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Profiles in computing: Brian K. Reid: a graphics tale of a hacker tracker


"When the Securities Exchange Commission was created by Franklin Roosevelt, he was trying to fix a lot of problems on Wall Street. There were various Ivan Boesky-type crimes being committed on the stock market, and Roosevelt wanted to create a regulatory agency that would keep it in line. He wanted to hire a sheriff to police Wall Street. What he did was he hired the person who was absolutely, unarguably, the biggest criminal on Wall Street—the person who was guilty of the most crimes. And he put him in charge of the Securities Exchange Commission, figuring that that person, being the most successful Wall Street bandit, knew all the tricks and could police his friends. And that person did a really good job of cleaning up Wall Street actually, because he did know all the tricks." "In a certain sense, I got my start in the computer business by bending the rules, or not knowing what the rules were. I was extremely good at penetrating everyone's computer security when I was a kid. And, because of my tremendous knowledge in this area, I have frequently been called in to help catch people who break in. . . ."

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