Tuesday, 18th February, 2020


CAT servers hacked, students asked extremely personal questions

28, Nov 2009 By Pagal Patrakar

New Delhi. “Have you ever farted loudly in public?” was the question that popped up on his computer screen when Ankit Agarwal was taking CAT 2009 online at the Delhi Business School center here. A shocked and upset Ankit looked around to find equally dumbfounded faces of fellow test takers at the center. A few minutes passed when all of them realized that CAT servers had been hacked.

“I found all the students straining their eyes and looking around with puzzling looks at each other, and I sensed that something was wrong. But I still answered the fart question by choosing the option (b), which was in affirmative, assuming IIMs wanted to test us on some abstruse parameter as MBAs are often accused of creating fart. And to my horror, the next thing on screen was a middle finger, telling me I was a loser. I immediately knew that the servers were hacked.” Ankit recounted his harrowing experience.

 Students were shocked to see such images on their computer screen as they took CAT 2009 online
Students were shocked to see such images on their computer screen as they took CAT 2009 online

Several centers around the country reported the same problem with the students asked absolutely ridiculous and offensive questions such as “have you ever slept with a potato in your underwear?” and “will you mop up the poop of pet dog of your boss to get promotion?”, all of them ending with a middle finger on the screen when students cared to choose an available option. It was the first day of online CAT (Common Admission Test) for admission to the six (as of today) IIMs and many other well known and lesser known MBA institutes.

“IIMs are known to change the pattern of CAT quite often, therefore many students thought that maybe these questions had some hidden meanings. But we felt like losers once that middle finger appeared on the screen. I talked to many of my friends and all of them feel the same. The questions appeared to have been taken straight out of a show of Sach Ka Saamna.” Chetan Pandit, another CAT test taker shared his experience.

IIMs have called for an emergency meeting this evening to discuss the problem and to nail down the hacker, but the event has already caused huge embarrassment to them. Many students, who otherwise had bunked the online CAT to see movies, were seen demonstrating in front of the centers asking IIMs to go back to paper-and-pen tests. Samajwadi Party activists too joined the protests and broke computers as a symbol of protest.

This unfortunate incident has also caused many test conducting agencies and internet security agencies to pitch for their services to IIMs and ask them to outsource CAT to them. These agencies have also approached Ministry of Human Resource Development with what they termed as ‘lucrative’ proposals.

Meanwhile the students are fuming over the possibility that they will have to take the test again, which is often touted as their ticket to a better life. Most of the students believe, and more importantly want their parents to believe, that they were performing exceptionally well at the test before the hackers struck and denied them an opportunity to change their lives.