Re: a holiday gift from Robert Morris


Paul Raulerson (att!whuts!homxb!hropus!ki4pv!cdis-1!cdin-1!dsinc!lgnp1!prapc2!paulr@ucbvax.Berk)
11 Nov 88 21:22:58 GMT


In article <10791@dartvax.Dartmouth.EDU> matthews@eleazar.dartmouth.edu (Jim Matthews) writes:
>In article <>In article <1445@anasaz.UUCP> >In article <1445@anasaz.UUCP> john@anasaz.UUCP (John Moore) writes:
>>
>>According to press reports, RM spent his summers working at AT&T
>>on "Unix Communications Software Security". Anyone with a source
>>license check to see if he slipped a trojan horse into uucico
>>or uuxqt or something?
[deleted text]
>It is very easy in the aftermath of something like this to indulge in
>the devil theory of crime -- that all bad things must come from evil
>minds. The more you find out about rtm I believe the more you will find
>he has in common with the people criticizing his behavior. He has done
>significant work in computer security, including warning people for
>years about the security holes that made the worm possible. He has
>worked as a sysadmin for an arpanet host. He is a serious student of
>computer science and was making contributions to the field at an age
>when most of us were trying to learn Pascal. He's also one hell of a
>great guy, and no one seems more appalled by the effects of his actions
>than he is.
>
>We can argue about the advisability of what he did, but I urge you to
>resist the temptation to pigeon-hole someone you don't know on the basis
>of fragmentary information.
>
>Jim Matthews

Gee, What a *HELL* of an attitude to take about someone who has just cost a
lot of people and organizations a terrifically large amount of resources.
To a great extent, this wonderful wacky and extremely open net of ours is
self policing. People who abuse their privs most often loose them. Once,
when I was a tad younger, I might have agreed with you about showing more
compassion and understanding, but since I have been running this system at
some cosiderable expense, and deaing professionally with the government for
about 10 years, I feel that this self policing action should be encouraged.

After all, there is nothing in the world stopping Mr. Morris from going
off and starting his own network, as secure as he wishes now is there? But
participation in a group environment means you have to be responsible enough
to realize that other peoples' resources are NOT your personal private toys
to play with. I think it is far more humane to have Mr. Morris recognized
by System Adminsitrators everywhere as a security risk, and be denied access,
with threat of legal action is his illegal activites continue, than it is
to slap him on the wrist and tell those same System Adminstrators that he
CANNOT be denied access because he really didn't mean it and is sorry for
what he did.

People have to be responsible for themselves, and yes, they have to
realize everyone makes mistakes and be willing to "forget" them. However,
there is *always* a price associated with such forgetfulness, and
Mr. Morris, or whoever the guilty critter was, has yet to pay for
his play.

This isn't really a personal attack on anyone, it is just more of a
defense of the openess we all share here, and what it may take to
keep it open. Anyone wishing to has the matter over some more, your
welcome to mail me and if it seems reasonable, I'll summarize the
opinions and post 'em back as a single message.

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