Tsunami donation: jailed for using a non-standard browser (lynx)

Aldo blinuxman at tuxfamily.org
Fri Jan 28 21:41:55 UTC 2005

Src: BoingBoing.net

Thursday, January 27, 2005

   Jailed for using a nonstandard browser
   A  Londonder made a tsnuami-relief donation using lynx -- a text-based
   browser  used  by the blind, Unix-users and others -- on Sun's Solaris
   operating  system. The site-operator decided that this "unusual" event
   in  the system log indicated a hack-attempt, and the police broke down
   the donor's door and arrested him. From a mailing list:

     For  donating  to  a  Tsunami  appeal  using Lynx on Solaris 10. BT
     [British Telecom] who run the donation management system misread an
     access log and saw hmm thats a non standard browser not identifying
     it's type and it's doing strange things. Trace that IP. Arrest that

     Armed  police,  a  van,  a  police cell and national news later the
     police  have  gone in SWAT styley and arrested someone having their

     Out  on bail till next week and preparing to make a lot of very bad
     PR for BT and the Police....

     So  just  goes to show if you use anything other than Firefox or IE
     and  you rely on someone else to interogate access logs or IDS logs
     you too could be sitting in a paper suit in a cell :(

   [*]Link (Thanks, Patrick!)

   Update::  The  source that told me about this has corroborated it with
   more  detail  in  private  email, but is leery of going public. I hope
   that  more  publicly available details appear soon, and will post them
   when I have them.

   posted by Cory Doctorow at 12:08:00 AM

  [*] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4195339.stm



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