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Universities in Hong Kong

Hong Kong student, 21, arrested after allegedly hacking professor’s email account to get exam questions

Suspect said to have masqueraded as faculty member and contacted professor teaching course he was taking

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 April, 2018, 8:50am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 April, 2018, 8:53am

A university student in Hong Kong has been arrested for accessing a computer with dishonest intent after allegedly hacking into a professor’s email account to get another professor to send him exam questions, the Post understands.

According to police, they received a report last Thursday that a 41-year-old University of Science and Technology faculty member, surnamed Lau, suspected his email account had been hacked.

After initial investigations, police arrested a 21-year-old male in a flat in Aberdeen last Saturday.

According to a source, the suspect is a science student at the university. He is believed to have committed the act to get better grades.

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The student allegedly used Lau’s email account to contact the professor teaching a course he was enrolled in, the source said.

The source added that the suspect asked the other professor to send the exam questions over with the excuse that he needed to modify the questions.

The two professors realised something was up when they were chatting recently and notified the school, which lodged the complaint.

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A university spokesman said that as the case was now under police investigation, it was not appropriate for the school to comment further.

He added that HKUST would do its best to assist police in the process.

“The university has deployed double authentication technology in tightening cybersecurity; this hacking case is an isolated incident,” he said. “The university regularly reviews and enhances our network’s security.”

Police investigations are ongoing.