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Hacking Challenge Winners Allege $43,000 Contest Rip-Off

from the oops dept

Over the past few years there have been a number of “hacking contests”, and while not everyone agrees that they’re worthwhile, they do seem to attract participants. One company, Argus, ran five of those contests. The first four gave them lots of publicity, but no official security breach. However, the last one, didn’t go quite so well. The contest promised the winners $48,000. However, a year and a half after the contest ended, the winners have received only about $5,000. It seems the company was more intent on promoting their products through the “contest” than ever actually paying any money to anyone who won.

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Comments on “Hacking Challenge Winners Allege $43,000 Contest Rip-Off”

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LittleW0lf says:

Re: Re: Re: Criminals prey on each other

Yes, we could go into that endless debate about whether sampling cherries in the supermarket constitutes “shoplifting”.

And how does hacking your own computer even possibly relate to sampling cherries in the supermarket? You own your own computer, the supermarket owns the cherries. You don’t have a legal right to “sample” something you don’t own. You have every legal right to “sample” something you do own.

You don’t happen to work for the music or movie industry, do you?

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Criminals prey on each other

Depends. If your computer contains accounts of other people and you break into them, it may cause problems. If you hack software to alter the ethernet signature on files generated by your computer, it could be considered “forgery” under certain circumstances. If you hack serial numbers on software that’s supposed to be registered, that would also be forgery. If you hack software to disguise criminal activity that occurred on the computer, that could be considered “forgery” or “destruction of evidence”. If you hack photo-editing software to graft children’s faces on adult nude models, that could land you in some pretty hot water.

In short, just because we own something does not absolve us of guilt.

thecaptain says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Criminals prey on each other

Alright, I’ll feed the troll today…

Even if other people have accounts on a computer that *I* own, the computer is mine…and “hacking” it in and of itself isn’t wrong, or even illegal…although there are ethical considerations as to other peoples accounts on MY machine…but in the end, it is MY machine and I’m allowed to do what I want with it…it isn’t wrong to tinker and experiment.

To extend that further, IF I give permission to someone I know to test my defenses, this is not wrong, nor is it illegal either…and this is the case here. Basically this company said “we have the best defense solution for computer networks, to prove it, we invite people to try and hack us”

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Criminals prey on each other

I’ll admit there are legal grey areas. But with more established appliances like automobiles, there are clearly illegal ways to hack an automobile, e.g.:

– tamper with the tachyometer to show fewer miles

– tamper with the seat belts so they will come undone in a crash

– put glass that shatters on the windshield

I could probably rig my computer to deliver a powerful electric shock through the keyboard to someone who doesn’t type in the correct password, but that’s probably illegal as well. Or write programs to crack license keys of programs I’m supposed to pay for.

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