EU pact criminalising security research? Pt II

    Date26 Oct 2000
    CategoryHacks/Cracks
    3462
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Hacking software poses special challenges because most of the tools have two equal uses, Granick said. For example, a popular hacking tool called nMap connects to a remote computer and tells the user if that computer has any . . . Hacking software poses special challenges because most of the tools have two equal uses, Granick said. For example, a popular hacking tool called nMap connects to a remote computer and tells the user if that computer has any open ports that can be used to establish a connection. Finding such a port is often the first step in a computer attack, making nMap popular among attackers. But the program is equally popular with network administrators who want to check their own systems for open ports.

    The Council of Europe has promised to provide a list of exceptions to the treaty, and professional network administrators will likely end up exempt. But hackers at the Amsterdam conference were still worried about the plight of the thousands of hobbyists who currently research vulnerabilities in their spare time and in good faith. And software writers -- such as the author of nMap -- would likely be offered no legal protection.

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