Feeds

HP withdraws DMCA threat

Wiser counsel prevails

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.