Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Oxford students suspended for hacking

ZDNet UK reports that 2 Oxford University students were suspended for finding flaws in the university’s network. The two students detailed their findings in an article for Oxford Student, the university newspaper – the article is available here.
I find this somewhat disturbing. These students had no malicious intent – they were looking to find flaws in the system but were not interested in causing any damage or disruption. Network security is important and if there were flaws then they should be fixed to prevent someone with malicious intent from exploiting them. If anything, the students should be congratulated for bringing these flaws to the attention of the network admins.
Suspending people for this sets a bad example and stops others from finding problems which could then be fixed. If Oxford’s network suffers from someone gaining unauthorised access because a student was prevented from reporting the problem that allowed the access then the university will have shot itself in the foot.


  1. I couldn’t agree less. I think the Oxford admin will regret doing that suspension.
    But then again, maybe secretly they’re working on the security flaws the students found out about.