Monday, January 15, 2007

Computer security expert confirms for us on Bandy case.

I sent my report on the Matt Bandy case to a computer security expert asking him about the boy's defense and what he thought about the case. Here is his report to me. This reconfirms just how dangerous the situation is for all of us.

I'm familiar with the case. It's been on all the web new sources. Unfortunately, this is much more common than people realize. The boys defense is 100% reasonable. It is very easy to hack into a computer and leave files on it. People who are into illegal pictures like child porn, beastiality etc... frequently use innocent third party computers to store their collections. I have personally consulted on half a dozen cases where this has happened. A friend of mine discovered a beastiality server running on his 80-year-old mother-in-law's computer. Not only did she not have either the inclination nor the skill to set this up, but the banners were Cyrillic!

Unfortunately the average person is at a fairly high risk of this happening. This is why I never run Microsoft operating systems on my home computers! If you run Windows, you really need to turn on the firewall. You also need to install anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Even then, running a Microsoft operating system is risky.

I've worked in the computer field for over twenty years. In that time, I've been a programmer, database administrator, system administrator and information security architect. My experience in information security includes being responsible for a network of 70,000 computers. I have worked on local, state and federal forensics cases. One of the cases I worked on was the largest child pornography case ever prosecuted.
The real threat here is not that the law does not seem capable of taking reality into account. When you combine the rising police state powers of the government in the U.S. with the incredibly long prison sentences that are handed out for such things together and then add in the ease with which any citizen can be targeted it becomes apparent that this is a very, very dangerous situation indeed. The hackers and Russian gangsters may be annoying but it is Big Brother than makes this a threat to you.

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