AU security researchers need legal advice: CERT

Wednesday, 21 May 2003, 11:18 AM EST

"Legal issues have become more and more complicated... Iím not familiar with the law in Australia, but within the United States, the DMCA and other laws are making things complicated," he told ZDNet Australia during a recent interview.

Carpenter says that conducting analysis on malicious code, such as a worm payload or Trojan binary, may result in legal problems stemming from copyright law.

"If youíre going to do work in this area you we recommend you consult legal counsel before you... find yourself in a sticky legal situation," he said.

Reverse engineering is a vital tool when responding to severe incidents. By reverse engineering worms and exploits, researchers can look beyond whatís happening at that moment and start formulating a response.

"When you have something like [the recent worm] Slammer attacking... you donít necessarily know if thereís something else that hasnít been activated yet," he said.

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