AQA also hit by exam paper cyber attack

Surrey Police investigating fraud and computer misuse allegation at England's largest exam board

Surrey Police investigating fraud and computer misuse allegation at England's largest exam board


Police are investigating a cyber-attack at England’s largest exam board AQA – the third board to be targeted. 

FE Week revealed today how officers in Cambridgeshire had launched an investigation into a “data breach” at OCR and Pearson exam boards. 

But Surrey Police has now confirmed it is also investigating an allegation of fraud and computer misuse “involving a data breach” at AQA. The board has an office based at the University of Surrey, in Guildford.

FE Week understands the incidents relate to a school’s email system being hacked and then used to request papers from the exam boards – before the exam was taken. It is not known which exams this relates to.

Surrey Police said the allegation was reported on June 16 and an investigation to “establish circumstances is ongoing”. No arrests have been made. 

The individual exam boards refused to comment this week. Instead, they sent a joint statement from their membership organisation, the Joint Council of Qualifications.

A JCQ spokesperson said that “every year, awarding organisations investigate potential breaches of security. When investigations are complete, sanctions, which may be severe, are taken against any individuals found to be involved”.

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