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11/21/2003
05:51 PM
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Letters To The Editor

No Positive Side To Hacking
"The Mind Of A Hacker" talks about "some of the positive that hacking represents."

People who deliberately tread on someone else's property, be it intellectual, physical, or copyright, are nothing more than trespassers. Last I heard, trespassing was illegal. And we wonder why kids think it's all right to hack. Now I know: It has positive aspects. You can satisfy your "intellectual curiosity" and learn "innovative thinking."
Patrick Bloise
Systems Engineer, SunGard Pentamation, Bethlehem, Pa.



Outsourced Spam
A spammer is anyone who sends unsolicited commercial E-mail, including those who claim an "indirect" opt-in ("Spam Nation").

Anti-spam software I've tried catches spam sent via compromised systems ("spambots") or subcontracted overseas computer systems.

Legitimate companies that outsource their customer-notification E-mail lists to others need to carefully vet who they outsource to. Those third-party companies could be spammers.
Craig Paul
System Support Programmer, Kansas University, Lawrence, Kan.



Enemy Within
The article on DVD piracy repeats the industry position that studio employees leak movies onto the Internet "on rare occasions" ("File Sharing's Close-Up"). However, new research out of AT&T Labs indicates otherwise. The researchers collected 285 popular movies on file-sharing networks and found that 77% of them were leaked by industry insiders.

One of the first rules of security is that you need to know who your attacker is before you consider countermeasures. In this case, the movie industry has the threat wrong. The attackers aren't DVD owners making illegal copies and putting them on file-sharing networks. The attackers are industry insiders.
Bruce Schneier
CTO, Counterpane Internet Security, Cupertino, Calif.



Correction
"Wireless Protocols Multiply" (Nov. 17) should have said that 802.11g can reach a speed of 54 Mbps.


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