Randal Schwartz speaks on security law in Dallas

Randal Schwartz is one of the most famous Perl hackers, has
authored and co-authored several books about Perl, and is a leading
instructor of the Perl language.

Yet, he wasn’t in Dallas Sunday to talk about Perl. He traveled
all these miles to talk about a more serious problem, a problem
that could very well have the potential to affect any computer

On Monday, November 1st, 1993 in Portland, Oregon, the police
came to Randal’s house with a search warrant. They confiscated most
electronic devices in his home, read him his rights, and
interviewed him for some length of time.

It turns out that Intel had turned him in for breaking into
their computer systems.

Four months after the November 1st incident, Randal was
officially indicted on three felony counts.

The activity in question was that he ran Crack on some of
Intel’s password files.

His mistakes prior to the arrest were: Not communicating his
activities at work to his supervisor, checking Intel’s password
file for bad passwords, and not reporting the bad passwords to the
appropriate personnel immediately.

Five years, and $250,000 later, he is a convicted felon.

When asked if Randal is going to counter-sue, in attempts to
make appropriate changes to Oregon’s state laws regarding this
matter, his reponse is that, “That’s not my place in this world…
My work’s telling you about this, and if you make choices based on
what I’ve said, my work is done.”

His webpage
covers in very full detail the entire case, from start to

Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Developer Insider for top news, trends, & analysis