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WabiSabiLabi Founder Still Jailed on Spying Charges




WabiSabiLabi Founder Still Jailed on Spying Charges
WabiSabiLabi Founder Still Jailed on Spying Charges



http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2214157,00.asp 

By Lisa Vaas
eWeek.com
November 8, 2007 

WabiSabiLabi has confirmed that its founder Roberto Preatoni remains in 
custody on spying charges.

WabiSabiLabi, the eBay of security vulnerabilities, confirmed that its 
founder and strategy director has been arrested in connection with an 
ongoing spying investigation and remains custody in Milan.

Italian news media reported that Roberto Preatoni was arrested on Nov. 5 
and charged with unauthorized access to computer systems and 
wiretapping.

WabiSabiLabi, which was launched in July, apparently doesn't know much 
more about Preatoni's troubles beyond what Italian journalists are 
reporting. From those articles, though, it appears that the charges have 
to do with work that predates WabiSabiLabi's founding.

"From newspaper reports we presume the arrest relates to events in 
2003/04 when his former company was hired by Telecom Italia's Security 
division to safeguard Telecom Italias' interests and are unrelated to 
WabiSabiLabi in any way," according to the company's statement, which 
was released on Nov. 8. The statement said that WabiSabiLabi could not 
comment on the ongoing investigation or statements being made in the 
press.

WabiSabiLabi was founded with the premise that security researchers 
should receive a fair price for their findings, as opposed to giving 
away vulnerabilities for free or selling them to cyber-criminals.

According to news reports, Preatoni's problems stemmed from 
penetration-testing work on Telecom Italia's information security system 
that he was doing as a contractor. He was one of 10 staffers with a 
security firm called Tiger Team. Members of that team have been charged 
with intercepting communications and spying on Carla Cicothe 
Italian-born CEO of Brasil Telecomthe Kroll investigative agency, and 
journalists Fausto Carioti and David Giacalone of the newspaper Libero.

Four Tiger Team staffers had already been arrested in January for 
allegedly installing a Trojan in order to steal data from an Italian 
publisher, Rizzoli Corriere della Sera.

Those who know Preatoni are viewing the charges with extreme skepticism. 
Sunbelt Software President Alex Eckelberry, for one, stuck up for 
Preatoni in a posting on Nov. 6, saying that Preatoni is well-respected 
in security circles and that he's been a "staunch advocate of civil 
liberties in the post 9/11 world."

"I find Preatoni's alleged guilt quite hard to believe," Eckleberry 
wrote. "Preatoni might have been controversial at times, but I find it 
more than highly unlikely that he would have used his skills to hack 
illegally. The problem is that there is not an abundance of technology 
know-how in jurisprudence, and one can only hope that he gets treated 
fairly."


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