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How to work with Govt Agencies?

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morpheus063

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Post Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:33 am

How to work with Govt Agencies?

Hi All,

I would like to discuss and get the vaulable opinion of all members on the subject. The reason for this post is due to the recent experience I had with our local Govt agencies. Two days back, the local police officials approached me for finding out the originator of an anonymous email that contained some serious issues. We worked together as a team, and found out the guy within 24-48 hours. I played a major role in the issue. However, when the final moment came for press release, the whole credit went to the police officials and there was not even a single statement mentioning about the support from us.

Does this happen everywhere? Does any one have any similar experience? What are the things that has to be taken into consideration while working for or working with a Govt Agency?

Regards,

Morpheus
Manu Zacharia
MVP (Enterprise Security), ISLA-2010 (ISC)², C|EH, C|HFI, CCNA, MCP,
Certified ISO 27001:2005 Lead Auditor

[b]There are 3 roads to spoil; women, gambling & hacking. The most pleasant with women, the quickest with gambling, but the surest is hacking - c0c0n
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Negrita

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Post Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:41 pm

Re: How to work with Govt Agencies?

Well you know how the saying goes; You always hear about a good hacker, but you never hear about the great hackers.  ;)

Personally I don't like exposure and I'd be quite happy to let a situation like the one you described be as it is. However if the act had been done in the name of a commercial organization then that would be a diferent matter as the deed and its publication would have a positive effect on the organization.
CEH, CCSA NG/AI, NNCSS, MCP, MCSA 2003

There are 10 kinds of people, those that understand binary, and those that don't.
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don

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Post Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:18 pm

Re: How to work with Govt Agencies?

The agency's press release probably makes them look good to the local public. That kind of publicity won't do much for your company or organization.

So, if you're looking for positive exposure for your company, then publish your own press release on your web site and in trade publications. Get a quote from one of the team members from the agency, so that those in IT know how great it was to work with you.

That will allow you to stay in the background if you want, and your company to gain from this opportunity.

Hope this helps,
Don
CISSP, MCSE, CSTA, Security+ SME
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Kev

Post Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:50 pm

Re: How to work with Govt Agencies?

It might be good that you didn’t get any press.  I had a very similar experience helping a law enforcement agency. The local press made a very similar comment without any mention of my help.  I was a little taken back because I was thinking getting publicity would be good for me, although the hacker underground would dislike it if they came aware. Its not so cool to help the “man”!  I actually asked a friend on the force why they didn’t mention me at all when the press came by.  He told me that without an express written statement from me allowing them to disclose my involvement, there would be no mention of me.  I asked why.  He told me that in the past they have had criminals seek out the individuals that helped the police force and it’s actually a little dangerous sometimes to let the public know your involvement.  If the person you helped get arrested has friends that knows your involvement, it might put you in jeopardy.  It’s much safer to simply mention that you help them in a general way and not about a specific case.  I saw his point.
Last edited by Kev on Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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jimbob

Post Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:11 am

Re: How to work with Govt Agencies?

Without any legal knowledge I cannot say this with any authority but would involving a non-contracted civillian to work on a criminal case potentially put that case at risk? If you were credited you may have to give evidence under oath and be cross examined. If the LEOs claim credit then the evidence is still open to scrutiny but you will not have to personally back it up.

By all means enjoy the sense of satisfaction you got from helping crack the case. Well done!

Jim
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morpheus063

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Post Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:28 am

Re: How to work with Govt Agencies?

Hi All,

Thanks for all the replies, especially the points from Kev about the individual safety. Infact, I learned so many things rather than some pics on the frontpage of some newspapers. So let me once again believe what Negrita said
You always hear about a good hacker, but you never hear about the great hackers.


Thanks once again for the quick response.

Regards,

Morpheus
Manu Zacharia
MVP (Enterprise Security), ISLA-2010 (ISC)², C|EH, C|HFI, CCNA, MCP,
Certified ISO 27001:2005 Lead Auditor

[b]There are 3 roads to spoil; women, gambling & hacking. The most pleasant with women, the quickest with gambling, but the surest is hacking - c0c0n
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slimjim100

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Post Tue Nov 14, 2006 2:26 pm

Re: How to work with Govt Agencies?

I have also assisted the Gov at a few levels and it's best to keep it under wraps. Some times the group hiring you to help is not authorized to do so or they could be getting your help because they legally can't do this or that. Be careful and always make sure you have a paper trail to prove your involvement was authorized at the highest level you could find. Because of things like "entrapment" or "illegal tapping" there can some times be reasons they ask for your help and if anything other than them saying your help was an anonymous tip you might be in trouble. Just use caution and common sense when you help gov agencies since most of the time they will not understand what you do or how you do it. Just my 2 cents...

Slimjim100
CISSP, CCSE, CCNA, CCAI, Network+, Security+, JNCIA, & MCP

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