Friday, January 18, 2008

Anti-Spamer fined for DNS lookup?

Yes, you did read it correctly - full story - read the article - I won't post the contents of it here - just my observation (protected under the 1st Amendment - thank God).


I cannot believe that using standard troubleshooting techniques and procedures, that I could someday be prosecuted for illegally use or 'hacking' of a computer system.  DNS and WHOIS by nature are public address devices.  Their whole JOB is to serve data to the Internet. 


You can read more here too.


The part I find distressing in the JUDGE'S written notice is:



3. At various other times, Ritz issued a variety of commands, including host -l, helo, and vrfy. The afore-mentioned commands are not commonly known to the average computer user.

4. Ritz frequently accomplished his access to Sierra's computers by concealing his identity via proxies and by accessing the servers via a Unix operating system and using a shell accounts, among other methods. He also disguised himself as a mail server.



I don't agree with some of the judge's wording - I know of admins who utilize those commands to troubleshoot issues - HELO and VRFY are mail commands - yes - to impersonate a mail system.  But these are published standards (RFC's) that document these and the intended results of communication - I guess it really matters in the context of what the commands were being used as.


In any rate - a JUDGE, unless guided by a technical entity should not be making these decisions, at least not lightly.


My two cents,


Bill


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