Legitimate Hacking Only

By Paul F. Roberts  |  Posted 2006-03-06 Print this article Print

?"> Holy Father said he wanted to take a "rest," and declined to say what projects he was working on. However, he didnt deny that he could develop a new rootkit program in the future. "There might be some other tools, maybe some rootkits, well see what [the] future come with," he wrote.
In the meantime, he gave credit to F-Secure and the creators of the IceSword anti-rootkit program for discovering novel ways to detect Hacker Defender and other rootkits.
In his Web page post, Holy Father reiterated claims, made in the past, that he does not sell his program to criminals or criminal groups. "We preferred to sell paid versions for the legal activities such as penetration testing or security conference demonstrations. We have never supported criminals and always refused to renew the antidetection for those who misused our products," he wrote. The communications from the secretive rootkit author may be an effort to sanitize the shadowy Hacker Defender technology so that he can begin offering legitimate software, said Sam Curry, vice president of eTrust Security Management at Computer Associates International, in Islandia, N.Y. "Holy Father," who claims to live in the Czech Republic and to do Hacker Defender as a pastime, may be envisioning trying to get out of the "grey zone" of rootkit technology, which is often associated with illegal hacking, Curry said. Computer Associates researchers are seeing more and more examples of rootkit code in other programs. The snippets of code are often used to hide viruses and other malicious wares, he said. Rootkit techniques have also caught the attention of legitimate software vendors, as the recent flap over stealth features in digital rights management technology from Sony illustrated, Curry said. CA has to update its product and its anti-virus engine more frequently to catch the new rootkit technology, and is spending more time and energy testing anti-rookit features to make sure they arent disruptive, Curry said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.


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