Feeds

French security researcher fined

Reverse engineering guillotined

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A French court has ruled that security researcher Guillaume Tena acted unlawfully in publishing proof of concept code to highlight security flaws in ViGuard, an antivirus product, from French company Tegam.

Tena was given a suspended fine of €5,000 ($6,700 or £3,480) in a case that could have big implications for security research in France.

Four years ago Tena (AKA Guillermito) released proof of concept code to highlight security bypass and worm evasion flaws in ViGuard. He produced exploits showing that Tegam's generic anti-virus failed to stop "100 per cent of known and unknown viruses" as claimed. Tena posted his findings to a French Usenet newsgroup in the summer of 2001 before re-publishing the research on a website in March 2002.

Tegamd denounced Tena as a 'terrorist', and sent in the lawyers. In June 2002, Tena was prosecuted over alleged violations of French copyright law. Tegam argued a warez version of its software was used in Tena's tests and claimed that he decompiled or disassembled ViGuard and distributed part of its source code on his website. Tena denies these accusations. Tegam claims tens of thousands of ViGuard users in France. However, the product is little used outside the country.

The case against Tena came to trial at a Tribunal correctionnel in Paris in January. A verdict - returned this week - found against the security researcher, who will be fined €5,000 if he re-offends within the next five years. Tegam is seeking damages against Tena in a separate civil case, due in court on 12 April.

Although Tena's sentence could have been much more severe, French security researchers are alarmed at the potential impact of the case. "This ruling means publishing a security vulnerability or a proof of concept using reverse engineering or disassembly is now illegal in France," Chaouki Bekrar, a security consultant at K-OTik Security Research, told El Reg. ®

Related stories

Full disclosure put on trial in France
California enacts full disclosure security breach law
Elcomsoft not guilty DoJ retreats from Moscow
Slammer: Why security benefits from proof of concept code

Related links

Tegam Vs. Tena Write-up of the case by K-OTik Security

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.