Rants, Raves, Reviews


FBI - 'Bait and Hook'

By Gary R, in , posted: 25-Mar-2008 13:15

An interesting story over at El'Reg regarding the FBI and the baiting of suspects with an unhealthy interest in children. Apparently the FBI solicits suspects through forums via an enticing link (FBI hosted) and then nabs them by tracking their IP number.

Obviously the word 'entrapment' springs to mind and certainly anyone wanting this sort of content should be apprehended and dealt with severely but does clicking a hyperlink pointing to a server that does not actually host any or display any of the 'advertised' content constitute a crime? Well, apparently it does. This raises the obvious question of how far 'entrapment' can go and your rights when 'innocently' being led down the link clicking path.

For the first time ever I got severely caught out today at work. Drinking my morning coffee I was looking for a tutorial on puttying - as in puttying windows. So, I search on Google for 'puttying windows' which in the second page of search results throws up this:

puttying
Not really concentrating on what I was going on I opened multiple windows from lots of links with the above being one of them. This page (do not go there!) asked me to install an ActiveX control for a media codec which stupidly I did. I know, I know, I should have known better but I was still in morning brain fuzz phase and simply thought 'great a video tutorial'. Well, the link is not what it purported to be and it sent me to this internet nugget http://porn-youtube-8.com/freemovie/Video%20-%20puttying%7CSpecial%20Archive%20-%20puttying/725/6/ which went about infecting my laptop with all manner of nasties like multiple Trojans (which disabled my task bar) and some pop-ups. Luckily AVG, Spybot and HiJackThis cleared out the mess.

So, what if my innocent search had re-directed me to a fake FBI web site specifically set up to entrap viewers of illegal content and how would you actually prove your innocence? It wouldn't take much effort for a hacker to place an Open Redirect to the FBI server from an innocuous looking hyperlink with the true link hidden through URL encoding.

My colleagues awarded me the 'Turkey Trophy', because 'I should have known better' which is fair enough. Needless to say I have learnt my lesson and will be more diligent in the future.

Other related posts:
I Thought I would Come Back
Unemployment does get boring
Over the 'i'






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Gary R
Wellington
New Zealand


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