Did The BBC Break The Law By Exposing Botnets?

from the but-we-didn't-mean-any-harm dept

A TV show on the BBC is highlighting the ongoing problem of botnets -- by acquiring one of its own and using other people's computers in it to mount a DDOS attack on a security company's web site. The BBC says it had the security company's approval to do so, and that it didn't have any criminal intent, making its action legal. But some people aren't so sure, and say that intent doesn't offer a way out under British computer law. A tech lawyer says it's unlikely the broadcaster will face prosecution because there wasn't any real harm done, but those whose computers were used in the attack might disagree and view the methods used to make a point about computer security as a bit extreme.

Filed Under: botnets
Companies: bbc


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  1. icon
    rwahrens (profile), 13 Mar 2009 @ 5:48am

    bad analogy

    Whether you "allow" that access or not, if you leave the fsking door open, someone will get in!

    Malware is chock full of not only botnet control software, but potentially, keyloggers and other bad stuff designed to steal your stuff.

    So if we use your house analogy, its like going to bed at night, leaving the front porch light on, door open, and someone comes in to use your phone for illegal activity, stage attacks on your neighbor's property, and steal all your wife's jewelry as well as all your electronics, before they leave.

    So yes, it IS your fault, even if you didn't give specific permission for the break-in, and the cops'll tell you you're an idiot after they take your report. The least you can do is turn the light off and close the door. Most people put locks on their doors and use those to deny easy access.

    Same with your computer. Buy a security app and USE it. Update your operating system, so it'll pull the patches to stay safe as the vulnerabilities are discovered. If you don't take these elementary steps, it IS your fault if you get compromised.

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