porn pop-ups police, felony charges dropped against Julie Amero, four years after her arrest

This is an amazing story that drives home why malware isn’t trivial and why every person who works around a computer needs to have regular and ongoing rudimentary training on how to react to it.  Think ‘stop drop and roll’ as the training for catching on fire.  In a crisis what rational thought will be there to serve as an instinctive guide when porn and nasty noises invade and violate your space?

So for malware porn pop-ups surprise scenario: “push and hold the button and turn it off“.

Kudos to Sunbelt Software executive Alex Eckelberry for stepping in to donate his and his company’s expertise to battle and eventually remove the legal felony charges that this substitute teacher purposely caused malware pop-up porn to be displayed to children.

I know users who “don’t know what the hell they are doing” and I am sure you might also.  We can help protect them and this story might just open their distracted eyes and ears up enough for that information to get through.

Connecticut drops felony charges against Julie Amero, four years after her arrest

By Rick Green on

November 21, 2008 5:16 PM |The unbelievable story of Julie Amero concluded quietly Friday afternoon at Superior Court in Norwich, with the state of Connecticut dropping four felony pornography charges.

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….

“Oh honey, it’s over. I feel wonderful,” Amero, 41, said a few minutes after accepting the deal where she also had to surrender her teaching license. “The Norwich police made a mistake. It was proven. That makes me feel like I’m on top of the world.”

…..

The case also caught the attention of computer security experts from California to Florida, who read about Amero’s conviction on Internet news sites. Recognizing the classic signs of a computer infected by malicious adware, volunteers examined computer records and the hard drive and determined that Amero was not responsible for the pornographic stream on her computer.

The state never conducted a forensic examination of the hard drive and instead relied on the expertise of a Norwich detective, with limited computer experience. Experts working for Amero ridiculed the state’s evidence, saying it was a classic case of spyware seizing control of the computer. Other experts also said that Amero’s response — she failed to turn off the computer — was not unusual in cases like this.

Among other things, the security experts found that the Norwich school system had failed to properly update software that would have blocked the pornography in the first place.

“She did not go out searching for porn. She was just stumbling around. She didn’t know what the hell she was doing,” said Alex Eckelberry, a computer software executive from Florida who helped to lead a large group of computer professionals who volunteered to assist Amero.

“All of our forensic investigators felt it was a complete miscarriage. It was clear she was absolutely innocent,” he said. “The mistakes and misinformation that occurred in that courtroom were astounding.”

Late Friday afternoon Amero — who has been hospitalized for stress and heart problems since the conviction — told me she planned to spend a quiet weekend in front of the fireplace with her husband

 

Connecticut drops felony charges against Julie Amero, four years after her arrest – Rick Green | CT Confidential

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