U.S. vs. ElcomSoft - My Trial Coverage
December 14, 2002
Vladimir Katalov Takes The Stand in the ElcomSoft Trial (Part 1 of 2)

I'll be keeping these installments coming over the course of the day.

Next installment - the Prosecution's cross on Vladimir Katalov, Alexander Katalov's testimony and the testimony from the RegNow! employee (Today - Saturday). The Final Arguments Synopsis will go up tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon sometime.

That's the plan stan!

Vladimir Katalov Takes The Stand in the ElcomSoft Trial (Part 1 of 2)

12/09/02 - Witness for the Defense
Vladimir Katalov, Managing Director, ElcomSoft
(Brother of Alexander Katalov, President, ElcomSoft)

The segment follows this post.

I will be referring to Vladimir Katalov and Alexander Katalov by their first names or complete names only, so it won't get too confusing in case if you are reading all of these segments at once.

Vladimir Katalov was called to the witness stand. He's about 5' 9", with short blond hair and wearing a tan/leaning towards yellow-ish suit. (Much like the color of the suit Dmitry was wearing.)

Burton asked Vladimir a few basic questions about himself.

"Your name?" Burton asked.

"Vladimir Katalov." Vladimir answered.

Vladimir explained that he was 33 years old and that he lived in Moscow.

"Are you currently employed by ElcomSoft?" Burton asked.

"Yes. I have worked for them for more than 10 years." Vladimir replied.

"What is your title there?" Burton asked.

"I am the Managing Director." Vladimir said.

Burton displayed a screenshot from the ElcomSoft website and pointed to the list of file types on the page.

"What other file types (besides EBook and PDF) do you sell password recovery programs for?" Burton asked.

"Word Perfect, Microsoft Publisher, other Microsoft software..." Vladimir said. "There are others."

Yeah, I'd say so! more than just a few.

"How many password recovery programs..." Burton started to say when the prosecuting attorney, U.S. Attorney General Scott Frewing, objected.

Judge Whyte overruled the objection.

It seemed like Frewing was trying to down play a couple different assertions that had been made by the Defense during Dmitry's testimony: 1) That the AEPBR program is just another in a long line of "password recovery" programs that ElcomSoft has been offering on the internet for years. 2) That the APDFPR and the AEBPR programs are essentially the same programs with different security handlers.

"Do you sell your software in Russia?" Burton asked.

"Yes." Vladimir said. "We sell it on the Internet to all countries."

"Are there customers of your software that are in law enforcement?" Burton asked.

"Yes." Vladimir said.

"Can you give me an example of a customer?" Burton asked.

"Police Departments, FBI, IRS." Vladimir said.

"Police Departments, the FBI and the IRS are customers of yours?" Burton asked.

"Yes. They are purchasers of our programs." Vladimir said.

"Is the U.S. Department of Justice a customer?" Burton asked.

"Yes. We receive orders from them about once a month from different states." Vladimir replied.

"Are there state agencies that are customers of your software?" Burton asked.

"Yes." Vladimir said.

"Do District Attorneys purchase your products?" Burton asked.

"Yes." Vladimir said.

"Are there private companies?" Burton asked.

"Yes." Vladimir replied. "Adobe, Microsoft, Motorola, Siemens..."

"Adobe is one of your customers?" Burton asked, emphasizing Adobe ever so slightly as he said it.

"Yes." Vladimir said.

Burton then asked Vladimir some questions about how the AEBPR program was marketed, and about how it was reviewed in PC Magazine and in some books.

Burton then asked Vladimir about ElcomSoft's conference schedule in 2001.

"Did you attend any conferences in 2001?" Burton asked.

"Yes. Two." Vladimir said. "The Techno-Security Law Enforcement conference, which we were a sponsor of, and DefCon."

"So a Law Enforcement conference and a Hacker conference?" Burton asked.

"Yes." Vladimir replied. "We were a sponsor of the Techno Security Law Enforcement Conference. We had a booth."

Burton showed Vladimir, and then the Jury, two exhibits.

"Did individuals from Law Enforcement visit your booth?" Burton asked.

"Yes." Vladimir replied. "They asked questions..."

"Was one of the products that you were demonstrating in the booth the AEBPR program?" Burton asked.

"Yes." Vladimir replied.

"Did those members of law enforcement give you their business cards?" Burton asked.

"Yes." Vladimir replied.

He passed around to the Jury the business cards of law enforcement individuals that had been given to ElcomSoft while they were visiting the ElcomSoft booth at the Techno-Security conference.

"When was the date of the Techno Security Conference?" Burton asked.

"April, 2001" Vladimir said.

This date is very significant in that it is more than three months earlier than when the trouble with Adobe started (in late June). (That is, three months before Adobe sent their first correspondence to ElcomSoft and the first correspondence to ElcomSoft's ISP (Verio) about the AEBPR program.) This seems to make a strong case for ElcomSoft's assertion that it was under the impression that its software was perfectly legal, considering they were openly demonstrating it to members of the Law Enforcement community at such high profile Law Enforcement Technology and Security Conferences.

"Are there any competitors in this business?" Burton asked.

"Yes." Vladimir said.

"Companies who make products similar to yours?" Burton asked.

"Yes." Vladimir said. "There are at least four companies with programs that do about the same thing."

"Do those companies still exist today?" Burton asked.

"Yes." Vladimir said.

The Prosecution objected twice while this line of questioning was going on, but was the Judge overruled the objections both times.

"Did Adobe purchase the program before July?" Burton asked.

"Yes." Vladimir said. "I believe in February or March."

I'm pretty sure Burton had a slide of a transaction email or receipt or something that provided evidence of the date of purchase. (This is a factual detail I should be able to clear up with Joseph Burton after the trial is over.)

Court adjourned for the day at this point.

That's all I have from the Defense's questions, because I missed the first half hour of court Tuesday morning. (By the time I got there, the Prosecution was up.)

Next installment - the Prosecution's cross on Vladimir Katalov, Alexander Katalov's testimony and the testimony from the RegNow! employee.

Posted by Lisa at December 14, 2002 03:24 PM | TrackBack
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