Black Hat puts hacker on mock trial

Friday, 1 August 2003, 12:18 PM EST

The mock trial, staged Wednesday at the Black Hat Briefings security conference here, centered on whether a video game designer had violated federal criminal laws by helping someone to break into U.S. Air Force computers.

In the government's evidence were purported e-mail messages without headers, and representations of Internet Relay Chat conversations--both of which can be altered without leaving a trace.

Richard Salgado, a computer crime prosecutor with the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, D.C., said that he participated in the mock trial to demonstrate to the conference audience what types of records should be kept to aid in possible criminal prosecutions of electronic intruders.

"It shouldn't be scary," Salgado said. "A lot of people in the audience are going to be the first responders, collecting the evidence...They really need to think of us."

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