Jul 9, 2009


“The dog ate my homework.”
“My grandma died.”
“…err would you believe swine flu?”

Why go old school when for as little as $4.95 ($5.95 after July 31st) you can buy some time for that unfortunately delayed assignment through Corrupted-Files.com. It’s a common enough occurrence in the fickle world of online attachments that a cottage industry of intentionally corrupted files (CF's) has grown into a modestly successful side venture for a couple of computer geeks who prefer for obvious reasons to remain anonymous. We’re assured on the website’s hilarious FAQ’s page that it’s not plagiarism, and it’s not cheating. It’s just an excuse no different from the much more familiar low-tech versions above.

And it’s very simple:

Step 1: After purchasing a file, rename the file e.g. Mike_Final-Paper.
Step 2: Email the file to your professor along with “here’s my assignment” email.
Step 3: It will take your professor several hours if not days to notice that your file is “unfortunately” corrupted.

Corrupted files come in a number of different styles—one for every occasion. You can purchase Excel, PowerPoint, or Word files (in varying page lengths). If these don’t match your needs, you can customize your order in a variety of formats. But be aware, the price doubles and the turnaround time increases from 4 to 12 hours. You also have to be prepared to describe your dilemma.

Although professors appear aware of the scheme and have taken steps to avoid being taken in (see Comments), the man behind Corrupted-Files.com claims to get 3 to 4 downloads per day and as many as 10 per day during finals. And who are his best customers? Students from Ivy and and other top-tier schools.

Sadly, it's an old story: when the going gets tough, the tough corrupt.

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