RE: Russian hacker nabbed by FBI now lost in federal prisonsystem

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Fri Jul 27 2001 - 10:05:04 MDT

On Fri, 27 Jul 2001, Harvey Newstrom wrote:

> Samantha Atkins wrote,
> > What do you mean by "contravene"? He simply wrote papers and
> > produced a program to back up his papers on how broken the
> > protection schemes are.
> Actually, it is not quite so simple. Dmitry Sklyarov works for a Russian

It is pretty simple. Adobe used broken (it's hard to call ROT13 even
broken) crypto in their product. Sklyarov (who apart from having a wife
and two small children also seems to be a spammer, but that's also
irrelevant for the case) wrote a commercial package circumventing it.

On Adobe's bidding using DMCA as legal background FBI arrested him after
his talk at Defcon where he presented his findings. He was not allowed to
speak to his consul and was essentially held incommunicado. Which is
pretty strong-arm intimidation in my book.

Geeks went postal, Adobe superficially caved in (but hasn't publicly
denounced DMCA, quite the opposite), Sklyarov is still held because the
particular legal machinery cannot be terminated once invoked. Of course
Adobe's lawyers knew that in advance.

So Adobe lost major brownie points far and wide in geekdom, DMCA is still
standing strong (put at least there's some political rustling around the
bushes), Dmitry is still in jail, security conferences outside of U.S.
will become even more interesting (from what I hear Defcon was pretty
lame, anyway), and anonymous publishing packages (while still allowing nym
prestige building) are receiving another major boost.

It will be interesting to see how cryptography/steganography will fare
against men with suits and guns. It's clear that while you can't link
prestige accrued on a nym to meatspace, you can still publish papers and
code without fear of being traced back (unless you're running software
from Redmond, of course).

-- Eugen* Leitl <a href="">leitl</a>
ICBMTO : N48 10'07'' E011 33'53''
57F9CFD3: ED90 0433 EB74 E4A9 537F CFF5 86E7 629B 57F9 CFD3

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:57 MDT