Hacking Rhetoric

Responsible Disclosure


Thinking about someone just being able to scan and access UT’s network is a pretty scary thought. While I do applaud the person for finding this glitch in the network, I think the way they advertised how they did this was not right. I personally believe that this person should have emailed the tech people, or whoever is in charge of that department, and explained to them what he accessed. Since the information that the hacker got a hold of is a danger to the school, he should have notified officials so they could take precautionary measures. A lot of money could be at stake here if the hacker decided to just print a bunch of nonsense for whatever reason. It is kind of a two sided situation here. We know the hacker was looking for free printing on campus. He did the right thing by letting people know that the networks are easily accessible. I just think the way he went about is was totally wrong. They did not act in a responsible manner and their tone was not good at all. The way the hacker conveyed their message came of threatening and could cause a lot of chaos with this situation.

Happy Hacking!
-Samantha Rodriguez


3 thoughts on “Responsible Disclosure

  1. It’s pretty appalling that the UT printer network could be hacked in such a manner, but if whoever did it meant to do any harm, they would have. The fact that they sent a message shows that they were merely trying to point out how vulnerable the network is. I wonder what kind of information the hacker had access to. Some people print out important documents on those printers. I’m sure. Until whoever is in charge fixes this, the thousands of students who have used UT printers should know that all of the work they have printed could be easily accessible to someone else.

  2. I think that it is kind of sad that UT hasn’t even mentioned this. I feel this is a growing problem within big business and large organizations that even though people hack them, they never mention it to the people that use their equipment/product and in addition we never really know if they fixed the issue. This hacker showed us a vulnerability, and there is no way of knowing if there are steps to strengthen the security of the printer network and others. More importantly if our student information is as tightly guarded as we think it is.

  3. Something pretty interesting has happened recently on UT campus. Last Sunday, a (suspected) UT student scanned the entire campus network looking for freely-accessible printers and left the owners a little message. The message, which you can see here, warns the user of the danger of leaving their printers exposed to the entire world — and offers help in remediating the problem. The message is at once helpful and threatening, with the sender stating “I have scanned your entire network. I know what is open to the public, and what is not.” While this may have served to frighten some people who were unaware of the insecurity of their systems, the potential for abuse here is much greater. Imagine printing hundreds of copies of a black page, wasting all the ink, toner, and paper in your printer? Easily a $50 expense, multiplied by the 500-1000 printers on the UT network that are likely exposed to the internet, the costs could add up. Even worse, imagine if you wake up to find hundreds of copies of a graphic or disturbing image in your printer tray, with no idea how it got there. There is an open question if the individual who printed these messages did something “wrong”, or even broke the law — his/her slightly threatening tone certainly doesn’t help. However, in light of the potential impact associated with this issue, I think the person who reported it acted in a fairly responsible manner, and I applaud him/her on his/her efforts.

    What do you think?

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