[Reader-list] Dmitry Sklyarov can go Home

Harsh Kapoor aiindex at mnet.fr
Fri Dec 14 17:52:19 IST 2001


    U.S. Department of Justice

    United States Attorney
    Northern District of California

    11th Floor, Federal Building
    450 Golden Gate Avenue, Box 36055
    San Francisco, California  94102


    Tel: (415) 436-7200
    Fax: (415) 436-7234

    December 13, 2001
    The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of
    California announced  that Dmitry Sklyarov entered into an agreement
    this morning with the United States and admitted his conduct in a
    hearing before U.S. District Judge Whyte in San Jose Federal Court.
    Under the agreement, Mr. Sklyarov agreed to cooperate with the United
    States in its ongoing prosecution of Mr. Sklyarov's former employer,
    Elcomsoft Co., Ltd.  Mr. Skylarov will be required to appear at trial
    and testify truthfully, and he will be deposed in the matter.  For its
    part, the United States agreed to defer prosecution of Mr. Sklyarov
    until the conclusion of the case against Elcomsoft or for one year,
    whichever is longer.  Mr. Sklyarov will be permitted to return to
    Russia in the meantime, but will be subject to the Court's
    supervision, including regularly reporting by telephone to the
    Pretrial Services Department.  Mr. Sklyarov will be prohibited from
    violating any laws during the year, including copyright laws.  The
    United States agreed that, if Mr. Sklyarov successfully completes the
    obligations in the agreement, it will dismiss the charges pending
    against him at the end of the year or when the case against Elcomsoft
    is complete.
    Mr. Sklyarov, 27, of Moscow, Russia, was indicted by a federal Grand
    Jury on August 28, 2001.  He was charged with one count of conspiracy
    in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and two
    counts of trafficking for gain in technology primarily designed to
    circumvent technology that protects a right of a copyright owner in
    violation of Title 17, United States Code, Section 1201(b)(1)(A), and
    two counts of trafficking for gain in technology marketed for use in
    circumventing technology that protects a right of a copyright owner in
    violation of Title 17, United States Code, Section 1201(b)(1)(A).
    In entering into the agreement with the government, Mr. Sklyarov was
    required to acknowledge his conduct in the offense.  In the agreement,
    Mr. Sklyarov made the following admissions, which he also confirmed in
    federal court today:
    "Beginning on a date prior to June 20, 2001, and continuing through
    July 15, 2001, I was employed by the Russian software company,
    Elcomsoft Co. Ltd. (also known as Elcom Ltd.) (hereinafter
    "Elcomsoft") as a computer programmer and cryptanalyst.
    "Prior to June 20, 2001, I was aware Adobe Systems, Inc. ("Adobe") was
    a software company in the United States.  I was also aware Adobe was
    the creator of the Adobe Portable Document Format ("PDF"), a computer
    file format for the publication and distribution of electronic
    documents.  Prior to June 20, 2001, I knew Adobe distributed a program
    titled the Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader that provided technology for the
    reading of documents in an electronic format on personal computers.
    Prior to June 20, 2001, I was aware that documents distributed in the
    Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader format are PDF files and that
    specifications of PDF allow for limiting of certain operations, such
    as opening, editing, printing, or annotating.
    "Prior to June 20, 2001, as a part of my dissertation work and as part
    of my employment with Elcomsoft, I wrote a part of computer program
    titled the Advanced eBook Processor ("AEBPR").  I developed AEBPR as a
    practical application of my research for my dissertation and in order
    to demonstrate weaknesses in protection methods of PDF files.   The
    only use of the AEBPR is to create an unprotected copy of an
    electronic document.  Once a PDF file is decrypted with the AEBPR, a
    copy is no longer protected by encryption.  This is all the AEBPR
    program does.
    "Prior to June 20, 2001, I believed that ElcomSoft planned to post the
    AEBPR program on the Internet on the company's website
    www.elcomsoft.com.  I believed that the company would charge a fee for
    a license for the full version of the AEBPR that would allow access to
    all capabilities of the program.
    "After Adobe released a new version of the Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader
    that prevented the initial version of the AEBPR program from removing
    the limitations or restrictions on an e-book, I wrote software
    revisions for a new version of the AEBPR program. The new version
    again decrypted the e-document to which it was applied.  The version
    of this new AEBPR program offered on the Elcomsoft website only
    decrypted a portion of an e-document to which it was applied, unless
    the user had already purchased a fully functional version of the
    earlier version and had both versions installed on the same machine.
    The new version was developed after June 29, 2001. At that time,
    Elcomsoft had already stopped selling the program. The version of this
    new program offered on the Elcomsoft website did not provide a user
    with an opportunity to purchase it or convert it to a fully functional
    one, and was developed as a matter of competition.
    "On July 15, 2001, as part of my employment with Elcomsoft, I attended
    the DEF CON Nine conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.  At the conference I
    made a presentation originally intended for the BlackHat conference
    that immediately preceded the DefCon Nine in July 2001 in Las Vegas,
    Nevada.  The same group of people organizes both BlackHat and DefCon
    Nine.  Since there was no available slot for a presentation at
    BlackHat at the time when the paper was sent for the committee
    consideration, the organizers of both conferences suggested that the
    paper be presented at the DefCon rather than at BlackHat.  The paper
    that I read at DefCon is attached as  Exhibit A.  A principal part of
    my presentation is comprised of my research for the dissertation.  In
    my presentation when I said "we", I meant Elcomsoft."
    Mr. Sklyarov's employer, Elcomsoft, remains charged in the case, and
    the Court in that matter has set hearings for various motions on March
    4, 2002, and April 1, 2002.
    The prosecution of Elcomsoft is the result of an  investigation by the
    Federal Bureau of Investigation. Scott Frewing and Joseph Sullivan of
    the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property ("CHIP") Unit are the
    Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the case with the
    assistance of legal technician Lauri Gomez.
    A copy of this press release and key court documents filed in the case
    may also be found on the U.S. Attorney's Office's website at
    All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney's Office should be directed
    to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Jacobs at (415)436-7181 or
    Assistant U.S. Attorney Ross Nadel, Chief of the CHIP Unit, in San
    Jose at (408)535-5032.

    Matt Jacobs' signature

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