Exposing Government Security Holes (While Searching for UFOs) Costs Guy $700,000

Gary McKinnon hacked into 97 military computers searching for UFO secrets and now he's liable for $700,000 in security checks that were done afterward. As some say, why should he pay for a lock if the door was open?

Yes, McKinnon should pay for his crime somehow, he did break the law after all, but to pay to close security gaps he exposed while comitting the crime is a bit unreasonable. I'm happy that the ridiculous damages bill is being challenged by experts, because as Peter Sommer, professor of security at the London School of Economics, put it:

Damage assessments of computer security breaches should consider "whether the victims have taken reasonable steps to limit the damage".

According to what we're seeing about this series of intrusions, they would've been preventable, had Uncle Sam's security experts been on the ball. So really, they should be paying McKinnon a consultation fee for pointing out the security gaps in the first place. [Computer Weekly via Slashdot]