News Tagged "California Litigation"

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Hacking Procedure

  • Curtis E.A. Karnow
  • California Litigation Vol. 36 Iss. 1 (2023)
  • April 19, 2023

A long time ago I joined Bruce Schneier on a panel on cyber security. I spoke on legal issues, developing a theme on self-defense which I later turned into a paper which won a little prize. Schneier was the real expert though, knowledgeable not just on technical details, the state of the art, but also the human factor and organizational causes of insecure computer systems. He’s since come out with a series of books on computer security, privacy, and related issues, and publishes a fairly regular “Crypto-Gram” newsletter.

Hacker’s Mind

Schneier’s latest book is “A Hacker’s Mind: How the Powerful Bend Society’s Rules, and How to Bend them Back.” This plays off the old notion of the hacker—the one I grew up with—as one who delights in understanding and manipulating systems to generate unexpected results- or at least results unintended by the system’s developer. A hacker is not a crook, but an exploder of limits. “Hacks follow the rules of a system but subvert their intent,” Schneier writes in his March 15, 2023 Crypto-Gram. Hacks aren’t necessarily illegal, although some are. Some are normalized and eventually accepted as a feature of the system. Banks that play fast and loose with reserve requirements might lead Congress to make the practice illegal (or the opposite: Congress might bail out the banks and allow bankers to keep their bonuses). Tax loopholes which plainly subvert the public intent of the tax system are often subsumed as an acceptable practice…

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.