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Harvard catches, rejects hacking applicants

By deepsand ·
And, these were applicants to law school, no less.

A cogent comment on the ethics of of today!,aid,119938,00.asp

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Business Not Law

by TheChas In reply to Harvard catches, rejects ...

It was business school not law school applicants.

Further, if it is hacking, it is hacking at it's lowest level.

The hack was to type in changes to the URL once the applicant had logged into the site.

This allowed the user to see the administrative status of their application.

IMHO, this is more an issue of a poor security structure for the web site.

Also, IMHO, since these are business students, they might make very good business people. They want pertinent up to date information, and they want it now.

Sounds like a good attitude for our new information based economy.


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Fines only

by armitager In reply to Business Not Law

They should fine the people who didn't manage to get the

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by dafe2 In reply to Business Not Law

"The hack was to type in changes to the URL "

So they were business students practicing their balace sheet trechniques.

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My question

by BFilmFan In reply to Business Not Law

Are there some new opportunities in their networking, security, CTO, and CIO positions? It is obvious that someone wasn't taking their duties seriously.

Perhaps if organizations start terminating with no benefits upper management on a successful security breach, we'd start seeing management take the issue seriously.

The only way to get management's attention at some organizations is to hit them in their pocketbooks.

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Per radio broadcasts, was Law school. Much more important though,

by deepsand In reply to Business Not Law

is the fact that the applicants exercised poor judgement, based on qustionable ethics.

They knew that they were seeking access without authorization. That such was easy to effect is irrelevant.

That I might fail to lock my door does not confer any right to others to enter my property withot my consent.

I submit that these students do NOT presently possess the necessary degree of integrity & respect for the rights of others to be entrusted with authority, whether it be in Business or Law.

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Per your link and radio reports I heard

by TheChas In reply to Per radio broadcasts, was ...

Per your posted link, and the news reports I heard, it was business schools.

While I don't condone what was done, most of the applicants did not hack in a traditional manner. They took advantage of a posted method to check the status of their applications.

The person who posted the hack should receive some form of retribution.

Those who simply made use of the posted information should be given no more than a slap on the wrist.


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by Jessie In reply to Harvard catches, rejects ...

This wasn't "hacking" this was an easter egg hunt. We've all seen the "easter eggs" built into software, that do anything from showing who the creators of a piece of software were, to allowing you to win a game with Ctrl+Shift+F10. When I find a site with "easter eggs" on it, I try to check them out. It's entertaining, and kinda cool, these little unknown built-ins.

I really don't think the applicants should be fined, or even not admitted to the school. If someone gave you explicit instructions on a piece of software that would allow you to find out if you'd gotten the job you wanted, or should just keep looking... wouldn't YOU want to check it out?

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So, if I leave my car unlocked, then ...

by deepsand In reply to AFAIC

you have a right to drive it, or take it, as you see fit?

Questionable reasoning, at best; at worst, lousy ethics.

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Not at all...

by Jessie In reply to So, if I leave my car unl ...

If you give me explicit instructions on where your keys are, and how to get to your car, THEN I'll assume that you wanted me to drive it.

Having not seen the site that gave the applicants the crack to get into the university decision process, or knowing how they got to that site, I simply choose to give them the benefit of the doubt. I know, I'm silly that way, that whole, "innocent until proven guilty" thing tends to get in people's way. I also think "guilt" has a lot to do with "intent." Obviously, the students INTENDED to see if they'd "made the cut" but, did they INTEND to steal that information, or were they told that this was an accepted way to find out if they'd gotten in?

I'm more likely to believe that SO MANY students were gullible, than that, SO MANY students are "hackers." Please! most of these people are going to business school, and I know that I, for one, have had enough dealings with the computers of people with a degree in business, to know that these people are likely to believe that Microsoft is going to send them $.50 for every email they send to a certain address, and that they're BY NO MEANS hackers... gullible, YES, easily led astray, YES, but NOT hackers!

Should gullibility be punishable by law? Maybe. So start them out with a 2.5 GPA for their gullibility, so they have to work extra hard to make up for their own stupidity.

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Youthful indiscretions

by deepsand In reply to Not at all...

One needs to take care to separate issues of guilt from those of punishment.

As a youth, I too committed various indiscrete acts, some of which indoubtably were criminal; to hold otherwise would be foolhardy. And, in those instances where I was found to be responsible for such, my punishments were tempered by the understanding that, as a youth, I was not yet fully capable of making wholly informed & responsible judgements.

In the matter at hand, I am taking no position re. the punishment of the students in question; only that they are guilty of having trangressed.

I do, however, take issue with those here who have held that the "initiative" displayed by said students should in some manner be viewed as a trait which marks them as being "suitable" candidates for positions of influence.

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