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Criminals find jobs in Computer Security Companies

December 15, 2005

It seems that many malicious felons are following in the footsteps on Kevin Mitnick and attempting to leverage their criminal acts into job security.  The UK has instituted the Computer Misuse Act, and they are enforcing it against any violators:

The Computer Misuse Act states that it is an offense to make "unauthorized access to computer material." There is no burden on the prosecution to prove that the accused had intended to cause damage.

In this case, a hacker was convicted in a UK court, and uproar followed because the criminal appears to not have lost his job, fostering concerns that criminal convictions may become a badge of honor for those in the computer security industry:

When Daniel Cuthbert was convicted last month of gaining unauthorized access to a tsunami fund-raising Web site, many people--including the U.K. trial judge--suspected his career in the IT industry was over.

These suspicions were unfounded, though. Cuthbert is hard at work at Corsaire, a U.K. tech security company.

The article notes that it is not uncommon for security companies to hire convicted hackers and others with unsavory backgrounds:

The wider issue of the ethics of hiring known hackers or convicted cybercriminals is one that splits the security industry. Last year, German firewall vendor SecurePoint Technologies was criticized after hiring Sven Jaschan, a teenager who had been charged--and was subsequently convicted--of writing the Sasser worm.


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