AOH :: ISNQ4637.HTM

MIT students are warned that hacks have limits




MIT students are warned that hacks have limits
MIT students are warned that hacks have limits



  This message is in MIME format.  The first part should be readable text,
  while the remaining parts are likely unreadable without MIME-aware tools.

--1457021584-513787444-1191389930=:20530
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=UTF-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: QUOTED-PRINTABLE
Content-ID:  

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/10/02/mit_students_are_warned_that_hacks_have_limits/ 

By Linda K. Wertheimer
Globe Staff  
October 2, 2007

Causing a little mayhem is acceptable, but breaking the law is not, a 
top MIT official warned students in a campuswide e-mail yesterday after 
a series of high-profile pranks gone awry. The same goes for endangering 
yourself or acting irresponsibly in the process.

Since last school year, students from the Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology have made headlines after breaking into the school's Faculty 
Club and allegedly dumping sodium metal in the Charles River. Some 
students said the acts were done in the spirit of the school's 
long-chronicled tradition known as hacking, MIT-speak for harmless 
pranks (not the theft of computer records.)

"Historically, hacks have been creatively and thoughtfully executed 
without injury, destruction of property, or public notoriety for the 
hackers or MIT," Phillip Clay, the school's chancellor, said in the 
e-mail.

Clay cited references to the hacking code, which is on display for all 
to see in the Stata Center, a campus building. "True hackers quickly 
identify themselves when they encounter the police, and they do not 
confront or evade the police," he wrote in the e-mail. "Hackers do not 
create public hazards."

Clay said his letter, written in consultation with a student and faculty 
committee on hacking that began meeting last spring, will be followed up 
in a few weeks with stronger language and clearer rules in the student 
handbook about the prankster practice.

"What I'm trying to do is remind them of what hacking is," Clay said in 
a telephone interview. "I tried to define it for newbies."

While he did not mention specific incidents in his letter, Clay said in 
an interview that the break-in to the Faculty Club last fall prompted 
the review of the university's response to the hijinks. Three students 
were charged with breaking and entering, though the charges were 
dropped, with the school's backing. The students said they were 
practicing the hacking tradition of late-night exploration, but the 
university said they crossed a line.

While focusing on hacking, Clay also included a warning not to practice 
another university tradition, a hazing ritual in which upperclassmen 
have forced freshmen to take cold showers before their first test. He 
also emphasized integrity in academic and other areas, advising students 
not to download copyrighted music and videos and not to plagiarize 
information for their classwork.

In light of several recent events that have drawn negative publicity - 
including the arrest of an MIT student who wore a suspicious-looking 
electronic gadget to Logan airport - the university had to send a 
message to students, said Christopher Fematt, a senior and a member of 
MIT's Interfraternity Council executive board.

"A lot of these things, I felt like I'm being lectured to by a mom," 
Fematt said. "I still think some students need to be reminded of some 
things."

Joy Dunn, also a senior, praised Clay's emphasis on representing the 
university responsibly and with integrity. "This is part of going to 
MIT," Dunn said. "We came to MIT because of its reputation."

The letter did not mention consequences.

Martin Holmes, the Undergraduate Association president, said Clay had 
taken the right approach by establishing the principles that students 
should follow for hacking.

"The chancellor's letter did a perfect job of achieving a delicate 
balance between protecting hacking and striving toward safety and 
responsibility," Holmes said.

Sometimes, a prank may spark admiration, such as trasforming the John 
Harvard statue at Harvard into Master Chief from the Halo 3 video game. 
Other times, Holmes said, "it may be the subject of criticism or 
warnings on things not to do."

=C2=A9 Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company


--1457021584-513787444-1191389930=:20530
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Disposition: inline

__________________________________________________________________      
CSI 2007 is the only conference that delivers a business-focused
overview of enterprise security. It will convene 1,500+ delegates,
80 exhibitors and features 100+ sessions/seminars providing a
roadmap for integrating policies and procedures with new tools
and techniques.  Register now for savings on conference fees   
and/or free exhibits admission. - www.csiannual.com 

--1457021584-513787444-1191389930=:20530--

Site design & layout copyright © 1986-2014 CodeGods