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  • Comment on Reaped: So merlyn why did you hack the password file?

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Re: So merlyn why did you hack the password file?
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Dec 26, 2001 at 10:45 UTC
    I downvoted this for several reasons, many of which would suffice on their own.
    • It contains an ad hominem attack unrelated to the issue at hand.
    • It has nothing to do with Perl or the Monastery.
    • It is a personal disagreement aired in public for no apparent benefit.
    • It does not belong as a top-level post.
    Besides that, I object to your selective misquoting of my earlier post, in an apparent attempt to legitimize your post. I do not care if you and merlyn have a personal disagreement, as long as you both handle yourselves with decorum in public. This counts as a public situation.

    In the future, please leave me out of these posts, if you really must make them.

Re: So merlyn why did you hack the password file?
by japhy (Canon) on Dec 26, 2001 at 10:21 UTC
    I object to the nature of this post. I'm not for personal attacks being presented on this forum. And I don't see how this isn't a personal attack (and it has a bitter "vengeance"-like aftertaste).

    I also disagree with the phrase "courtroom antics". Randal is trying to preserve his name and his reputation. What he did was done with no malintent, as he has made clear in many ways. What he has done since then (specifically in the Perl world) has been amazing selfless work.

    The burglar who breaks his leg in a house still had intent of stealing and doing whatever. The merlyn that gets spotted while running crack and waiting for it to finish so he can present the results to the necessary authorities only had intent of fixing a major hole in the security of the system.

    Jeff[japhy]Pinyan: Perl, regex, and perl hacker.
    s++=END;++y(;-P)}y js++=;shajsj<++y(p-q)}?print:??;

Re: So merlyn why did you hack the password file?
by Juerd (Abbot) on Dec 26, 2001 at 04:20 UTC
    Investigate before posting...

    From merlyn's Fund Daemon's text:
    I was a sysadm for SSD about a year and a half previous, and I still had an active account on a lab machine at SSD. I had discovered that a user at SSD had picked a dictionary word ("deacon") for a password on the lab machine. Fearing that the SSD folks had stopped running crack regularly, I copied the SSD password file (using the cracked password from the lab machine) and found that my fears were justified. (The vice president's password was "pre$ident", for example.) However, I now had vital information that I had obtained through the use of a cracked password, and I was in an awkward situation. Before I reported the findings to SSD, a co-worker noticed the crack runs (they were 6-8 days long!) running under my own userID on the systems that we shared at HF, and feared the worst: that I had turned into a spy and was actually stealing secrets. Yes, as you can see, I made a number of bone-headed mistakes (not getting the rules about internet access clear, not reporting the single bad cracked password, and not immediately reporting the results of the crack run), and I probably should have been terminated for

    Merlyn's homepage describes how to get the full text.

    In short: he was just doing his job.

    2;0 juerd@ouranos:~$ perl -e'undef christmas' Segmentation fault 2;139 juerd@ouranos:~$

      " In short: he was just doing his job. "

      He was no longer under the particular contract that gave him administrative access to the SSD division machines so he was not in fact "doing his job". He was, according to his own admission, trying to further his soon to be over unrelated contract by demonstrating lax security in the SSD division. Were your pool cleaner to compromise the security of your house without permission and take a few things with only the intent of demonstrating your home's lack of security and to try to sell you his security consulting services, I think you would consider those actions both unethical and illegal and not in any way shape or form connected to his current contract with you to clean your pool. Wake up and stop propogating the misconception that Randal was indicted for "doing his job". If it were his job he would not have been repeatedly warned by superiors to stop doing it!

      And as for Randal's further self-defensive suggestion below that he was only helping out the cause, that seems questionable given his own admission as having done it to further his own contract. He may say "we didn't care "who's job is it"", but the evidence indicates he did care whose job it was, and that he wanted it to be his. Stop the silly white knight stuff.

