Ahmed Al-Khabaz

IRL Name: 
Ahmed Al-Khabaz

Ahmed Al-Khabaz is a former student of Montreal’s Dawson College and a of the school’s software development club who discovered a flaw in the computer system used by most Quebec CEGEPs (General and Vocational Colleges), one which compromised the security of over 250,000 students’ personal information. During this time, he was working on a mobile app to allow students easier access to their college account when he and a colleague discovered what he describes as “sloppy coding” in the widely used Omnivox software which would allow “anyone with a basic knowledge of computers to gain access to the personal information of any student in the system, including social insurance number, home address and phone number, class schedule, basically all the information the college has on a student.” The Director of Information Services and Technology François Paradis congratulated Mr. Al-Khabaz and colleague Ovidiu Mija for their work and promised that he and Skytech, the makers of Omnivox, would fix the problem immediately, things started to go downhill.

Two days later, Mr. Al-Khabaz decided to run Acunetix, designed to test for vulnerabilities in websites, to ensure that the issues he and Mija had identified had been corrected. A few minutes later, the phone rang in the home he shares with his parents - he was then warned by the president of Skytech (Edouard Taza) that what he was doing was a cyber attack because it was the second time that they saw his IP in the logs. He was then expelled at Dawson College as approved by the Dean and his professors.


After his expulsion from the school, Ahmed is having a hard time applying for other colleges.