Missed the matrix...
He clearly took the blue pill.
A UK university student has avoided jail over a malware-based scam that allowed him to break into the personal computers and webmail accounts of an estimated 100 victims. Paul McLouglin, 22, a Salford University student from Liverpool, tricked victims into downloading password-stealing software, called Istealer, which he had …
Never ever download and run apps from unknown sources. If you have to run malware.exe to get access to a site then it is almost certainly a scam.
> McLouglin is reckoned to have accessed at least 20 individual accounts belonging to the estimated 100 victims hit by the scam.
How were the other 80 victems not affected ?
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Especially that downloading unknown executables from the net, particularly those containing malware, is part of job description of some people here. Together with running them through debuggers, disassemblers et al. to see what exactly they do, and whether they should be added to the next release of AV databases. Capiche, comrade?
Mine's the one with a HIEW install disk in the pocket.
Even if you can describe a keygen as cracking software and even if just possessing said software was illegal they didn't download any such thing, they downloaded spyware.
You can't prosecute someone who buys milk powder from a drug dealer for possession, even if they did believe they were getting cocaine and the same applies here.
It's called conspiracy (as in to commit a crime). It's used when they can't bust someone on a normal charge. RICO allows the govt. to take the property used in the crime before a conviction is obtained. Nice racket. We also bust people for drug paraphenilia, even if they have no drugs on them and there is no residue on the items.
You can't? I seem to recall (maybe faultily) FBI and undercover police arresting people for buying what they thought were drugs when they were no buying drugs. (Again, my memory could be faulty)...
That is almost the same as arresting someone for solicitation. The undercover cop/fake sex offeror has no duty nor any likely intent to actually give his/her body for sex to cite or arrest a person for solicitation, intent, and agreeing to consort. In the name of keeping the public safe, the charges for solicitation tend to stick. Wouldn't the charges apply if a person is arrested for intent to purchase cocaine even if holding out cash that only obtains mashed-potato-power-mix subtitutes?
IANAL, but laws on drugs possession seem to diffe between states, let alone countries, and are very different to those around software crime. In some areas of the World, possession of even the tiniest amount of some narcotics is illegal, and therefore your intent to commit the crime is shown by your attempting to purchase it, whether it actually is the drugs or powdered milk. In other areas, possession of small amounts for personal use is tolerated, in which cases the sting has to get you to buy more than the "personal use" amount so they can infer you are going to sell it on, i.e. be a dealer.
In this case, the key-gen software is itself not illegal, you could always claim you downloaded it out of curiosity, because you wanted to send it on to the game's manufacturer to allow them to tighten security, or because you wanted to study it. Because it would be very hard for the coppers to prove you had an intent to commit a criminal act, they'd probably not prosecute. It's like going to the hardware store and buying a crowbar - it doesn't make you a burglar until you take it out and use it to break into someone else's property.
If you've never downloaded a no-CD (or no-dongle) hack to use with software you legally purchased, you're a square. Illegal does not necessarily mean immoral. And it doesn't always mean stealing.
Granted, it's getting hard to find clean wares these days. Trojans everywhere. Where is the love?
cracks may be a copyright issue as they are often modified versions of copyrighted files (they chop out the checking code from the games exe file for example), but a keygen is not illegal, there is nothing at all illegal about writing your own program and releasing it - well unless you are in the US and they patent the key generation algorithm of course!
It's not illegal to own cracking software, It's pretty much only illegal to successfully use it. In the days of digital downloads, owning the files to some software without a license key is a very grey area.
Most cases of software "theft" aren't criminal offences, they're civil offences, which means that a case is only brought forward if the software's Intellectual Property owner brings a case forward, to successfully win a civil case you need a "balance of probabilities" which essentially means you need to prove your property rights have been trodden on, if someone unsuccessfully tries to steal software, but causes no further damage (to the software owner, in this case they damaged themselves but can't sue themselves) then there's no reasonable grounds for a civil offence case.
I just read the text of section 3A and it does make interesting reading. So, if someone approaches me and asks me to supply a keylogger for what ever purpose, then I could be liable for two years in the slammer.
"A person is guilty of an offence if he makes, adapts, supplies or offers to supply any article intending .. believing that .. obtains any article .. its being supplied" ...