Virgil Griffith, 2007
|Born||Birmingham, Alabama, USA|
|Education||Cognitive science (University of Alabama)|
|Occupation||Internet and software researcher|
Virgil Griffith 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 as of 2007 was a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology. A The New York Times bio dubbed him as the Internet Man of Mystery. In 2013, he appeared on King of the Nerds, a competition series airing on TBS.
Early life 
Griffith was born in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up in nearby Tuscaloosa. He 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.
Computer career 
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 Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Economic Espionage Act. The lawsuit was later settled.
On August 14, 2007, Griffith released the 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.
- Virgil Griffith, Markus Jakobsson, 2005. "Messin' with Texas: Deriving Mother's Maiden Names Using Public Records", ISBN 978-3-540-26223-7.
- Virgil Griffith, Larry Yaeger, 2005, MIT Press. "Ideal Free Distribution in Agents with Evolved Neural Architectures. A-Life 10 Conference".
- Griffith is listed as one of the contributors (as "Virgil G") in The Mammoth Book of Secret Codes and Cryptograms, 2006, ISBN 0-7867-1726-2.
- Two articles in Phishing and Counter-Measures: Understanding the Increasing Problem of Electronic Identity Theft, ISBN 0-471-78245-9.
- John Borland (August 14, 2007). "See Who's Editing Wikipedia - Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign". Wired. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
- Heffernan, Virginia (November 23, 2008). "The Medium - Virgil Griffith, Internet Man of Mystery". The New York Times.
- "King of the Nerds - Meet the Contestants - Virgil". KingoftheNerdsTBS/YouTube. October 31, 2012.
- "Alumnus Virgil Griffith Creates and Releases Wikipedia Scanner". September 3, 2007.
- See David Virgil Griffith in "Commencement" (PDF). The University of Alabama. 2007. Retrieved 29 August 2007.
- "Scanner Tracks Who's Changing What on Wikipedia". NPR. August 16, 2007.
- "CNS Graduate Students".
- "SF I Profile: Virgil Griffith". Santa Fe Institute. March 27, 2008.
- "Temporary Restraining Order against Hoffman and Griffith". April 14, 2003. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
- "Unintended Consequences: Seven Years under the DMCA". Electronic Frontier Foundation. April 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
- "Restraining Order Letter". April 12, 2003. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
- Reddy, Anitha (2003-04-17). "Blackboard Gets Gag Order Against Smart-Card Hackers". Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
- Foster, Andrea L (2003-04-16). "At Blackboard's Request, Judge Prevents Students From Discussing Security of Debit-Card System". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Archived from the original on 2007-04-07. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- Jonathan Fildes (August 15, 2007). "Wikipedia 'shows CIA page edits'". BBC News. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
- "Mammoth Book of Secret Code Puzzles: Acknowledgements". Retrieved 2007-08-14.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Virgil Griffith|