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

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Jul 28 2001 - 01:25:54 MDT

Eugene Leitl wrote:
> 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).

I am more paranoid. How difficult would it be to infiltrate
many computer systems and find PGP keys and such? Even if it
took breaking into a house to get the keys or plant software to
find and transmit them it is by no means certain my mail is
secure when I use PGP. I have heard of programs that can detect
information patterns hidden in pictures and such and that these
are used by the FBI to note steganographic communications.

- samantha

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