Trojan Horse as Porn Defense

by David Sklar

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It seems that to anyone familiar with the range of nastiness that a Trojan's capabilities encompass, depositing some child porn is a not-unexpected problem. Yet Julian Green fought an uphill battle to use this as a defense.

Good forensic analysis should make it both easy to validate this defense for innocents that are accused as well as to invalidate this defense for actual porn-hounds that are claiming it falsely. In fact, the talk I saw at the eGovOS conference last March by a computer forensics investigator from the Air Force specifically addressed the "Trojan horse defense" as a possibility that they entertain.

The worry on the horizon is, I suppose, a Trojan horse that is better at camouflaging itself than the investigator is at finding it. When combined with a targeted attack instead of random infection from a sketchy web site, this would certainly make the accused's pleas of "I'm innocent!" seem hollow. Child porn is good for discrediting political or business opponents; classified information for framing an government enemy; one criminal could use documents about entering the witness protection program to put false suspicion on another criminal; the list goes on.

What data, Trojan-horsed to whom, do you think would be damaging/amusing/frightening?


2004-04-08 22:16:13
Help! We need an expert witness for computer porn case in Ukiah - pronto
My friend, let's call him Tom, is being prosecuted by the Mendicino County DA for having "thousands" of child porn pictures on his PC.

He needs a credible expert witness to develop a "Trojan Horse as Porn Defense". My friend is an old, sick, disabled man, living on permanent disability. He has no money and has already been forced to leave his home and seek refuge with his kids out of county. Tom has been intimidated, questioned without his lawyer present and jailed.

We're not talking about a sophistocated computer user here. He loves the Internet and spends a lot of time surfing using a slow dial-up connection. He wouldn't know how to determine if a trojan was present on his computer or how to defend against one.

If you can give me leads to folks who can help, please email: