studying for a degree in bio-science."

She said matters came to light on October 7 last year when two staff members carried out routine upgrade on a computer in a lecture theatre in the bio-science building.

When they removed protective casing they discovered a spying device had been attached to the back, which could record the key strokes of anyone using the keyboard - including their passwords.

As a result other university computers were checked, and three other devices were found.

Miss Rai said one had been attached to a computer in a 'staff only' area to obtain the password of employee Christine Chapman, who had access to exam grade software.

Further inquiries revealed Uddin hacked into the university's computer system to change five of his coursework results to a higher percentage.

One paper was altered from a mark of 57 per cent to 73.6 per cent.


When the student's home was searched police found he had made ebay searches on his computer for keyboard cheating devices and had also made attempts to access the university marking system.

Balbir Singh, defending, said Uddin was the only person from his family who had gone to university and at the time had put himself under so much pressure "that he could not see clearly."

He added: "He was in his final year and was suspended.

"It is very unlikely that any other university will touch him after this.

"This is not a case where he was hopelessly failing and was not going to be able to succeed."