Feeds

DMCA threats gag security researchers

Cease and desist

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Threats of DMCA-inspired lawsuits have been used to gag a pair of security researchers due to give a talk on the shortcomings of smartcard technology at the Interz0ne.com conference last weekend.

Blackboard Inc. found out security researchers Billy Hoffman (AKA Acidus) and Virgil Griffith (Virgil) were about to present a paper on security flaws involving its popular university ID card system, and called in its lawyers.

Blackboard is an enterprise software vendor specialising in education, with revenues during 2002 of $69.2 million.

Prior to the talk (due to take place on Saturday night), lawyers Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP sent conference organisers a "cease and desist order".

Because of the order, the talk on the shortcoming of the Blackboard Transaction System was called off.

The Blackboard Transaction System is used by many US universities; it enables institutions to manage student accounts, lets students spend their money on the Web or on campus using their student ID card. The system can be Web-enabled or integrated with campus equipment such as cash registers and vending machines.

Hoffman's Web site (www.yak.net/acidus), according to Blackboard's lawyers, detailed plans to "release code to make a computer emulate any Blackboard reader, as well as the hardware designs ... to make a drop in replacement for any Blackboard reader" during the talk. The site now points to the Interz0ne.com site.

Meanwhile Blackboard's lawyers have filled for an injunction and are threatening further legal action against Hoffman and Griffith for alleged violations of a raft of Federal laws.

These include: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Economic Espionage Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Wiretap Act, and the Consumer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Georgia's Computer Systems Protection Act.

The Blackboard Transaction System was developed following the November 2000 acquisition by Blackboard of AT&T CampusWide. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.