Friday, 4 February 2011

Ligatt Security Breach - Gone too far

The latest development in the Gregory D Evans/Ligatt Security internet drama has gotten me thinking. For anyone who might not be familiar with what this is all about, I suggest you check out a few resources on the subject:
http://attrition.org/errata/charlatan/gregory_evans/
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/22/worlds_no_1_hacker/
http://packetstormsecurity.org/news/view/18569/Gregory-D.-Evans-Tried-To-Subpoena-Security-Researchers-Passwords.html
and a must read at: https://365.rsaconference.com/blogs/securityreading/2010/06/10/how-to-become-the-worlds-no-1-hacker

In case you buy any of Gregory Evans' claims that he had permission to use those works, Chris Gates also known as carnal0wnage has publicly said that he never gave Evans permission and never received money from Evans. The saga is long and drawn out, and I won't rehash it here.

The latest development is that Evans and Ligatt Security were breached this week. Someone compromised his computer, and with it his email and twitter accounts. It seems two of his websites may also have been brought down as part of this attack. The simple fact of the matter is that this action was unacceptable. Apparently among the released information was the personal information of a lot of innocent people, including social security numbers, bank accounts, and routing numbers. Now let me clarify this even more. Even if it was only Gregory Evans personal information, this would be unacceptable. Mr. Evans has a lot to answer for, but even he does not deserve to have his important personal information exposed in such a manner. This can be seen as nothing more than a violation of people's rights to privacy, no matter how much you might not like them. Those of us who are security professionals have made it our jobs to stop or prevent such violations from happening. The thought that such an attack may have come from within the InfoSec community is a worrisome one.

I will admit in a moment of human weakness I allowed myself to be glad of this news. That is a terrible thing, and upon reflection I find it a little embarrassing. The Internet has a power to take any disagreements or arguments and magnify them out of control until all pretense of civility is slowly eroded away and we are left with a monstrosity that no longer serves any purpose but to sustain itself. I see the examples of this in the recent Penny Arcade 'scandal' as well as the Ligatt drama. If we are past the point of behaving like mature rational beings it is time for us to absent ourselves from the discussion. Toward that end I would like to point out the posts I have seen by two people Matt Jezorek and Sam Bowne. Their articles are well thought out and examples of clear rational thinking, despite Sam Bowne's own involvement in this saga. These are the people we should want speaking for us, and those of us who can add nothing better than what they already are(myself included) should probably just sit down and shut up now.

That is all.

No comments:

Post a comment