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Laboratory work assignments are very important for computer science learning. Over the last 12 years many students have been involved in solving such assignments in the authors' department, having reached a figure of more than 400 students doing the same assignment in the same year. This number of students has required teachers to pay special attention to conceivable plagiarism cases. A plagiarism detection tool has been developed as part of a full toolset for helping in the management of the laboratory work assignments. This tool defines and uses four similarity criteria to measure how similar two assignment implementations are. The paper describes the plagiarism detection tool and the experience of using it over the last 12 years in four different programming assignments, from microprogramming a CPU to system programming in C.