Life, Ethics, and Alicia Keys

This is a great case study to share with the students. The article at PC world says:

"The widely reported problems with pop singer Alicia Keys' MySpace profile have been cropping up on the social networking site for the past ten days and are likely to continue, a security expert said Friday...

As with the Alicia Keys hack, which was discovered Thursday by Exploit Prevention Labs, these pages try to install malicious software on the victim's PC. If the victim's software is not fully patched, this can happen silently, but if that fails, the sites will tell the victim that he needs to install a video codec. That file is actually malware, researchers say.

In all cases, hackers used the same background, the same Web code and the same malicious payload. "It's the exact same hijack," Boyd said via instant message.

But one difference has been the amount of pain experienced by the bands after they were hacked. While the Alicia Keys site was repaired and up and running on Thursday -- the same day that the problem was publicly reported -- smaller bands that have fallen victim to the hackers have had to restart their MySpace profiles from scratch."

One band has been trying to get myspace to restore its backup to no avail!

Some things to share here:
  • How to patch and keep one's computer safe.
  • The importance of backup but also the ethics of having a company have total control over your backups and information. (This is going to be an increasing problem.)
  • Hackers and ethics. The whole discussion.
But how about this. Why not have students write their solution for this. What should happen? I find that if you find a topic that students are passionate about that they will write!

Now, back to grading.

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