Spectrum analyzer catches exam cheats in Taiwan

Police used three Rohde & Schwarz devices to monitor a test for public servants

Police in Taiwan used a set of spectrum analyzers to catch at least three people suspected of cheating on an exam by monitoring them for mobile phone signals, a first case of its type, the equipment maker said on Wednesday.

Officers used three FSH4 analyzers specially configured by the German manufacturer Rohde & Schwarz to monitor an exam in south Taiwan for prospective government workers, said senior company engineer Lai Cheng-heng.

The handheld devices are normally used to help telecom companies check the strength of phone signals, but Taiwan's National Communications Commission had asked the designer for a special order aimed at catching exam cheats.

"They didn't tell us what they were going to do. They just told us what to design, and later we found out what it was for," said Lai, who wrote the analyzer software used to monitor the exam.

The 3-year-old spectrum analyzers tucked into the exam monitors' belts and linked to earphones to help catch suspected cheats during an exam last month. The devices checked for signals from pagers or mobile phones near the test site.

Those sitting for the exam are supposed to shut off their mobile phones to stop test answers from reaching them via calls, text messages or vibrations.

"If they called out, they would be discovered," Lai said.

Rohde & Schwarz staffers in Taiwan know of no other such case in the world.

Spectrum analyzers cannot conclusively identify specific phone users, he said, but they can narrow down the area from which a call was made. Such data is useful in conjunction with other evidence of cheating.

An officer who followed up the exam for a range of government jobs said he was unsure how many people would be formally accused of cheating. But he said the "effectiveness" of the analyzers was "very high."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Government use of ITeducationsecurityRohde & Schwarzscamsindustry verticalsgovernmentTaiwan National Communications Commission

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ralph Jennings

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?