Canadian Student Offered IT Security Job by Firm That Accused Him of Cyberattacks

Dawson College has released a statement to explain its decision to expel Hamed Al-Khabaz

By on January 23rd, 2013 14:29 GMT

Earlier this week, the story of Hamed Al-Khabaz got some impressive media coverage. The student was expelled from Dawson College after identifying a security hole in Omnivox, an application used by Quebec college students to manage their personal information and services.

Now, Skytech Communications, the company that develops the software and the ones that at some point accused the student of launching a cyberattack against their systems, are offering him a job in IT security.

“We feel that this situation should not prevent such a talented student from doing what he loves most,” Skytech wrote in a statement.

“Just as we are already collaborating with the other student who helped discover the flaw, we will also offer this student to work for us with mandates in IT security in order to allow him to work in the subject area he loves.”

Al-Khabaz has told CTV that the company hasn’t contacted him directly, but he does applaud them for understanding his intentions, unlike Dawson College.

On the other hand, the educational institution seems to be determined to stand by its decision.

“To set the record straight, Ahmed Al-Khabaz was not expelled because he found a flaw in the student information systems,” Dawson representatives stated.

“He was expelled for other reasons. Despite receiving clear directives not to, he attempted repeatedly to intrude into areas of College information systems that had no relation with student information systems.”

In the meantime, an online petition asking Dawson College to “immediately reinstate Hamed Al-Khabaz in their Computer Science program, refund all monies lost as a result of his unjust expulsion, and offer him a full public apology” has been launched.

Others have taken this even further. Ars Technica reports that earlier this week, the sites of both Skytech Communications and Dawson College were taken down as a result of distributed denial-of-service attacks.

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