On Campus

All charges against Carleton hacker dropped

Student said he cracked campus security system to show how vulnerable it is

According to the Ottawa Citizen, a Carleton University student who hacked into the accounts of more than 30 students last year in order to expose security flaws at the school has had all criminal charges against him withdrawn.

Mansour Moufid, 21, was charged with mischief to data and unauthorized use of a computer after he sent a 16-page report to university administrators and students under the pseudonym “Kasper Holmberg” last August.

Moufid had accessed the Campus Card accounts of 32 students, and could have read their e-mails, course registrations, library records and personal financial information. However, in the report, he says his only aim was to encourage the university to improve its security.

After being charged, Moufid said he planned to quit school rather than accept the sanctions imposed on him by its administration, which included a cost of $2,160 to cover extra security staff at the school, community service at a local food bank, an ethics course, and supervision of Moufid’s online activity at the school.

In a statement provided to university administrators, Moufid said he “never had any intention to harm my fellow students or Carleton University in any way,” and that his ultimate goal was to see security improved. He said the system wasn’t difficult to crack.

The charges were withdrawn at a hearing April 8. Moufid was not in court.