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IT News Thread, BBC Illegally accesses 22,000 computers, claims "wasn't illegal". in Other News; Originally Posted by kmount LMFAO. So.. "Hai, we're from the BBC, you're infected, nip to PC World and get your ...
  1. #16


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    Quote Originally Posted by kmount View Post
    LMFAO.

    So.. "Hai, we're from the BBC, you're infected, nip to PC World and get your PC sorted out"..

    Seriously, that's just ridiculous.
    That's the best bit, from a POV.

    1) Anyone around the world who had their computer accessed by the bbc has evidence that they were the perpetrator. Cue hilarious international legal beagling.
    2) Any botnet herder worth his salt is going to ensure he takes advantage of bbc click branding:

    "Hi, we're from bbc click and you're infected, just click here to fix the problem".........

  2. #17
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    This is not anywhere near as bad as newspaper reporter's carrying knives thrugh airports to show bad security

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    That's the best bit, from a POV.

    1) Anyone around the world who had their computer accessed by the bbc has evidence that they were the perpetrator. Cue hilarious international legal beagling.
    2) Any botnet herder worth his salt is going to ensure he takes advantage of bbc click branding:

    "Hi, we're from bbc click and you're infected, just click here to fix the problem".........
    Wouldn't it be ironic if they had connected to hosts in Turkey, China, Russia etc?

    I can see why they did it to highlight the dangers but like said before they could have done it in a less ... stupid ... way.

  4. #19
    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by pscott View Post
    This is not anywhere near as bad as newspaper reporter's carrying knives thrugh airports to show bad security
    Exactly.

  5. #20
    mpe
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    To demonstrate how botnets work, the bbc used 22,000 compromised computers in their own botnet for their "Click" program. They claim they didn't break the law because they didn't do anything naughty with the botnet.
    The only way they chould have not broken the law would have been to have prior approval from all of the computer owners. Even with this their spamming and dDOS activities could well be questionable if they affected any third parties. e.g. if an ISP was hosting the email accounts they used.
    Presumably everyone involved with also be defending Gary McKinnon (and demanding that he be paid compensation for his ordeal).

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    I believe they changed the desktop backgrounds on the computers. Illegal in its own right.
    Yeah, that takes it into Section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act, which has bigger penalties.
    Last edited by mrcrazy04; 13th March 2009 at 02:26 PM. Reason: Referenced the wrong section of the law

  7. #22

    CHR1S's Avatar
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    How else would you enlighten the masses to the problem then?
    To put it how I see it, its like breaking someones window to put out a fire inside their home. Yes its illegal but I would rather have to replace a window than my whole house.
    Can you apply that logic to this situation?

  8. #23

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    Maybe ITV could run with the story on national news. Or get Trevor MacDonald to introduce and conclude a special programme presented entirely by Jonathan Maitland

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHR1S View Post
    How else would you enlighten the masses to the problem then?
    To put it how I see it, its like breaking someones window to put out a fire inside their home. Yes its illegal but I would rather have to replace a window than my whole house.
    Can you apply that logic to this situation?
    I don't think you could because smashing a window to put a fire out is not the same as taking advantage of a computer to do illegal tasks. Otherwise we'd be saying stealing a car is OK if the door was unlocked, tripping someone over because their shoe lace was undone etc.

    I am supportive of spreading the word, but it's not as though BBC Crimewatch go out and beat up old people in their homes to show their case; they use real world examples and mock ups (the mock ups being outlined earlier in VMs).

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    I just hope several of those people whose computers were accessed and had the wallpaper changed actually report the crime and the BBC production team get "done". Just so ITV or maybe the BBC can do a follow up to the programme reporting how good the computer misuse laws are, lol.

    I just hate the present attitude of journalist which seems to be:
    "i'm a journalist, as long as I write a related story I can break any law and get away with it".

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Maybe ITV could run with the story on national news. Or get Trevor MacDonald to introduce and conclude a special programme presented entirely by Jonathan Maitland
    I bet Rory Cellan Jones doesn't tweet about it though

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmount View Post
    I don't think you could because smashing a window to put a fire out is not the same as taking advantage of a computer to do illegal tasks. Otherwise we'd be saying stealing a car is OK if the door was unlocked, tripping someone over because their shoe lace was undone etc.

    I am supportive of spreading the word, but it's not as though BBC Crimewatch go out and beat up old people in their homes to show their case; they use real world examples and mock ups (the mock ups being outlined earlier in VMs).
    I think your point is more valid, that its still wrong, but surely the analogy would be more like, opening the unlocked car door to set the alarm off (I know its not quite like that coz the alarm would be off) but we could do this all day.

    If my network was insecure, I would prefer a person to use the exploit to notify me so I can correct it before a more unscrupulous person used it for their own gain. Is it a case of moral justification? Or shoud it all be wrong?

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    For me the issue is not whether they were justified or not in doing what they did, but that they are saying it was not illegal, and will presumably say the same when the full program is broadcast on Sunday.

    This is simply and unequivocally incorrect; the BBC are telling people something is legal when it isn't. That's bad reporting, and bad reporting of the law can have much bigger consequences than what they did for their programme.

    Consider this hypothetical situation:

    "We went out at 2am and drove our Vauxhall Astra at 130mph on an empty road in the middle of nowhere. If this was done on a busy street, it would be breaking the law, but our purpose was to demonstrate the power of this car in the hands of criminals."

    Over the following week, more than a dozen Vauxhall Astra drivers across the country get arrested doing 120mph at 2am because they wanted to see for themselves, and the BBC said it wasn't illegal. They are subsequently given automatic driving bans for exceeding 100mph on a public road.
    Unfair comparison or not?

  14. #29

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    I don't actually understand the purpose of this exercise and there are plenty of websites with accurate descriptions of what a botnet is and how it works. We don't need a real life demonstration.

    It's nice to see the BBC putting the license fees to good use. Just another reason why it should be abolished in my opinion.

    It's just as bad as someone saying "I created a virus to infect thousands of machines, just to see what happens, or get a reaction"

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHR1S View Post
    I think your point is more valid, that its still wrong, but surely the analogy would be more like, opening the unlocked car door to set the alarm off (I know its not quite like that coz the alarm would be off) but we could do this all day.

    If my network was insecure, I would prefer a person to use the exploit to notify me so I can correct it before a more unscrupulous person used it for their own gain. Is it a case of moral justification? Or shoud it all be wrong?
    I think we're both on the same train of thought, and I respect and take your opinion as you did mine.

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