Dmitry is not a hacker/cracker but an exceptional security expert
Response to 'Sklyarov meets Copyright, East meets West'

July 20, 2001

Planet eBook received the following letter from Igor Drokov, who states he is a 10-year friend of Dmitry Sklyarov, in response to this article by Peter Zelchenko, 'Sklyarov meets Copyright, East meets West'.

In his letter, Igor states that "... Dmitry is not a hacker/cracker (in common terms) but an exceptional security expert...", Igor goes on to say that he wishes to "...help him to return to his wife Oksana, son Egor (2.5 year)and daughter Polina (3 months)."

Sklyarov Family

Following is a letter from Igor Drokov, reproduced verbatim:

Dear Peter,

I'm greatly disappointed by the article Sklyarov meets Copyright, East meats West you posted on planetbook.com (which otherwise provides a good coverage of the story so far).

The article is full of speculations about "Eastern mentality" and contains a number of factual errors.

The saddest of them all is a fact that Dmitry is referred as a "hacker who raised from the rudimentary and relatively low-key "Here's a neat little cracking program I've posted" profile" to declaring "a alliance along with the West Coast technos against software tyranny".

I have known Dmitry for about 10 years.

Dmitry's an extremely talented researcher working at one the best Russian Universities (Bauman Moscow State Technical University) as well as a Senior Cryptoanalyst (his official position) for Elcomsoft.

He has been known as a lawful citizen who is supporting his wife and two children. He has never had any connections with any hackers/crackers groups as nor he has ever participated in any illegal activities.

As I believe, his appearance at this year's DefCon conference was based on his natural for any researcher desire to share his discoveries with the world.

The controversy over the program developed and distributed by Elcomsoft which lead to Dmitry's arrest should not be used as a sufficient ground for a criminal prosecution of an individual.

As far as I know there is no precedence of that nature, in fact, quite opposite: e.g. during the recent case related to copyright infringement involved Napster no Napster's employees were arrested as the case was settled between the companies not via imprisoning the employees.

To sum up:

  • Dmitry has not solely developed nor distributed or sold the controversial software his was arrested for, therefore the issue should be resolved between Adobe Inc and Elcomsoft(developer and distributor of the product) and not by imprisoning a security expert.
  • Dmitry's research underlines certain weaknesses of one of the products of Adobe Inc. Arresting him for announcing the results of this work is equivalent of arresting tv reporters from a car reviewing program for discovering that an alarm/immobiliser does not work as promised by the manufacturer.

I would appreciate it very much if you can help to draw public attention to the fact that Dmitry is not a hacker/cracker (in common terms) but an exceptional security expert and help him to return to his wife Oksana, son Egor (2.5 year)and daughter Polina (3 months).

Thank you,

Igor Drokov

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