[WEB SECURITY] security audit - how to avoid legal prosecution

Martin O'Neal martin.oneal at corsaire.com
Wed Jun 8 10:59:42 EDT 2005

> Any chance for legal prosecution 

"Ring, ring. Hello, Mr.Smith? I notice that you have a 1998 Ford. Are you aware there is a manufacturers defect in the central locking system? Don't worry though; I've broken into your car, just to confirm that it is indeed faulty (I like your 6-track; very retro). If you give me a $1000 I can tell you how I broke in, and if you are lucky I can even help get the manufacturer to fix the fault."

Noticing a flaw through normal use is acceptable (anyone want to guess how many high profile site's forms break with a name like O'Neal?). Researching someone's site without authorisation is an entirely different kettle of fish, and depending upon your and their physical location, the exact details will be covered by one jurisdiction or other. For additional reading see the UK Computer Misuse Act etc.

Unauthorised access is generally illegal. Expecting an organisation to be anything other than hostile to such an approach would be naïve.


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