Adrian Lamo speaks out

Wednesday, 17 September 2003, 12:58 PM EST

The past two years have been a wild ride for Adrian Lamo: The 22-year-old has publicly taken credit for tunneling into networks belonging to Yahoo, Microsoft, Excite@Home and WorldCom.

But unlike a typical electronic intruder, Lamo would inform the companies exactly how he gained access--a move which let them repair the security vulnerability he exploited while sneaking in. Some of his targets even went so far as to call him "helpful" for offering advice.

All that changed in February 2002, however, when Lamo took credit for breaking into the network of The New York Times and snagging a database of about 3,000 op-ed contributors. That incident eventually led to a pair of federal criminal charges against Lamo and his arrest and appearance in district court in Manhattan last week.

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