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Risk

9/28/2007
03:34 PM
Sharon Gaudin
Sharon Gaudin
Commentary
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Would You Hire This Hacker?

Convicted hacker Robert Moore started serving his two-year prison sentence yesterday. He has high hopes that a security company will scoop him up when he gets out. The question is: Would you hire this man?

Convicted hacker Robert Moore started serving his two-year prison sentence yesterday. He has high hopes that a security company will scoop him up when he gets out. The question is: Would you hire this man?Moore, who's just 23, surrendered himself at the Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Ore. He's doing time because he pleaded guilty to committing computer fraud for participating in a scheme to steal voice over IP services and sell them through a separate company. Moore wasn't the mastermind. He was the high-tech muscle. He was the one who scanned and broke into telecoms and other corporations around the world.

During one of a few phone calls I had with Moore, he told me he considers himself a "mega geek," even saying that his computer is the "love of his life." So what's a mega geek to do when he gets out of prison? Moore told me his path is pretty much laid out. He wants to work for a security company and he thinks the stolen VoIP operation and his time served will be the calling card that opens those corporate doors for him.

"The cool thing about cybercrime is when you get this much publicity it's pretty much like a resume when you get out," said Moore, who hasn't gone to college and doesn't hold a degree. "When they say, 'Where's your degree?,' you just show them your prison record."

Really? I'm not so sure about Moore's take on the situation. He must have a pretty low standard for "celebrity."

First off, he got suckered into working with his cohort, Edwin Pena, who the government said netted more than $1 million and then fled the country. Moore reportedly only got about $20,000 of that haul -- and now he's in jail. He also confessed to breaking into corporate networks. Are companies going to trust him with their own system or their customers?

I don't know if confessing to a crime makes you cool or just a criminal.

And the VoIP scheme wasn't Moore's first brush with the law. Back in 2003, the FBI paid him a visit and gave him a warning for blasting out about 40,000 text messages to Cricket Communication customers. Moore told me he did it one afternoon when he was house sitting and bored. He said he figured he'd invite a bunch of people over and see who showed up. Well, I'll just take him off my list of potential house sitters.

But Moore does seem to see all of this as his claim to fame. "I guess you really don't know you're good at computers until the FBI comes after yah," he said, laughing. And he told me just this week he was bummed out that famed hacker Kevin Mitnick hasn't called him yet.

Maybe Mitnick will write to him in prison. Maybe he'll get out of jail and make money that I can only dream of. After all, researchers at security company Sophos reported this week that the Chinese virus writer who was sentenced to four years in prison for creating the Fujacks worm already has a job. Li Jun, who is 25, has been offered a technology director position that will pay him one million yuan, or $133,155 U.S., according to Sophos. And who made the offer? It reportedly was Jushu Technology, a company that itself was hit hard by the Fujacks worm.

It will be interesting to see if this works out the way Moore has envisioned.

You tell me. Would you hire him?

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