A secure Model for Student Results Verification Using Salted Hash Functions

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Kampala International University
The security and integrity of examination results are paramount in educational institutions, where maintaining confidentiality and ensuring the accuracy of student grades are essential. This dissertation explores the use of salted hash functions as a means to enhance the security of examination results. The primary objective of this study is to investigate the effectiveness, practicality, and implications of incorporating salted hash functions into result management systems. The research encompasses a comprehensive literature review, the development of a prototype system, and an evaluation of its performance. The literature review examines existing systems and approaches in securing examination results, emphasizing the benefits and challenges associated with the use of salted hash functions. Drawing from this review, a prototype system is developed, integrating strong encryption algorithms and unique salts for each student record. During the evaluation phase, different types of hashed data were manipulated with a python script that was used to try and reverse hash the values stored in the database. The results show that the hashed values which did not include a salt were easily cracked hence revealing the original data while those values that were hashed with a salt did not reveal the original data. The conclusions stated that the developed model was effective at securing the results data stored in the database. Recommendations were provided for educational institutions seeking to implement similar systems. These recommendations include using hashing algorithms like Secure hash Algorithm (SHA) 256 to verify the integrity of the data stored in the database and the use of advanced encryption techniques to add another layer of security on the data. The dissertation also identifies areas for future research, such as exploring advanced encryption algorithms.  
A dissertation submitted to the directorate of higher degrees and research (dhdr) in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a master of science in information technology of kampala international university.