[PLUG] nmap, curiosity, and courtesy

russ johnson airneil at gmail.com
Fri Sep 17 09:08:01 PDT 2004

On Fri, 17 Sep 2004 09:18:46 -0600 (MDT), Bill Thoen <bthoen at gisnet.com> wrote:
> On Fri, 17 Sep 2004, Keith Lofstrom wrote:
> > I can do DNS lookups on them, of course, but I am curious about flavor
> > of Linux they are using, etc.  Among other things, this comes in handy
> > when I am advising others about more vs. less secure versions of Linux.
> You want to probe their defences and hack them back to shut 'em down?
> IMHO, that would be doing everyone a favor by taking out garbage that's
> really beginning to stink.

The problem here is that you are encouraging another to break the law.
IANAL, but that sounds like an accessory to the crime.

I don't want to get into the whole debate. Suffice it to say that
Oregon law is pretty clear on what constitutes "Computer Crime".
Shutting someone else's system down without their permission seems to
fit the description. As Keith said, "Two wrongs don't make a right."

> > I can run nmap against the offending machines, and find out more about
> > them, but this seems impolite (Mom said "two wrongs do not make a
> > right"),  and possibly a source of trouble.  What are the opinions here?
> They're either criminals or hapless zombies. The former don't deserve a
> polite response and the latter simply ought to be put out of their misery.

Yes, they are either criminals or zombies. The criminals need to be
reported. If they get enough reports, someone will eventually do
something. It has to make a big enough squeak before they will oil it.

The zombies need to be educated. 

Russ Johnson

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