Computer Crime Research Center


Ukraine: hackers school

Date: April 26, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Ludmila Goroshko

ZAPOROZHYE (CCRC) - Law enforcement officers often complain that former USSR region is an incubator of talented and usually unemployed geniuses that may threat to e-commerce and computer systems anywhere. Actually, all you need is good skills in computers, it is natural for people with university degree; absence of the corresponding legal base and means to initiate criminal proceedings against hackers; too poor population that is not able to buy anything, but unlicensed products.

Vasiliy Kondrashov, graduate of the prestigious Odessa State University, head of so-called "School of Civil Hackers" in Odessa, earns for living for his wife and little child by teaching others how to hack someone else's computers.

"Hacking is not always a crime, like a knife is not always dangerous. Everything depends on a person", he says.

He says confidently: "My mission is to give knowledge and to inculcate a sense of responsibility for application of these skills to be good or bad". He says he got most of his skills in information security during his work as a system administrator in the other Ukrainian university.

Now he works as a system administrator in a local representative office of a charity organization. It is a very advantageous position, but it brings not enough money to support his family. His wife, school teacher, earns only $250 a year, and his parents get $10 pension monthly. Everything that Kondrashov can offer to the weak Ukrainian economy is his hacker's skills.

Two years ago computer genius started to teach students of the university at the programming courses. He says, about 300 of students attended his trainings last year to learn how to remove flaws in PC and to learn several programming languages as C and Perl.

As his popularity increased, he began to receive letters from "more skilled students" wanting to get "knowledge for the sake of knowledge". They surfed on the Internet opening and closing files in local networks of various companies not with the purpose of theft of destruction, but only to train their skills, insists Kondrashov.

"I didn't teach my students anything malicious, I only taught them what they will need to protect networks from intrusions", he says. "My rule is never leave having destroyed".
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