Personal Data Protection & Mobile Security Solutions

When Do You Give Someone A Second Chance?

by dballard on January 6, 2010

Senior Technology Consultant at Sophos

Senior Technology Consultant at Sophos

Graham Cluley’s post about 28 year-old Li Jun, a Chinese virus writer, who wrote the Fujacks worm was recently released from jail, and is now looking for work in the security business.

Graham raises several concerns especially among those, like himself, who have strived to do the right thing in the security industry. Should we reward unethical behavior?

How many of us have heard the comment that the top players in the security industry write their own malware to keep themselves in business, I know I have. Same theory for the radar detectors used in your personal vehicles and law enforcement to catch you speeding. Same industry produces both sides…It’s against the law to speed, but we will provide the tools to avoid getting caught speeding, as well as the tools to catch you.

Ironic isn’t it – if you don’t want to be caught speeding, don’t speed. If you want to work in the security industry, then don’t write malicious code. It’s a tough call, in some instances it has been a good call, but I would recommend a tight scrutiny in this case.

Another interesting point Graham mentioned is just because you can write malware doesn’t necessarily mean you know or understand how to write a good anti-virus program.

I know Bill and I tend to believe in giving second chances, but that’s us. We could argue that Sam Antar

Sam Antar Convicted Felon Makes Good On Second Chance

Sam Antar Convicted Felon Makes Good On Second Chance

is one of those individuals who I would call a pit bull searching out and exposing swindles and White Collar Fraud. However, he also perpetrated one of the biggest frauds in the U.S. history. I remember talking with Sam and asking how he could do what he did? Sam pointed out that he didn’t care about what he was doing to others; he liked what he was doing and enjoyed the life style. I couldn’t relate to it, but I did understand what he was saying.

Nonetheless, he has an expertise, misguided at the time, however; Sam is now a real advocate and relentless in the pursuit of Frauds and White Collar Criminals.

Whatever the outcome for Li Jun and whoever may employ him, I do agree with Graham that we do not want other malware writers to think this is the avenue to pursue as a shortcut to a new job in the security industry.

david c ballard

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