Student uses a keyboard spying device to hack the computer of Birmingham University to up his own grades and has been sentenced for 4 months of jail.

A final year student was found guilty of hacking the university computers to change his marks and to increase his overall final year grades has been sentenced by the court for a 4 months of jail.

Imran Uddin, a 25 year old student of Bio Science, at the University of Birmingham hacked the university computers by using “keyboard spying device”. This device resembles a USB stick and can be purchased from the internet sites for as low as £49. Mr. Uddin had bought these equipments from online website ebay and implanted them on a number of computers in the university where he was studying.

The device basically would record everything that one types through the keyboard and it also saves the data. So this device has a software which records the keystrokes from keyboard. Uddin had plugged these devices in all computers that was used by the University staff members and hence he was able to find out the passwords of the staff members. Now, it was easy for him to re login into the staff accounts with the help of this password.

Uddin, ultimately used this data to change five of his marks. In one case he upped his marks froms 57 to 73 percent. As per his teachers, he was expected to score a lower second class degree.

During the trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge James Burdige told Uddin: “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.”

Mr. Burdige also added: “This kind of conduct undermines or has the potential to undermine public confidence in the degree system set up by this university.” He further added that he cannot suspend the case as he feels it is necessary to put Uddin behind the bars as “deterrence” to others.

It all began way back in October 2014, when the university staff were upgrading the computers in the Bio Science wing, they discovered that some device was attached at the back of the computer. These devices were shoved inside the protective casing of the computer. The staff members then started their extensive search and found that the devices had been implanted in other 3 computers as well. A further investigation by the university staff clearly revealed that Uddin had hacked the computers using some Keyboard shadowing software with which he had changed marks on five pieces.

Uddin’s home was then raided by the police and a further scrutiny of his computer showed that he had searched for the “keyboard shadowing devices” on eBay.

Prosecutor Madhu Rai 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.” Miss Rai further also informed Mr. Burdige that one device was implanted to a computer that exclusively belonged to the staff of the university and the main purpose of this was to obtain the password of Christine Chapman, the staff who handled the exam grade software.

On the other hand, Balbir Singh, defense lawyer, said Uddin is married and the only person from his family to have attended the university. As per Mr. Singh: “Uddin was under pressure to perform and hence he could not see clearly” he further also added “Uddin was in his final year and 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.”

Unfortunately Judge Burdige has sentenced Imran Uddin for a four months of jail alleging six breaches of the Computer Misuse Act.