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August 10, 2008


So a trio of bright kids and their professor, with unlimited time and the resources of a premier technological university behind them, "hack" a system that is designed to provide easy, reasonably secure access for millions of people who just want to ride the train.

Change "smartcard" to "locks" and see if you still think this is free speech. "See, you use a 10-lb sledge hammer and a cold chisel, and you can easily access the internal workings of any turnstile! We hacked the MBTA and got free rides!"

Or "We paid a hooker to 'social engineer' a security guard while we made copies of his keys!!! PWNED!!! Let's do a PowerPoint about it for DefCon!!! Or maybe call that Apatow guy and see if he wants the story!!! Free speech lives!!!"

Why shouldn't they be arrested for trespassing and theft? Why shouldn’t the professor get fired for promoting illegal activity? Why didn't they just call the MBTA security people ahead of time and propose that they do the same analysis? Juvenile attitudes, that's why. Had they acted responsibly, they'd still be heroes to the geeks, but would also be thought trustworthy by the adults who make this world work. Time to spank them in court - hope the MIT Alumni are pleased about how their donations are being spent.

And nobody is going to hire these guys now. Their "hack" wasn't original, or clever, or even a true "hack" - it's a combination of trespassing and trying every combination on a bike lock until it opens. No customer will pay for 100% security against all possible attacks, and these guys had all the time and resources they needed.

But based on the laughable "warcart". I think this is viral. What no Pez dispenser and D&D logo?

The Goose replies here.

Posted by: JBD at 06:16 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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