Drunkeness as Defense of Cybercrime
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Thread: Drunkeness as Defense of Cybercrime

  1. #1
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Drunkeness as Defense of Cybercrime

    Ok. I just noticed a thread on Full Disclosure about whether an attacker could use drunkeness as a defense for committing a cyber crime (breaking into a computer). It's an interesting thing to consider. Certainly alcohol does change our mind's view on ethics. We let our inhibitions go.

    Also, what about a plea of insanity? or "emotional distress"? I think the last one would have merit in regards to revenge attacks. It'd be interesting to see if any cases would be won that way.

    What do the rest think abou this?
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  2. #2
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    I think that there is a fundamental difference between computer crime and other kinds of crime, where "insanity", or "drunkeness", or "duress" could be used successfully.

    Barring the wonder-tool skiddie script of the moment, most attacks that cause damage which makes it worth the expense to investigate/prosecute, take time.

    Time means deliberation, planning, things that make the difference between shooting someone in an emotional moment and making an elaborate plan to snuff them and try to get away with it.

    Any large corporation with good security policies should be difficult enough to break into that calling temporary insanity would be incredulous.

    The defense would have to show that the attack happened quickly, did its damage and then left the defendant wondering what the hell the did. (and it would be even better if they could feel remorseful).

    Of course, in the revenge department dealing with privileged information, it could be reasonable to think that they new a hole, weakness, or access code that would allow them to gain access without much difficulty, such that half a 1.75l of Gordons vodka in they decide that its a good idea to stick it to the man taht done them wrong. But, a situation like that SHOULD be avoidable with really strong, effective, and followed security policies.

    So, I have mixed feelings. The biggest problem I have is that in a jury based trial it would be unlikely to have jurors that understand the technical mumbo-jumbo that would be used. It would be for a lay person to understand certain nuances that an info-sec professional might.

    Just my ramblings,
    Dhej
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  3. #3
    you probably could get away with drunkeness, which would result in sloppy hacking and could lead to getting caught. that could work. i dont think a plea of insanity would do as effective for defense, as insanity would probably be more violent than malicious hacking. emotional distress would probably do better than insanity. excellent post msmittens
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  4. #4
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Well, what about say a simple DoS? I could see a drunkness being a defense. e.g., some poor schmoo thinks his machines being attacked. He drinks some while mulling it over and then goes searching (and successfully finds) a simple ICMP DoS script and launches it.

    The "drunk" wouldn't have done the attack under other circumstances because his mental capacity would have told him it's wrong. But, with the addition of alcohol, his though process changes.

    Something to think about anyways...
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  5. #5
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hi MsMittens,

    I think that drunkennes is an excellent defence against cybercrime. When I am drunk enough, I cannot switch the machine on and login to the net?

    Otherwise it will not work, as there needed to be some "malice and aforethought" in a period of sobriety to set the mechanism up.

    You may have shot the guy when you were drunk, but you sure as hell bought the gun and ammo when you were sober?

    Cheers

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    I can't wait until I see someone convicted for CWI (cracking while intoxicated).

  7. #7
    AO Decepticon CXGJarrod's Avatar
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    An interesting situation. I dont think that people should allow drunkness to be an excuse for hacking. If you get into a fight drunk, you still go to jail. If you got caught driving while drunk, you would go to jail. I just think its another lame excuse for someone to use to not take responsibility for their actions. Sure, noone wants to go to a Federal "Pound me in the @SS" prison, but if you get caught hacking you should have some penalty.

    My basic point is that it is still a crime if you do it while under the influence or not.
    N00b> STFU i r teh 1337 (english: You must be mistaken, good sir or madam. I believe myself to be quite a good player. On an unrelated matter, I also apparently enjoy math.)

  8. #8
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    What about getting banned from Game servers when you imbibed a little too much?

  9. #9
    Dead Man Walking
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    drunkeness should not be an excuse for anything. Bottom line. If you cant handle your self responsibly while drunk then its time to quit drinking. And i dont know about anybody else but when im drunk enough that i start to loose my ability to percive right and wrong i usualy couldnt focus enough to type anyways

  10. #10
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    Luckly there is no legal president for claiming that one is not guilty on grounds of being drunk. No lawyear who wanted to stay practicing would ever try something that pathetic...you may tri it if you represented your self...it would set up a nice incompatant consule appeal
    Who is more trustworthy then all of the gurus or Buddha’s?

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