Post to Bugtraq - Go to Jail

Tuesday, 6 August 2002, 12:12 PM EST

Imagine discovering a flaw in an operating system that would permit you to obtain root privileges. Imagine then posting information about this vulnerability to a message board dedicated to information security, along with a link to an exploit that could be assembled to take advantage of the vulnerability. Does the vendor of the OS congratulate you?

No. In the case of an engineer for SnoSoft who did precisely that last week, both he and his employer were rewarded for their diligence by a threat, not only of civil lawsuit by the vendor, but also of criminal prosecution under two separate federal and several state statutes.

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