Monday, April 18, 2016

Ruth Sala: "The Lawyer´s behavior must be different on the network"

Ruth Sala. Lawyer specialized on cybercrimes.


We wouldn't like to be in a trial where the other´s part lawyer was Ruth Sala. Tireless hard worker, tenacious, aggressive, sportswoman admitted. Ruth gives much energy with her big -sometimes fierce- smile. Ruth came and conquered, assuming more than interesting cybercrime cases and investigations, whose knowledge is shared in monographic chats and round tables.

We don't know any much further about her work and the public sphere, where she has appeared frequently in the last three years. She's usual in the Spanish "cons", where she is presented like this: "Penal Lawyer, specialized in cybercrimes and electronic evidence. Director of the Legalconsultors.es law firm and collaborator professor in the Digital Law Master on the University of Barcelona".

- Where do you came from? :)

- I started to develop my researcher anxiety with the GSM transmission technology. With the SMS incorporation to our lives, the communications between my clients were extended to the use of a technology which allowed the data to remain on the mobile phones. From that moment, on 1999, a world of possibilities to investigate was opened to me: the possibilities and the New Technologies reach, the crimes would be made with them, the victims who suffered these crimes and a multitude of possibilities drove me to investigate more in the engineer´s kitchen, in the electronic and digital evidences.

By the volatility of the electronic evidence and the impotence I felt when I tried to "catch it" for trials, I got an AVE to Zaragoza and I stood in the Pedro J. Canut office and I said "tell me everything you know about the electronic evidence and digital certification". I owe to him and his company ColorIURIS a big boost the "guts" of computing and forensic survey.

An email from Pedro "asking me" to join  the NoConName Security Congress took me not only to assist, but to send a "paper" about other of my curiosities, the Big Data and SmartCities. Thanks to Nico, President of the NoConName Association and his trust on me, I'm here today, in the most public sphere and not so much on the backstage. I'm grateful for all the professionals (police officers, lawyers, public prossecutors, businessmen...) who have joined me and keep helping me to spread and approach all what "isn't reveled".

- To people who don't came from the technical world, learning how to use their computers or understand what your clients talk to you requires an additional effort. How do you learn it?

- I made it upside-down. I realized precisely in the Computing and Telecommunications engineering area weren't, proportionally, many lawyers who had investigated to see how technology works and what possibilities exist to offend exploiting a vulnerability.

As these area was "desert" I started to learn from the engineers, to listen their adventures and misfortunes about all you can and can't do. I learnt the WiFi could be wired, I investigated with programs, listened advices, followed the IP directions of my own clients, geolocated mobile phones, tweets. I continued in the networks and I wanted to investigate the hacking, the forensic analysis and one thing after another, until I knew what they told me and the ways to search in my favour on an investigation.

- Of all the cybercriminality possibilities, what kind of cases do you take?

- Many possibilities and different cases: child pornography, data robbery, network harassment, fraud to victims, sextorsion, fake crime allocation, privacy attacks with image spreading, cyberbulling, grooming, stalking…

- Which ones do you like more?

- I like all of them, but i dream specially with catch to defrauders of second hand car sale who razing on the network. Each day are a new victim. a Cybercriminality Computing fiscal suggested me create what he calls Micro-Macrocauses to not saturate the National Audience and facilitate the proceed. The reality is it seem I'm doing a doctoral thesis, I collect mail, phone numbers, names, bank accounts, car number plate and model data from the webs and companies which received the first payments, but the strategy are really well made it and it's impossible find the source.

- I read Selva Orejón, from Onbranding, and you are helping to fraudted women. 

-We're in touch with twenty victims. These women denounced they are fraud victims, but they are so many, they "founded"  each others on the Social Networks. They joined themselves and came to us to lead and concentrate the cyber investigation and judicial proceeds. This cause isn't focused only in the fraud, there are Civil Statement usurpations, Secret revelation, illicit access to communications and its interception. Also, if in a robbery the "disguise" used is considered aggravating, I have to "square" if the use of fake identities and profiles on the networks wouldn't be an aggravating, in this case, of fraud. Would it be?

- Why do you dedicate to this matter, you, sweet damsel, and not to intellectual property like many lawyers?

- Sometime someone said "someone have to get off the rubbish". I think every person in his work choose to do what they like and if it isn't, why they do that? I never identify myself with the lawyer on a suit. I don't remember the last time I wore one. I like deepen in the trench. From this site you can discover how things are made.

- If you could change a network law, which one would it be?

- My work is based on the Constitutional Principles and the Right State. I feel comfortable in the Continental System because it provides many guarantees with the Individual Rights. I imagine the question is focused to the encryption breaking on conversations, or the possibility of "looking" conversations without an order... It's also true that not geting an IP because the technology allows the hiding creates much professional frustration and for this way you make me doubt.

- What is different on the cyberspace for a lawyer?

- The unexpected, the fact of all is possible, unlimited. The criminal imagination and its computer is capable of anything you haven't prevented. The right is inflexible, with "scenes" calculated... the network is unpredictable. The lawyer behaviour must be different on the network because things aren't like they look, because behind could be "another thing".

- Do you remember any anecdote which touched you, on your path through the network?

-There are two cases which really touched me. One of them was the boy suicide when he saw photos of his naked mother which were spreaded in the network. The other one was after a real reap, the high school colleagues started to harrass the victim on the Social Networks saying she was a liar. Until she ended in a psyquiatric. You have the feeling that evil has no end.

- You usually give chats in cons and yo do it well. What is the matter of your next chat-investigation?

- It's focused on the student's curiosity which make them try all what they have learned: many times, far away of creating a virtual machine to make tests, they make tests about real systems. The conference starts with the launching of a hacking attack through exploits for the detection of security vulnerabilities in an computing systems and the possible penal consequences of "passing the line" becoming a pentesting in one or several crimes. The next investigation and chat it's focused on the lawyer against the robotic, IoT, biotechnology, nanotechnology and more challangues.

- Would you like to offer a quote which could be useful to our readers?

- About my office Penal Code lays a Spiderman plastic toy and he alwasy says: "with great power comes great responsability".

Text: Mercè Molist

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