http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,47650,00.html By Michelle Delio 7:31 a.m. Oct. 17, 2001 PDT Russian computer cracker Vasily Gorshkov was found guilty Tuesday of 20 charges of conspiracy, computer crimes and fraud, according to court papers filed by the Washington state district prosecutor. Gorshkov was arrested in April in an FBI sting operation that provoked some protests. Agents used a digital wiretap to gather details about Gorshkov's computer, and then hacked into the machine to gather some of the evidence that was used to prosecute him. Kenneth E. Kanev, Gorshkov's lawyer, protested the agents' actions, but last May, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour of Seattle rejected the motions for dismissal. He said that Gorshkov and his alleged partner, Alexey Ivanov, knew enough about computers to understand that networked systems often record user information, and therefore they should have had "no expectation of privacy." "This case set a number of important precedents in the area of cyberlaw," said California criminal attorney Thomas Manning. "Expectation of privacy is a crucial standard to meet when people's activities are being monitored. It ties into Fourth Amendment rights protecting against unreasonable search and seizure. But if there is no expectation of privacy on a public network, that really changes how agents can gather information." Manning also said that precedents set in this case open the door to agents to "hack back" to gather evidence against criminal hackers. According to an official from the Washington state district prosecutor's office, the maximum sentence Gorshkov could receive for each count is five years. New York criminal lawyer Ed Hayes doubts that Gorshkov will spend a century in jail. "If I was him, though, I'd be preparing to spend at least five or six years behind bars, perhaps less with time off if he behaves." Gorshkov will be sentenced on Jan. 4, 2002. Gorshkov, 26, along with Ivanov, 20 -- currently in custody in New Jersey awaiting trial -- allegedly cracked hundreds of computer systems, stole sensitive client and financial information, and then attempted to blackmail the companies whose systems had been penetrated, requesting payment for the safe return of the data. Several of the companies approached by the pair contacted the FBI, who responded by creating a computer security firm, named "Invita," complete with office, employees and a decoy computer network. They contacted Ivanov and offered him a job if he could crack the Invita network. Ivanov hacked into Invita, and was told he would be hired. He showed up in Seattle in November 2000 for the interview with Gorshkov, and both demonstrated their cracking abilities for the undercover agents. But the agents had installed a sort of electronic wiretap on the computers that the two used during their demonstration. The program recorded the passwords Gorshkov used on computer systems in Russia and his Internet accounts. The agents were able to use this information to hack into the machines Gorshkov used and gather 260 gigabytes of evidence pointing to the pair's criminal activities. During the trial, Kanev challenged the FBI's right to use evidence gathered in what he claimed was illegal entry into a computer system, and unauthorized wiretapping. Kanev contended that the tactics used by the agents to gather evidence were illegal in Russia, but the judge ruled against Gorshkov since companies outside of Russia were affected by his activities. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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