Feeds

HP withdraws DMCA threat

Wiser counsel prevails

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Hewlett Packard has climbed down from its threats to use the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to silence a group of security researchers which unearthed a flaw in its Tru64 operating system.

In a statement released yesterday, the firm withdrew threats of using the Act against Snosoft, a loose confederation of security researchers who publicised a serious, and as yet unfixed, buffer overflow bug within the su utility of Tru 64.

HP states that it has verified the vulnerability, details of which, it says, was brought to its attention on July 18 (a date disputed by Snosoft, incidentally), and promises to release a fix for the problem within the next 48 hours.

The computer giant is reluctant to be drawn on its discussion with SnoSoft, however it does say that the reported letter to SnoSoft threatening use of the DMCA against the firm "was not consistent or indicative of HP's policy".

"We can say emphatically that HP will not use the DMCA to stifle research or impede the flow of information that would benefit our customers and improve their system security," the statement, obtained by CNet in response to its earlier exclusive on the story, states.

HP threatened Snosoft with the DMCA and criminal charges earlier this week after one of its members, Phased, posted an exploit for the vulnerability (without permission from the rest of the group). In response to the posting, this Monday HP Veep Kent Ferson fired off a letter warning that the security researchers "could be fined up to $500,000 and imprisoned for up to five years" for its actions.

The warning letter from HP bears out the worst fears of the security industry that the DMCA will be used to stifle legitimate research, following on from the controversial prosecution of Russian programmer Dimitry Sklyarov and ElcomSoft.

Faced with a backlash from developers and activists - and the prospect of plunging itself into a public relations nightmare - HP has backed down, like Adobe before it. At least in this case HP acted swiftly to withdraw its threats, before the Feds got involved... ®

Related Stories

HP invokes DMCA to quash Tru64 bug report

External Links

HP backs off from DMCA threat
Snosoft's response

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.