Feeds

BBC zombie caper slammed by security pros

Daft Beeb-bot doco gets go-ahead

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Joris Evers, former security reporter turned McAfee spokesman, added: "There is no need for the BBC to commandeer PCs of unknowing Net users, send spam and launch an attack to prove the botnet issue."

Struan Robertson, editor of out-law.com and legal director at solicitors Pinsent Masons, reckons that BBC Click's exercise broke the Computer Misuse Act provisions against unauthorised access, but would probably escape unauthorised modification charge.

The BBC - which, lest we forget is heavily promoting the show - is yet to detail why its lawyers think its action were above board. Discussions around the issue have suggested some sort of public interest defence, a notion scotched by Robertson. "There's no public interest defence to CMA offences," he told us.

Spencer Kelly affably referred our queries on the legality of its exercise to a BBC press officer, who is yet to get back to us. Our electronic messages of the legality of the show - alongside queries on whether the BBC paid crooks to rent access to compromised machines, the normal approach a would-be spammer would take - have also gone begging.

The thought of licence-payers' money going into the back pockets of cybercrooks is an uncomfortable one.

It's quite possible that the BBC got advice on how to take over a low-value botnet without paying a penny of course, but until either the BBC or PrevX step forward to clarify the issue we can't be sure. The PrevX researcher who participated in the programme, Jacques Erasmus, is on holiday in Namibia and couldn't be reached for comment.

The BBC Click programme is due to be broadcast at 06:45 on BBC1 on Saturday, 14 March and the BBC News Channel on both Saturday or Sunday at 11:30. It will also be available through iPlayer.

More discussion on the question of the legality of the exercise can be found on a blog maintained by John Graham, one of the first to pick up on promos for the controversial programme. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

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.