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Pen test tools in the States

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RoleReversal

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Post Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:19 am

Pen test tools in the States

Hi Guys,

I've been using this site for a while but have yet to have anything relevant to add to any topic that someone hasn't beaten me to, hence first post.

I reside over the pond and I'm taking a family holiday to the States (Florida) towards the end of the year. As I'm planning to use the flights etc. to get some training and research done I'm concerned that I may fall foul of any laws etc. in the America that I am unaware of.

For reference my main incident response laptop that I will be travelling with has BackTrack 2 installed to the hard disk with a BIOS password to form some level of security (not perfect I know, but no 'real' data gets stored on the machine)

Any advice would be much appreciated,
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slimjim100

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Post Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:44 pm

Re: Pen test tools in the States

As for Hacking LAWS in the US apply to citizens here is a link  (link below) to a page that lists the laws by state for Computer Hacking and Unauthorized Access. With you not being a citizen of the US I would tread careful as anything can get your detain and sent home. it might be best to reframe from mid-air pen testing as I am sure the other members of the plane probably did not sign a consent form for your to look around there PC's. Now I could be getting your post totally wrong but from what I could make of it it sounded like you wanted to know the hacking laws as you planed an trying a few things on the plane and maybe later on the ground in Florida.

Computer Hacking and Unauthorized Access Laws http://www.ncsl.org/programs/lis/cip/hacklaw.htm

Hope this helps and sorry if I got the wrong idea from your post.

Brian
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g00d_4sh

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Post Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:55 pm

Re: Pen test tools in the States

I actually interpretted his post as asking if the US had any Nazi'esk anti hacking tool laws like some European countries are starting to adopt.  If that is the case, then no not that I am aware of.  As long as you are not actively using said tools against anyone's computer without their explicite permission, you should be fine.  Having Nessus, BackTrack 2, or Metasploit on a computer.. won't land you in trouble.  It's what you do with them.  If your post was more related to playing around with said tools, then please refer to slimjim' s post.
"Bad.. Good?  I'm the guy with the gun"
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g00d_4sh

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Post Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:57 pm

Re: Pen test tools in the States

On a side note, installing said tools on work computers in the US.. can of course result in consequences... but that is due to company policies and not local laws.  Though, as you said it was a holiday that does not apply I'm sure.
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RoleReversal

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Post Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:29 pm

Re: Pen test tools in the States

Guys,

thanks for the replies.

Thankfully (for any law enforcement waiting with baited breath anyway) my post was more in line with the way good_4sh interpreted my post. I've got no fancy for being arrested either in the states or anywhere else if I can help it. After the current changes to German laws and proposed changes to the UK's Data Protection Act I just wanted to make sure I hadn't missed similiar scenarios in the States.

I definately wasn't intending taking a crack at anything whilst I'm in the air, don't want to take a swan dive cause the pilot chose 'god' for a password  :P

Thanks again
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slimjim100

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Post Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:07 pm

Re: Pen test tools in the States

RoleReversal,

I was not trying to put you off as a bad guy and I figured I must of not understood your post since I would not expect some to say  they planed on hacking across the pond to the states. Have fun in Florida as i just got back from there on business. I would say not to have crazy wall paper or stickers all over your laptop to pin you out as a hacker since homeland security just loves to pick out people for advanced screening.

Cheers m8,

Brian
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RoleReversal

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Post Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:14 pm

Re: Pen test tools in the States

Brian,

no offense taken and thanks for the advice.

Regards,
RR
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LSOChris

Post Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:23 pm

Re: Pen test tools in the States

nope, not nazi ban hacktool germany YET...
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Kev

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Post Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:58 am

Re: Pen test tools in the States

Even though there are no specific laws against having "hacking" tools on your laptop, I would still advise using common sense. Sometimes airport security will ask someone to boot up their laptop to prove it is really a laptop and not a bomb. If your computer has a flash screen that says something like" Hacker Extraordinary " they could still try and find another reason to keep you from coming in. There was a situation recently that was similar. Just be reasonable about being stealth (like a good hacker)and you will be ok.
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Post Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:57 pm

Re: Pen test tools in the States

Kev,

thanks for the advice. I'll edit the splash screens before I fly to be on the safe side.

Do you know how far the airport security can/will go with regard to checking a laptop? I've no problem with booting up to prove it's not going to explode but I'm not sure I fancy an airport 'examination' becuase the security guards get confused when they don't see a Windows flag.
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Kev

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Post Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:49 pm

Re: Pen test tools in the States

You should be fine. Tell them its an apple computer LOL!  Seriously though you should be fine and I have never had anyone question the operating system. If anyone has had that bad luck, I would be curious.

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