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Judge orders self-described hacker's computer seized without warning

Jaikumar Vijayan | Oct. 24, 2013
The U.S. district court was worried developer Corey Thuen might erase evidence

The ruling, for instance, pointed to hacking-related comments on Southfork's website. "The court finds it significant that defendants are self-described hackers, who say, 'We like hacking things and we don't want to stop,'" Winmill wrote.

The court was also convinced that Southwork would wipe its hard drives clean if given the chance. "The defendants have identified themselves as hackers," Winmill wrote. "A well-known characteristic of hackers is that they cover their tracks."

The order requires a forensic expert retained by Battelle to image Thuen's hard drive and then hand the image over to the court without examining the copy or image.

"The court has struggled over the issue of allowing copying of the hard drive," Judge Winmill noted. "This is a serious invasion of privacy and certainly not a standard remedy." But by labeling themselves hackers, Southwork has essentially announced that it has the "necessary computer skills and intent to simultaneously release the code publicly and conceal their role in act," the judge wrote.


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