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The best tax is the tax the other guy pays; the best hacks are the ones that only affect the other guy; the funniest technical glitches are the outages of the other guy's microphone. No such luck: David Thiel is exploring the ways that downloaded media files can be hacked. You have nothing to fear but your bittorrent habit. …

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Illegal hacking tools?

And just what tools will they class as illegal? nmap? Nessus? Perhaps Netstumbler?

Almost every hacking tool has a valid application as a security tool. You need to test your software for known vulnerabilities.

As if a hacker would worry about legalities. Guns are illegal in Washington, DC. Look at their gun related crime rate.

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Anonymous Coward

glen!

Virii have been living in media files for years! Infected jpges, windows graphics thingy. Always holes in the codecs, which are often run at elevated privs to gain access to hardware etc...

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Anonymous Coward

Uh oh...

I wonder what they'll define as 'hacking tools'.*

Or will they word it as vaguely as possible so that they can nab as many people as possible?

Whatever it is, as soon as I'm old enough (and have got through Uni) I'm pushing off to a country where they don't seem to have their heads up their a$$es.

* I have a nasty suspicion it will be stuff that is actually useful. E.g. nmap, wireshark, etc.

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Sadly true...

Quote:

"...media players are casually left open on people's desktops all the hours they are at work...."

Then their workplace sysadmins and their managers need to crack down on the skiving bastards. Send in the BOFH and the PFY.

Quote:

"No one thinks anything of clicking on a media link on a Web page or downloading (yet another) codec."

I shouldn't think that applies to many Register readers. Nor to lusers on networks that are managed and configured by Stalinist sysadmins. And there should be a good bit of Stalin in any sysadmin.

What lusers do on their own machines out of office hours is their own affair. If they can't or won't learn even the most rudimentary security good practice, they deserve all the VXers throw at them. Except, of course, pig-ignorant people's compromised machines and the resultant botnets make online life that little bit more irksome for the rest of us.

<sigh>

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from adam's website ...

"All items will be sent via UK Post Office tracked services."

using RFID chips i hope

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Re: Illegal hacking tools?

They're talking about paper clips.

And possibly toothpicks ... I don't know how sturdy they are.

Okay, maybe cocktail swizzlers, too. It's hard to say what a skilled hacker could do with weapons like these that aren't quite as optimized for the task as a paper clip would be.

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RFID Safe

Is it too much to ask for a link to the RFID safe "cracking" article/site?

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Anonymous Coward

the "new" wifi threat......

I am rather amused by the "discovery" of the possibility of "hijacking cookies from an open wireless network"

Where we not all aware of the fact that a public wifi is by default insecure since it does not require access codes, keys, passwords or whatever ?

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Silver badge

Hacking tools v Bureaucrats

Any hex editor can be used as a hacking tool. By extension any computer can become a hacking tool if it is not controlled by a "trusted person". Perhaps they want to make any PC illegal unless it runs Vista? I know many people who see this in their daydreams. They also dream about buring books in large pires in the middle of the night on the town square.

If the politicians were worried about our security they should have made RFIDs illegal, not hacking tools, but they are not.

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Anonymous Coward

viri not = viruses

For those who are trying to make a Latin plural of virus:

it is an irregular noun which is *not* declined. So the plural, genetive, dative, nomitive, accusitive &c of virus is virus.

It is a word derived from Greek meaning a slimy liquid.

Viri is the plural of vir = man

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Anonymous Coward

The response to RFID...

...is called Zapper. I'm curious how the dummy immigration officers will look like when their sophisticated machinery cannot read the damaged passports. Poor sod though who's awaiting entry.

Btw, is it legal to take high voltage peak equipment on board of a plane?

EAfH

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Anonymous Coward

Elitism

"What lusers do on their own machines out of office hours is their own affair. If they can't or won't learn even the most rudimentary security good practice, they deserve all the VXers throw at them. Except, of course, pig-ignorant people's compromised machines and the resultant botnets make online life that little bit more irksome for the rest of us." - Sceptical Bastard

This type of techno-elitist tripe needs to be quashed. It shouldn't be necessary to understand computer security to be able to use a computer. I would like my mother to be able to email me but she will never be able to understand computer security. She shouldn't have to.

Geeks with inflated egos (from the tech-forum echo-chambers where nothing matters except one's knowledge of computers) need to be reminded that the world needs a diversity of skills to flourish. Farmers don't insist that everyone must understand crop-rotation.

... and breathe. That got away from me a little. Geek-elites really get to me.

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Anonymous Coward

re: Guns

Guns are illegal in the UK, and look how gun crime has raisen!

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Silver badge

Paper Clips?

If paper clips aren't already illegal then they should be made so.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Elitism

You should know the basics of computer security before using one, and by basics I mean BASICS. You shouldn't be opening exes from someone offering you a free game, you shouldn't be clicking links in your e-mail from people you don't know, and you should be scanning anything that appears dodgy. What people don't seem to realise is, that they put all their important information on their PC, then completely ignore that they have to take care of it, as if the computer is a magical invention that no-one would want to break into. I think part of the problem is people saying "we should make PCs accessible, so they don't need to worry about security", because they don't, and when a new security issue appears, they aren't paranoid about it, and scanning it, they're just going "oh well, my scanner didn't pick it up I guess it's safe to open".

Whenever you use something that has got personal items stored in it, ie a safe, your car or your house, you are automatically aware of security, it's common sense. Has anyone ever told you to lock your car and wind up the windows since you were ten? But you do it anyway right? Why? Because you don't want someone coming across to your car, opening it up and nicking the stereo. Having a moderately secure computer is pretty easy, but taking away the learning of that concept makes people more vulnerable in the long run (eg when a new virus comes out and their scanner doesn't pick it up).

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Illegal Paper Clip Usage

Paper clips will always be legal, it's just the *act of unbending them*, thus converting them to fully-auto RFID busting equipment, that is currently illegal.

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The response to RFID...

"I'm curious how the dummy immigration officers will look like when their sophisticated machinery cannot read the damaged passports."

Well that one is easy enough to answer - they should give you a written note informing you that the automatically read part of your passport is not working and you SHOULD contact the issuing authority to get it replaced.

You are not REQUIRED to get is replaced and it does not actually impact the effectiveness of the document as a passport (so it's not grounds for the document/your entry to be rejected).

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re : it's just the *act of unbending them* ... that is currently illegal

But, isn't that what you're supposed to do if your CD/DVD drive won't open : unbend a paperclip and poke it in the eject hole ? So, once your DRM music CD has refused to play in your PC, you can't even eject the thing if it gets stuck. Therefore requiring another purchase of said music CD and CD drive ! Has the music industry now been pursuing a law stopping anyone from unbending paperclips ? Wouldn't surprise me !

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