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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Government use of ITsecurityeducationRohde & Schwarzscamsgovernmentindustry verticalsTaiwan National Communications Commission

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

Ralph Jennings

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?