[unisog] Re: Cautionary Tale

Steve Bernard sbernard at gmu.edu
Tue Jan 22 21:25:01 GMT 2002


In a best case scenario I'd like to see a framework where "spare" computing
power, especially at public institutions, could be farmed out for various
tasks, like the projects run by Distributed.net. Once the demand built up
this could be quite a lucrative endeavor for all parties, and we all know
that public education could use the money ;)

I used to work with an advertising/multimedia design firm and we routinely
"rented" CPU cycles from federal government owned SGI boxes for rendering. I
have encountered a couple of companies that pay other organizations to allow
their software agents, similar to a SETI at home client, to be installed
process distributed tasks during low utilization periods. These large tasks
are from contracts with companies that need computing time. One company in
particular uses this technique for distributed brute force decryption of
encrypted password databases and files, something not unheard of in the
cracker community.

Steve

-----Original Message-----
From: Conor McGrath [mailto:conormc at uchicago.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2002 3:51 PM
To: Lucy E. Lynch
Cc: unisog at sans.org
Subject: [unisog] Re: Cautionary Tale


That story, while still useful as a cautionary tale, is somewhat out of
date.  As of Jan. 17 Mr. McOwen and his attorneys had reached a deal with
the Georgia prosecutor:

"Under the terms of the deal, announced today, McOwen will receive one
year of probation for each criminal count, to run concurrently, make
restitution of $2100, and perform 80 hours of community service
unrelated to computers or technology.  McOwen will have no felony or
misdemeanor record under Georgia's First Offender Act."

If you want to read the whole press release see http://www.freemcowen.com/

-Conor

Lucy E. Lynch once said:
> FYI
>
> Lucy E. Lynch 				Academic User Services
> Computing Center			University of Oregon
> llynch at darkwing.uoregon.edu		(541) 346-1774/Cell: 912-7998
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 23:08:56 +0200
> From: Bretton Vine <bretton at deepsouth.co.za>
> Reply-To: legal at internet.org.za
> To: legal at internet.org.za
> Subject: [IOZ.legal] The crime of distributed computing
>
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/23477.html
>
> By Ann Harrison
>
> A college computer technician who offered his school's unused computer
> processing power for an encryption research project will be tried next
> month in Georgia for computer theft and trespassing charges that carry
> a potential total of 120 years in jail.

[snip]

--
Conor McGrath                                           Phone: (773)702-7611
Network Security Officer                                Fax:   (773)702-0559
Network Security Center, The University of Chicago
PGP: http://security.uchicago.edu/centerinfo/pgpkeys.shtml



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