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Re: Fw: [IACIS-L] Statement by Defense Expert
From: <Glenn.Everhart () chase com>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2007 10:33:52 -0400

Ayup, true enough re jury confusion.

Once a machine has had a malware infection though, the point a layman needs to
understand is simply: it is not possible in under (a large number, maybe 1000) man
years) to determine that the machine has not been remotely controllable if connected
to an outside net. 

Further it is not possible to say with certainty that an apparently clean machine, so connected,
has not been infected in the past by something that removed its traces.

One is left with probabilities. If for example I am looking for a worm author and find on
his computer lots of partial code, edited versions of the worm, and maybe the final one, compilers
etc., while it is possible these were inserted by an evil outsider, I might reckon that
local creation is more likely.

If all I find is a cache of warez, nasty pictures etc., and some server running, it is harder
to exclude the idea the box might be in use by an evildoer as a hiding place for material the
outsider is unwilling to risk serving out himself.

As long as "experts" are suitably modest about what they can know, and explain the probabilities
honestly all could be well. The more of these "elderly jury selectees" that are informed ahead
of time about the limits of what can be found, the better.

The story about Mr. Ballmer (Microsoft CEO) having a box infected, taking it to work to get it
cleaned, and having all the experts he could access be unable to clean it save by wiping and
reloading, may be a useful one to spread to said jury pool folks. It makes it clear the level
of expertise and time needed to clean a box up, suggesting that Mr. 20something-self-proclaimed-forensic-guy
who swears "there could never have been external meddling on this box" might be just a tad out of
his depth.


-----Original Message-----
From: full-disclosure-bounces () lists grok org uk
[mailto:full-disclosure-bounces () lists grok org uk]On Behalf Of J.
Oquendo
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2007 8:42 AM
To: Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu
Cc: Full Disclosure; Jason Coombs
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] Fw: [IACIS-L] Statement by Defense Expert


Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu wrote:

So I take it that law enforcement computer examiners and prosecutors *do* have
the years of experience in software engineering and exploit construction and
use, to qualify them to translate a bit of data into forensic evidence of guilt?

  

Catch 22. This is why prosecutors often rely on expert witnesses who 
even then are lacking. One of the
things many omit in their methods of thinking when it comes to perhaps 
going to trial is the following,
and please take it very seriously... Will the JURY understand it first 
and foremost, secondly will the
jury even give a rats ass.

 From experience, 1) the jury WILL NOT understand even 1/2 of the 
terminology nor concepts, analogies
you can throw at them. This works to the benefit of whichever side is 
willing to exploit the jurors.
"Overwhelm them with so much technology they'll have to believe the 
accused is guilty. After all, why
bring in all of these *experts*" (for the prosecution). "Overwhelm them 
with so much technology to
counter the former experts expertise and throw in doubt..." For the defense.

On the latter... While "guilty until proven innocent is the American 
dream, it is seldomly practiced. If so
there would be no need for bail since the defendant is after all 
innocent. (Bottom line holding true to the
letter of the law... Not practical but this concept of innocent until 
proven guilty is flawed). Anyhow,
if one were to find themselves on trial this is what you SHOULD 
expect... You will get a jury of your
so called peers.. So let's define peer: Noun 1. peer - a person who is 
of equal standing with another
in a group. Your peers will never be in equal standing from a 
technological perspective period. For
one, it would take a miracle to gather a bunch of computer literate 
users for jury duty. Heck you will
likely find 0 even if one appears for jury duty, it is likely the 
prosecution will try to rid this person
from selection. Its not in their best interest to have someone fully 
technical on trial for a few reasons.
1) The juror might associate his experiences with the case being tried 
and taint an outcome based
on HIS experience, not the facts presented. Would be the main reason. It 
might not be in the best
interest of the defendant for the same reason.

No sir, your peer will consist of someone who's likely going to be 
computer illiterate, likely twice
your age, etc., they'll 1) be frustrated they have to go through jury 
duty and want to get things over
with to return to normal life. 2) They'll be looking like a deer in 
headlights trying to understand what
the hell an expert is talking about: "SMTP is a protocol used to deliver 
electronic mail. This mail
consists of binary zeros and ones which when converted formed a 
corrupted gif image which caused
Microsoft's Windows Small Business Server to suffer a buffer overflow." 
Might sound like clockwork
to anyone here, but will sound Klingon to a juror. I could go on and 
on... But one should be able to
envision the possibilities of jurors being lost and irrate.

I may or may not do a write up based on my case, but that is likely 
going to irritate a lot of federal
agents and it will likely mean I will end up posting my case files 
online which will further piss off
more federal agents and perhaps place me back to square one. Who knows 
maybe I will discuss
this with an attorney beforehand. Lest I face the wrath of again 
breaking into an employer while
on an airplane. But hey... An expert can always be called in on my 
defense on how it would have
been impossible to spoof over the Atlantic Ocean... Then again, a 
counterexpert could show the
possibility of me hijacking satellite after satellite after satellite 
for said connection to leave "a
teasing message saying... Hi I pwnd you" for shits and giggles.

-- 
====================================================
J. Oquendo
http://pgp.mit.edu:11371/pks/lookup?op=get&search=0x1383A743
echo infiltrated.net|sed 's/^/sil@/g' 

"Wise men talk because they have something to say;
fools, because they have to say something." -- Plato



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