Exams cancelled at Bathinda university after hackers access question bank

Anonymous person sent email to VC revealing the compromised system

Exams cancelled at Bathinda university after hackers access question bank

Central University of Punjab (CUP), Bathinda. Tribune photo

Sameer Singh
Tribune News Service
Bathinda, July 10

The examinations of Central University of Punjab (CUP), Bathinda, have been cancelled for 13 subjects after its online question bank was compromised.

Notably, in wake of COVID-19, for the convenience of its students, the central varsity has gone for online mode of examination for the current academic session.

But hackers sensing an opportunity, attacked the cyber security system used by the varsity to conduct online examination and accessed the question bank.   

Talking to The Tribune, Vice-Chancellor, CUP, Bathinda, Professor RK Kohli said, “As many as 13 exams had to be cancelled after online examination system was found compromised. We have asked the faculty members to work out modalities to reschedule dates of the exams for these subjects.”

Prior to this, the varsity used to conduct exams by using intranet in the campus itself but owing to COVID-19 this year, students and teachers were at their homes and for their convenience, the varsity had opted for conducting online exams for the current academic session.

And to that effect, it had also conducted two successful mock exams to check the efficiency of the new online platform.

Professor Kohli added, “I received an email from unknown person wherein it was mentioned that the question bank used by the varsity to conduct online exams was hacked. The email was sent from ProtonMail which is an end-to-end encrypted (identity of the sender is not revealed) and paid email service. In the mail a link was also given, clicking on which gave access to all the questions.”

“Upon checking we found that some students have scored exceptionally well, and secured 90 and even 95 marks in the exams who had earlier scored quite less marks. And majority of these students are from Kerala. We have registered a complaint with police and an internal enquiry would also be conducted at varsity level. Since it is related to hacking, we would also take help from experts. Our cyber security walls are very strong and no one can easily break through them but its either someone working in the varsity or from outside but in either case, the culprits would not be spared. I am grateful to the unknown person who has blown the whistle in the matter by sending email at the right time that prevented other students from academic injustice,” added Kohli.

 

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