Virgil Griffith life and biography

Virgil Griffith picture, image, poster

Virgil Griffith biography

Date of birth : 1983-03-06
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Birmingham, Alabama,U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-12-20
Credited as : computer scientist, hacker, creator of WikiScanner

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Virgil Griffith (born 1983), also known as Romanpoet, is an American hacker, known for his involvement in a 2003 lawsuit with Blackboard Inc. and his creation of WikiScanner.

He has published papers on artificial life and is currently a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology. According to the New York Times, he is the Internet Man of Mystery.

Griffith was born in Alabama in 1983 and graduated from the Alabama School of Math and Science in 2002, and then attended the University of Alabama, studying cognitive science in New College. He was a member of the Mallet Assembly. He transferred to Indiana University in 2004, but returned to graduate cum laude from Alabama in August 2007.Griffith is now a graduate student studying computation and neural systems. He is affiliated with the Santa Fe Institute as a visiting researcher.

Griffith has given talks at the hacker conferences Interz0ne, PhreakNIC, and HOPE. It was at Interz0ne 1 in 2002 that he met Billy Hoffman, a Georgia Tech student, who had discovered a security flaw in the campus magnetic ID card system called "BuzzCard". He and Hoffman proceeded over the next year to learn more about the flaw and attempted to give a talk at Interz0ne2 in April 2003. However, a few hours before the presentation, he and Hoffman were served with a restraining order. Two days later, it was followed by a lawsuit from Blackboard Inc. alleging that they had stolen trade secrets as well as violated both the DMCA and the Economic Espionage Act. The lawsuit was later settled.

On August 14, 2007, Griffith released a new software utility, "WikiScanner," that tracks Wikipedia article edits from unregistered accounts back to their originating IP addresses and identifies the corporations or organizations to which they belong.

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