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RE: FW: Legal? Road Runner proactive scanning.[Scanned]
From: "Jef Feltman" <feltman () pacbell net>
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 18:56:32 -0800

Yes, it is reasonable. You agree to allow others to send packets to you host
as soon as you connect it to the internet. By this act you give permission
to the world. The port they send to does not make a difference as far as
legal or not. Attaching a host to the internet is like opening your business
to the public. There is no other way to request info about services
available from a host other than a port scan.

jef

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles Otstot [mailto:charles.otstot () ncmail net] 
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 11:02 AM
To: Jef Feltman; security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: Re: FW: Legal? Road Runner proactive scanning.[Scanned]


Jef Feltman wrote:

So if someone comes and knocks on your door at home you shoot them? Do 
you consider them a criminal? No, you lock the door and windows.
 

Jef,

I think you are missing my position. It seems to me that this really 
wasn't a technical question, but rather a question of what a reasonable 
(as normally used in legal definitions) person would consider proper 
access. Such person need not be technical, in fact, imposing a technical 
definition ignores the more practical concern of property and privacy 
rights.
Knocking on *a" door may be an innocent act, knocking on *all* my doors 
and windows (or as others have noted, testing to see whether they are 
locked) is a deliberately intrusive act. While it certainly doesn't 
merit shooting, I would, at the least, bar that person from knocking on 
my door again (absent a very good explanation of why they should not be 
prohibited from such).

If your host is on the internet I consider it public and knocking on 
the door to see if the shop is open, is not a problem. If you do not 
want people coming in the door lock it and give a key to those who need 
it.

I think you might have trouble convincing others that your actions do 
not pose a problem. Simply having a host on the Internet does not 
automatically mean that one has the right to see what might be 
*technically* available on that host as opposed as to what the host's 
owners intended to be available. To refer to your analogy, the shop 
owner does not (in general) have the responsibility to lock the door and 
provide those who need access with a key. Rather, outsiders have the 
responsibility (both moral and legal) to stay out unless invited in.


Based on your statement no website should not be accessed by anyone 
other than an employee. Sending E-Mail would be a violation also, as 
the port must be checked to verify it can be opened to receive.
 

No, I stated that permission does not necessarily have to be explicit, 
only that ordinary concepts of reasonableness should dictate what is and 
isn't proper access. I specificaaly used the example of a publicly 
accessible website to illustrate that reasonableness would say accessing 
such a site would be considered appropriate. If however, there is a link 
on the site that says "Employees Only" that is available (from a 
technical perspective), and a non-employee intentionally clicks on the 
link to see if he/she can access the page, a reasonable person (IMHO) 
would consider such access to be improper. As to email,  access would be 
to a specific resource in repsonse to  a specific, proper request.

Port scanning is not an attack it is probe.

This is merely semantics. The implied *intention* is the important piece 
of the puzzle, not whether any harm is actually inflicted by this 
specific act.

I have scanned many machines
that have tried to attack my machine trying to verify if it is an 
attack or the host has been compromised. Unless the attack is currently 
in progress, the host is almost always taken over by a hacker or virus. 
Scanning the host allows me to find ports open that prove the host has 
been attacked and taken over. Then I am able to inform the ISP or user 
of the problem. And not go after some innocent user.

I  agree more with the poster who stated that this is not appropriate 
behavior. You have the right to identify who is scanning you, blocking 
the scan and then informing their ISP.
Anything beyond that is the purview of their ISP, the system 
administrator and/or the proper legal authorities.


If a company runs a service on the internet they must place a lock on 
the door to keep out the unwanted. Otherwise it is open to the public. 
Remember there are private and public ip addresses. Public means anyone 
can access them without freely unless they harm or steal from the host, 
just like the store on the corner.

This is simply wrong. The responsibility lies with the person accessing 
the resource. Personal resoponsibility and (Western) morality dictate 
that one should not go where one is not invited. Just because you *can* 
access something doesn't mean it is alright for you to do so. This is 
precisely where couching one's arguments in technical terms deflects 
from the more important (and very real) issues of right and wrong.


A port scan has never hurt any machine and never will. Only a poorly 
configured host will be hacked. Just as a poorly locked house will be 
broken into.

There is no such thing as an unhackable host, just as there is no such 
thing as a house which cannot be broken into. Remember, the perfect hack 
(like the perfect crime) has already occurred. The perpetrator was good 
enough that no one will ever know about it.


jef
 

Charlie



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---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethical Hacking at the InfoSec Institute. Mention this ad and get $545 off
any course! All of our class sizes are guaranteed to be 10 students or less
to facilitate one-on-one interaction with one of our expert instructors.
Attend a course taught by an expert instructor with years of in-the-field
pen testing experience in our state of the art hacking lab. Master the skills
of an Ethical Hacker to better assess the security of your organization.
Visit us at:
http://www.infosecinstitute.com/courses/ethical_hacking_training.html
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