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BBC cybercrime probe backfires

"The BBC hacked into 22,000 computers as part of an investigation into cybercrime but the move quickly backfired, with legal experts claiming the broadcaster broke the law and security gurus saying the experiment went too far.

The technology show Click acquired a network of 22,000 hijacked computers - known as a botnet - and ordered the infected machines to send out spam messages to test email addresses and attack a website, with permission, by bombarding it with requests.

Click also modified the infected computers' desktop wallpaper.

"Within hours, the inboxes started to fill up with thousands of junk messages," the BBC wrote on its website.

Of the website attack, the BBC boasted: "Amazingly, it took only 60 machines to overload the site's bandwidth.""

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/security/bbc-cybercrime-probe-backfires/2009/03/13/1236447465056.html


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Mmmm "We would not put out a show like this one without having taken legal advice." doesn't mean it was legal.

You would think that they would have checked to make sure they weren't doing anything that might get them in hot water but I guess hind sight is 20/20 everywhere, huh?

The botnet could be a legit botnet and in that sense they'd be fine (unlikely). Could be they (the bad guys?) either created a botnet, or had it packaged with another product as part of its agreement then sold access to it as a service. Either way we'll see what happens.