Malware not man blamed in child abuse download case

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by StrictlyAvg, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. StrictlyAvg

    StrictlyAvg Member

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    This is really scary. At least the guy's wife stood by him.

    (Nicked from The Register)

    A Department of Industrial Accidents investigator has been cleared of child porn possession charges after a forensic investigation revealed that malware was to blame for depraved smut on his company laptop.
    Michael Fiola, 53, of Rhode Island, went through a massive ordeal after images of child abuse were discovered on a replacement machine he received in November 2006, following a laptop theft. He lost his job in March 2007 after an internal investigation, prompted by a Verizon wireless bill four times higher than his colleague, unearthed the suspicious content. Fiola had worked for the agency investigating workers' compensation fraud for seven years prior to his dismissal.

    The case was forwarded onto the authorities who filed a criminal complaint in August 2007.
    But subsequent forensic investigation discovered that malware was responsible for silently downloading images of pre-pubescent kids onto the machine. Computer experts hired by both the defence and prosecution agreed with this analysis.
    Computer forensic analyst Tami Loehrs said that malware surreptitiously served up pre-teen pornographic images onto the machine without the awareness of its user. Loehrs described the case as "one of the most horrific" she'd ever dealt with.
    In her report to the court, Loehrs said "the laptop was compromised by numerous viruses and trojans, and may have been hacked by outside sources."
    All the offending images were loaded into locations reserved for cached web pages. Crucially there was no sign that any user had viewed or attempted to access this content.
    “There is no evidence to support the claim that Michael Fiola was responsible for any of the pornographic activity,” Loehrs wrote.
    Two computer forensic experts hired by the prosecution came back with the same conclusion.
    "The overall forensics of the laptop suggest that it had been compromised by a virus," said Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley.
    The case against Fiola has been dropped, but he still wants his day in court following months of hell when friends turned against him, leaving his faithful wife Robin as his only supporter. Fiola, described by his wife as "computer-illiterate", intends to sue his former employers over their actions in the case, the Boston Herald reports.
    DIA spokeswoman Linnea Walsh said that the agency stood by its handling of the case.
    Fiola’s lawyer Timothy Bradl criticised this stance: "Imagine this scenario: Your employer gives you a ticking time bomb full of child porn, and then you get fired, and then you get prosecuted as some kind of freak," he said. ®
     
  2. HazelGod

    Gold Member

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    This is precisely why our criminal justice system is founded upon the maxim of innocent until proven guilty.
     
  3. StrictlyAvg

    StrictlyAvg Member

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    Well it seems that the authorities did precisely that. Small crumb of comfort now the guy's life has been screwed up though.

    Evidently his "friends" don't live by that maxim though!
     
  4. B_JasonDawgxxx

    B_JasonDawgxxx New Member

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    Sorry,but what is Malware?
     
  5. Mem

    Mem
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    Malware is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner's informed consent. The term is a portmanteau of the words malicious and software. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code.
     
  6. B_JasonDawgxxx

    B_JasonDawgxxx New Member

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    Ok that was in russian right? lol.Thank You.
     
  7. HazelGod

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    Sadly, our society has become acclimated to viewing criminal justice as entertainment (e.g. COPS, Judge Judy, etc.) where the only notion of due process is a voiceover disclaimer that's definitely tongue-in-cheek.
     
  8. Deno

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    Jason, if you don't use antivirus programs or have vista, I'd suggest that you install adaware or spybot search and destroy, there free on the net and remove this type of malware. You should still have a virus protection of some sort too. There are free versions of these to I use AVGFree and Avast antivirus.
     
  9. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    Yes thus showing the importance of programs to protect your self. You were a helmet playing hockey and lock the door of your house and car. Why the fuck wouldn't you protect your computer.

    Ad-Aware SE
    Avast Antivirus
    AVG Free
    Spybot Search and Destroy
    SUPER Anti-Spyware

    This is the list of all the programs that run on my computer... to keep me safe.
     
  10. B_jacknapier

    B_jacknapier New Member

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    (innocent until proven guilty)


    I think it would be a good friend indeed who would take your word on something like this. I'm happy to know that I have a few who would take my word... and probably a few who wouldn't care much either way.
     
  11. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Given his personality, I can virtually assure you he uses a Mac.
     
  12. StrictlyAvg

    StrictlyAvg Member

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    I do/would. But I consider myself moderately computer savvy. The subject of the story was not, and I know plenty of people who could care less - and I suppose all of us know someone who just has better things to do than get to know their pc in depth.
     
  13. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    And it's those people who have the most trouble.
     
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