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6/16/2006
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UBS Trial: Parts Of Attack Code Found At Defendant's Home

A U.S. Secret Service agent testified that a search of Roger Duronio's home turned up part of a logic bomb on two of his home computers and in a printout found lying on top of a bedroom dresser. The defense, meanwhile, pounded away at UBS PaineWebber's security lapses.

Over the course of cross-examining several witnesses, Adams repeatedly brought up the point that former hackers work at @Stake, Inc., the company that UBS initially brought in to do forensic work immediately after the incident. ''Are hackers good people?'' he asked. ''Are hackers reliable?''

The research labs in @Stake, which was bought by Symantec, Corp. in 2004, were headed up by Peiter C. Zatko (also known in the industry as Mudge), the former CEO and chief scientist of the L0pht, a high-profile hacker think tank. Mudge, however, worked his way into the legitimate business world, testifying before a Senate Committee on Government Affairs, and counseling President Clinton in the White House on security issues.

Mendez testified that other Wall Street firms had recommended several forensic companies, including @Stake, to UBS after their servers were taken down. In 2004, Mudge reportedly became a division scientist working at government contractor, BBN Technologies.

''In my opinion, it's generally a bad idea to bring in old hackers because they have habits that are hard to break,'' said Paller in a separate interview. ''From that perspective, they would be a bad bet for analysis of a company's security. But for forensics, they are often the best idea. There's the old statement about 'it takes one to know one'. Somebody who has broken into computers is more likely to see the evidence of a break-in. For forensics, when they are tightly managed, it's a great idea.''

The defense also took several stabs at suggesting that Cisco Systems, a networking industry giant, might have been responsible for taking down the UBS network during a penetration test that was ongoing during the March 4, 2002 incident.

Never actually coming out and accusing Cisco directly of the take-down, Adams repeatedly asked witnesses if they knew that Cisco had been hired to do the penetration test between February and March of 2002.

''Would it have been helpful to know Cisco was trying to test and bring down the network and operations?'' Adams asked Rajeev Khanna, manager for UBS's Unix Systems Group at the time of the attack. Khanna replied that he did not know about the test at the time.

In a written statement to InformationWeek.com, a spokesman for Cisco said, ''While Cisco does not disclose details of the work we perform for our customers, we are unaware of any issues related to any service Cisco has performed for UBS.''

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