Re: So merlyn why did you hack the password file?
by shotgunefx (Parson) on Dec 26, 2001 at 13:12 UTC
    WTF does this have to do with anything?

    Seeing the shots are flying, I'll throw in my two cents. I think the reason you get so much flack princepawn is because you often come off like "I am right, you are wrong." Merlyn comes across the same way to me sometimes but give him his due, he almost always is right and his immense contribution to the Perl community grants him a wide latitude not enjoyed by you. That's not to say I haven't found any of your contributions to Perlmonks without worth, I've come across more than a few that I found valuable, but I usually have to take a minute to get over the chip on the shoulder attitude that I perceive in your tone.

    But my tastes in tone and composition really don't matter to most monks here which is why I usually keep these things to myself. I think these types of silly slap fights have no place here and really detract from the Monastery. I came here to learn and when I can, help others out, not to watch volleys fly. Maybe I take the name too seriously, but I see this place as a way to increase my skills and awareness as a programmer and hopefully be able to give a little bit back.

    Myself, I threw a paltry sum to merlyn's fund because he has directly and indirectly helped me and probably thousands of others. Also I think he got shafted and the precedence it sets is scary as hell. As long as merlyn hasn't hurt anyone (and to my knowledge he hasn't), I for the most part, couldn't care less what he did or does outside of Perl. It's not my business.

    Not to say that everything here has to be about Perl, I enjoy the majority of the local color here, but I think that we can do without the personal attacks and harsh rebukes.

    I'll now go back to learning.


    "To be civilized is to deny one's nature."

Re: So merlyn why did you hack the password file?
by Spenser (Friar) on Dec 27, 2001 at 00:48 UTC

    I'm reluctant to extend this thread any further and reluctant to get in the cross fire of you high XP-monks, but I would like to make a point that may be of benefit to myself and others in the future in that it calls for a precedence.

    If a monk (i.e., merlyn) is under attack from outsiders, be it an employer (like Intel), or a government (like Oregon), or other mere humans (a.k.a. computer illiterates), we should be able to post messages in this community to seek compassion and understanding.  A monk who posts a message about a personal, perl related problem is probably looking for friends to rally around him, friends who can truly understand his problem.  I think these kind of posts should receive only friendly responses.  If I think that the hurt monk is actually in the wrong, then I should keep it to myself.

    When it comes to code issues, tell posters when they're wrong.  When it comes to concerns about life as a perl programmer, we don't need tough-love.

    Again, as a matter of precedence, if I have a problem in the course of conducting myself as a perl programmer and feel missunderstood and hurt, I hope that I can post a message to this community for moral support.  It would be very hurtful if someone in this group said that I deserved it.  I would hate to have to live like merlyn must do and have to always balance supporting posts against condemning ones.


    That Spenser, with an "s" like the detective.

      Again, as a matter of precedence, if I have a problem in the course of conducting myself as a perl programmer and feel missunderstood and hurt, I hope that I can post a message to this community for moral support.

      You can. Use care to ensure that such a request is polite, honest, and hides no self-agenda. It's a lot harder than it seems. When I've composed posts I thought could be seen as hurtful, I've frequently saved them locally and let them sit overnight. If, after reviewing them in the morning, I still feel that's the appropriate way to phrase my comments, then I'll post them.

      Also, it may be best to private /msg other monks you respect to get their take.

      There's a fine line between asking for a clarification and coming off like a complete kneebiter. Frequently, Perception is 9/10th of the Flaw.

      I believe the Monastery responds very well when approached properly.


Re: So merlyn why did you hack the password file?
by Chrisf (Friar) on Dec 26, 2001 at 19:41 UTC
    Hi princepawn,

    I'd just like to point out that there are lots of good links in this thread about the case if you're interested in learning a bit about it before passing judgement. Until you carefully read those I don't think posting another meditation on the subject is a good idea.

    Update: Well, I guess this is a little more informed when it comes to merlyn's case, but I don't see any need to take shots at other monks in the process.

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