International Baccalaureate hack: students demand cancellation of exams

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) has confirmed a hacking incident, but said no current exam papers had been leaked despite online allegations of a wider cheating scandal.

The IB found students sharing exam details online before the end of their current tests globally, and simultaneously observed an increase in malicious activity targeting its IT networks.

Investigating online complaints, the IB found that the leaked data set appeared to be limited to past data from 2018, while ongoing leaks of exam papers could be the result of sharing of exam papers. exam by some online students rather than a hack.

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate is a non-profit educational organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. Its aim is to provide high quality international education, free from any regional, political or educational agenda.

Exam cheating concerns amid International Baccalaureate hack

Earlier last week, the International Baccalaureate released an update saying it was investigating online speculation about possible cheating by some students in current exams. The organization said that while there was no evidence of widespread cheating, some students may have engaged in “time zone cheating.”

The organization defined time zone cheating as an action in which students “who have completed their exams share what they remember from memory about exam questions on social media before other students take the examination”.

Citing its own academic integrity policy which prohibits such behavior, the organization said students engaging in such activities would not receive their certificates or diploma grades and could potentially be banned from future exams.

International Baccalaureate Exam Hack UpdateInternational Baccalaureate Exam Hack Update
Source: official update

After its initial investigations, the organization said it saw an increase in attempts at malicious activity aimed at interfering with its systems. It also confirmed that some data from 2018, including employee names, positions and emails, was leaked by a third-party vendor, and screenshots of that leaked data were shared online.

However, the organization again clarified that at the time of the investigation, no recent exam materials had been compromised. The notice further stated that IB continued to evaluate the incident and had taken steps to contain the incident.

The organization said it would provide further information on the incident as the situation evolved. The Cyber ​​Express team has contacted the International Baccalaureate for further details, but no response has yet been received at the time of writing.

Students’ petition for cancellation of exam

The exam has been taken by nearly 180,000 students worldwide. However, recent speculation about the hacking incident and cheating allegations have sparked concerns among students and their parents, leading to an online petition demanding the exam be canceled or retested.

Amid this speculation, the International Baccalaureate took steps to remove the leaked content and said cheaters would face serious consequences. Some have condemned the leaks as failures of governance and called for better exam security, prompting the IB to assert its intention to stay ahead of technological threats while promoting academic integrity in the examination process.

The IB has further warned its approved network of schools against data breaches and phishing attempts. It has been observed that documents leaked following the International Baccalaureate data breach have been downloaded more than 45,000 times.

The leaked content reportedly includes mathematics and physics papers widely shared online, raising further doubts about the integrity of the exams. It remains to be seen whether the students’ petition demanding justice or the organization’s observation of an increase in hacking attempts will lead to a further escalation of the situation.

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