Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Find a bug, go to jail

Guy in jail

French security researcher Guillaume Tena, who is working at Harvard University, faces 4 months in prison after being sued by Tegam for reverse engineering its Viguard antivirus software and publishing exploit codes for a number of vulnerabilities. According to a ZDNet article, he could also be sued by Tegam for 900,000 euros in damages. An excerpt from the article:

A French security researcher who published exploit codes that could take advantage of bugs in an anti-virus application, could be imprisoned for violation of copyright laws.

In 2001, French security researcher Guillaume Tena found a number of vulnerabilities in the Viguard antivirus software published by Tegam. Tena, who at the time was known by his pseudonym Guillermito, published his research online in March 2002.

However, Tena's actions were not viewed kindly by Tegam, who initiated legal action against the researcher. That action resulted in a case being brought to trial at a Court in Paris, France. The trial kicked off on January 4 after being deferred from its initially scheduled start date of October 5, 2004. The prosecution claims that Tena violated article 335.2 of the code of the intellectual property and is asking for a four month jail term and a 6,000 euro fine. Additionally, Tegam is proceeding with a civil case against Tena and asking for 900,000 euros in damages.

This is REALLY going the right way. Point out someone elses mistakes and you go directly to jail. When will the law overcome stupidity and stop wasting time with stuff like this?

If someone points out a building is about to collapse because of its design wouldn't people be outraged is he/she was fined? People need to learn that reverse engineering software for finding exploits iis the same thing. I can only see this sort of thing getting worse....


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