Blaming your illegal computing activity on trojans or spyware infections is quickly becoming the new hot (and successful) legal defense. If ever you're busted for child porn, tax fraud or a DDoS attack -- simply suggest to the authorities that spyware has turned your PC into an automated menace, completely outside of your control. That's the defense one substitute teacher in Connecticut decided she'd try, after authorities arrested her for allegedly browsing for porn in front of a class full of seventh-grade students. The teacher's lawyer argued that the teacher hit a hair-styling website, resulting in spyware infection, which in turn "led to this pornographic loop that was out of control." The jury didn't buy it, and the teacher now faces up to forty years in prison after being found guilty on four counts of impairing the morals of a child. Whether she did it or not (and it's really not clear from the skimpy computer forensic detail provided by the article), forty years seems excessive. Despite her conviction, the number of acquittals this defense has seen means your odds are still pretty good if you want to blame your next big heist on your crappy firewall.
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