Tuesday, August 14, 2007

John the Ripper

Well my machine is still not back since the hard drive failed, but our deskside support team has managed to extract all (well not sure how much of all is saved, but I'll find out) the data and put it on a loan machine. While I am not back to normal usefulness I will be able to get much more work done.

When I went to pick up the loan machine the person who was dealing with my problem announced with pride that he had found a virus on my machine. The virus was called "John the Ripper" and had deleted it.

Of course I was not worried that I had this on my computer given that I had downloaded the tool a while ago in order to break a unix shadow file. What worried me was, "how do I justify having the tool". It is odd that my immediate reaction was one of guilt, despite having done nothing wrong. I think the reason I felt guilty probably is probably related to the fine line between tools used for breaking security for malicious purposes and tools used to investigate, learn and fix security.


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