[RC5] New Scientist (26-Sep-1998) - 'Prime Suspect' article

Tim Charron tcharron at interlog.com
Fri Sep 25 21:29:31 EDT 1998


> This may be of interest to the list:
> http://www.newscientist.com/ns/980926/nprime.html

Aaron Blosser (the accused) has been active on the Mersenne mailing 
list.  I'll just echo some things from that list here.  I'm hesitant 
to post this lest an off-topic discussion start, so please keep any 
followups brief.

- Aaron posted to the Mersenne list 4 months ago as he started 
loading the mersenne client from gimps on 2500 machines.
- He had permission from someone (who it would appear did not have 
the authority to grant him permission)
- When asked about the client by the group running the firewall, he 
removed all the clients (before ANY tests were complete).  The FBI 
was called in after this I believe.
- The claimed network problems (access delays increasing from 1 
second to 1-5 minutes) occurred on machines acting as terminals to a 
mainframe system.  The mersenne client was running in the lowest idle 
mode allowed under NT.  As someone on the Mersenne list said, "I 
smell pointy hair".

The real message everyone on this list should read out of all of this 
is that the onus is on you to be sure that you have adequate 
permission to use spare cycles.  This means the user of the machine, 
his/her boss, and any network administrators who might be affected.  
It just isn't worth the hassle not to.  If you don't want to ask for 
permission, don't use the cycles.

-- Tim

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