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Re: FW: Careful. This is for information only.

on Mon, Aug 06, 2001 at 10:54:10PM -0500, Nathan E Norman (nnorman@micromuse.com) wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 06, 2001 at 10:24:04PM -0500, John Hasler wrote:
> > Ian Perry writes:
> > > You could, but wouldn't be better to alert then than shutting them
> > > down...  there could be legal ramifications in lost income etc etc for a
> > > public server.
> > 
> > Making any use at all of the backdoor, even just to send the admin a
> > message, is probably a crime under US law.
> When I worked for a cable ISP, we had a customer who thought it would
> be cool to alert other people on the network about their security
> problems by printing a message on their printers.  Some (clueless)
> customers thought this was prelude to an attack and called the cops.
> I have to agree with John ... using a security hole in someone else's
> server for good or evil is probably not a good idea legally.  I'd
> advise against it.

As noted on Slashdot, if you were to post a CR fix service installed at
http://<yoursite>/default.ida, which would run a remote command on the
connecting host, to de-worm and patch the offending box, who's
culpability is it if your site is connected to and the patch is run?

This is stretching the case a bit, but it's an interesting hypothetical.
Frankly, I'm moderately convinced it's not a bad idea.  Not quite a
Cheese Worm -- it doesn't actively hunt hosts -- but widely distributed,
an effective antidote.

Personally I favor the "Debian GNU/Linux install" service model

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