Karim Sidaoui, a second year PhD researcher with a background in computer science, recently saved an American research community website from a cyber-attack.
Karim, who is part of the Management Sciences and Marketing Division, is an active member of the service research community Servsig, a key special interest group of the American marketing association.
After hearing of the website’s issues Karim volunteered to look into the problem, seeking to track down the malicious code.
“I’ve attended conferences by Servsig and value the community so I was only too happy to help,” he explains. “The attack was in the form of a ‘code injection’ cyber-attack with symptoms being the website deactivating itself and the metadata effectively getting hi-jacked.
“I was able to find the source of the malicious code and stop it from spreading. After I found and removed the code, I then contacted the hosting service to reinitialise the website. this in itself was lengthy and challenging, due to the many nuances of host security protocols and the numerous third-party sales loops they often try to pitch to you in the process.”
The website was only down for around 24 hours and Karim relays how being a service marketing community website, it was only fitting for him to act as such, and serve the community back.
Alongside Karim’s research interests in customer experience and artificial intelligence, he teaches modules on business intelligence, service marketing, and digital marketing.