Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Security Research and Computer Crime - Where do we Draw the Line?

Filed under
Legal

This is interesting - the case of Eric McCarty, a security researcher and sysadmin charged by Federal prosecutors last month with "knowingly having transmitted a code or command to intentionally cause damage" to the University of Southern California's applicant website (I noticed the FBI press release uses the word "sequel" instead of SQL. I hope that wording didn't come from the complaint itself...).

Apparently, McCarty exploited a SQL injection flaw to access student data (which included social security numbers and dates of birth) in the database backing USC's website. He then notified SecurityFocus via email, who notified USC of the vulnerability. USC shut their site down for two weeks while it was being fixed (my guess is the "damage" comes from the fact that USC had to take their applicant website offline, since McCarty didn't do anything malicious with the information). Here is the text of the statute he is alleged to have violated (see section (5)(A)(Sleepy).

The case, and others like it, show the ethical conflict involved in some computer crime prosecutions.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

FoundationDB Source Code Shared

​Learn to use GitHub, ​GitHub Releases Atom 1.26

  • ​Learn to use GitHub with GitHub Learning Lab
    The most popular open-source development site in the world is GitHub. It's used by tens of millions of developers to work on over 80 million projects. It's not just a site where people use Linus Torvalds' Git open-source distributed version control system. It's also an online home for collaboration, a sandbox for testing, a launchpad for deployment, and a platform for learning new skills. The GitHub Training Team has now released an app, GitHub Learning Lab, so you can join the programming party. GitHub Learning Lab is not a tutorial or webcast. It's an app that gives you a hands-on learning experience within GitHub. According to GitHub, "Our friendly bot will take you through a series of practical, fun labs that will give you the skills you need in no time--and share helpful feedback along the way."
  • Atom 1.26
    Atom 1.26 has been released on our stable channel and includes GitHub package improvements, fuzzy-finder support for Teletype and file system watcher improvements.
  • Atom Hackable Text Editor Gets GitHub Package, Filesystem Watcher Improvements
    GitHub announced the release of the Atom 1.26 open-source and cross-platform hackable text editor for Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms with more improvements and bug fixes. In Atom 1.26, the GitHub package received various improvements and new features, among which we can mention the ability of the ’s Git pane to display a read-only list of recent commits for quick reference, and support for storing your GitHub username and password credentials in the Git authentication dialog.

Games Leftovers

Linux and Linux Foundation

  • V3D DRM Driver Steps Towards Mainline Kernel, Renamed From VC5
    The Broadcom VC5 driver stack is being renamed to V3D and developer Eric Anholt is looking at merging it into the mainline Linux kernel. The VC5 DRM/KMS and Mesa code has been for supporting the next-generation Broadcom VideoCore 5 graphics hardware that's only now beginning to appear in some devices, well, it seems one device so far. Though as I pointed out a few months back, there's already "VC6" activity going on too as the apparent successor to VC5 already being in development.
  • Azure Sphere Makes Microsoft an Arm Linux Player for IoT [Ed: Microsoft marketing at LF (only runs on/with Windows and Visual Studio etc.)]
  • Keynotes Announced for Automotive Linux Summit & OS Summit Japan [Ed: "Senior Software Engineer, Microsoft" in there; LF has once again let Microsoft infiltrate Linux events; in the words of Microsoft’s chief evangelist, “I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. […] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”]
    Automotive Linux Summit connects those driving innovation in automotive Linux from the developer community with the vendors and users providing and using the code, in order to propel the future of embedded devices in the automotive arena.