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One year ago. X and Y were students at Foo university. X reported to the campus police after finding out his own work stored in his computer account was stolen by Y. Y confessed to the police that he hacked into X's account and stole X's work. Y also worked as a system staff.
Somehow X did not press charge on Y, assuming the police and the university would do proper actions against Y.

One year later, Y still works as a system staff. When asked about the follow up, the head of the system dept insisted that Y received the work as an email attachment from X and did not commit any security breach.

Interesting?
Well, you can take it as a fiction or a true story. But, my question is, what would you do if X swears to you that he never emailed his work to Y?
Assume that you work for the university and have found out all these by yourself.

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Posted : 11/10/2008 5:27 pm
neddy
(@neddy)
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Interesting?
Well, you can take it as a fiction or a true story. But, my question is, what would you do if X swears to you that he never emailed his work to Y?
Assume that you work for the university and have found out all these by yourself.

I would do nothing but keep a close eye on Y and tell X to be a bit more security aware when it comes to his work.

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Posted : 12/10/2008 3:14 am
DFICSI
(@dficsi)
Active Member

Any chance of getting hold of the police report/confession from the police archives? That should be fairly conclusive.

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Posted : 12/10/2008 2:30 pm
keydet89
(@keydet89)
Community Legend

Well, you can take it as a fiction or a true story. But, my question is, what would you do if X swears to you that he never emailed his work to Y?
Assume that you work for the university and have found out all these by yourself.

Depending on the circumstances, and the university, examine both X and Y's computers and the email server.

If Y is good enough to fake or doctor ALL of the artifacts of such an email transaction, keep him/her on staff.

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Posted : 12/10/2008 4:27 pm
u2bigman
(@u2bigman)
Junior Member

Question Where is the professor in all this? You did not specifically state that Y turned in X's work as his own, or that they were in the same course. Did X get his work back and, did the professor accept it as X's? Note that professors are pretty good at spotting such hijinks.

That said, from (far too many) years as an undergrad in a tech major, I had a lot more productive uses for my time than ensuring that "justice was done." One could suspect that Y was locked out of study groups once it got out that he was scruplely-challenged.

And, if Y can cover his tracks– trivial on Exchange/Windoze, much more difficult on a real OS– then maybe his supervisor views him an asset. (neddy is on the right track here.) Considering the technical skill level of the university IT types with whom I have dealt that alone is reason to keep him on staff.

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Posted : 13/10/2008 9:57 pm
ding
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Facts X graduated from college. Y still works at the systems dept.
You (assuming you are the one who asked the followup from the head of the systems dept) contacted the police for the report/confession, but hasn't got any reply yet.

To examine the server logs on X and Y's activities, you need a clearance and permission from the head, which is quite unlikely since he closed the case for no wrong doing.

Question Where is the professor in all this? You did not specifically state that Y turned in X's work as his own, or that they were in the same course. Did X get his work back and, did the professor accept it as X's? Note that professors are pretty good at spotting such hijinks.

The professor spotted the same work and gave 0 to both, and X complained about it, and later found Y stole his work. X reported to the police, and he got his credit back.

And, if Y can cover his tracks– trivial on Exchange/Windoze, much more difficult on a real OS– then maybe his supervisor views him an asset. (neddy is on the right track here.) Considering the technical skill level of the university IT types with whom I have dealt that alone is reason to keep him on staff.

That may be very true. The skill sets possessed by those working in many colleges/universities are at laughable level at best. Keeping one who has some skills may be an asset, but eventually be a real harm.

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Posted : 13/10/2008 10:24 pm
ding
 ding
(@ding)
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You (assuming you work for the university and have found out all these by yourself) got the police report and here's the excerpt
===
X complained that Y stole a work from his account.
Y denied that he/she stole a work. Y claimed that X voluntarily shared his work. There is no mention on email in the police report.
===
The police handed over the case to the systems dept to investigate a possible security breach. The head of the system dept investigated and he concluded that Y received the work as an email attachment from X. No security breach was involved, according to the head of the systems dept.

This was a troubling problem and you reported it to vice president who is responsible for academic affairs, who promised a full investigation. X contacted you and promised a full cooperation to the investigation.

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Posted : 15/10/2008 12:21 am
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