Sunday, August 20, 2006

run an insecure system and get raped

After a recent mailing list discussion about computer security I'm going to be quoted in someone's .sig so I think that I need to write a blog entry.

Here is an article about a 2001 case of a man who was arrested for pedophilia and spent 9 days in prison: .

This article on The Register has links to a few other articles and describes how a man has been found guilty due to the apparent actions of a hostile program on his machine (and served 20 days jail time).

Rumor has it that pedophiles are really disliked in prison and that they are often attacked by other prisoners. Even spending a few days in prison as a pedophile could be enough to get raped.

Run the latest version of the OS for your PC with all security patches. If you buy a second-hand machine reformat and reinstall as the first thing that you do just in case the last owner had kiddy porn (even though they may not have known of it).


Leon Brooks said...

This works at least two ways.

Real-life kiddie-porners will start seriously arguing that (since it can happen) someone else, maybe a prior owner, invaded their machine, so they're "really" guilt-free.

Leon Brooks said...

Also, it's a good idea to wipe the disks anyway (liveCD dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/dha; then fdisk /dev/hda), and set a new BIOS password while you're there.

If anyone accuses you of anything, you simply say "I have no way of knowing. I wiped the machine completely before starting. I didn't look at or keep anything, it's all long gone. [shrug]" It helps to have a witness or two.