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NEWS - February 16, 2005

Man pleads guilty to hacking WebTV
Reuters February 15, 2005, 5:30 AM PT

A Louisiana man has pleaded guilty to sending rigged e-mails that caused some computers to dial the 911 emergency services number, prosecutors said on Monday.

David Jeansonne, 44, admitted to sending e-mails to about 20 subscribers of Microsoft's WebTV, a television Internet service since renamed MSN TV.

An attachment to the e-mail rewrote the user's access WebTV number to 911, so that the next time the service was used, calls to WebTV in Santa Clara, Calif., were diverted.

"This prompted unnecessary emergency police dispatches at numerous locations around the country in July 2002," the U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of California said in a statement.

"At least 10 WebTV users reported that the local police either called or visited their residences in response to the unnecessary 911 calls."

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Symantec: Who's afraid of Microsoft?

By Dawn Kawamoto CNET
Published on ZDNet News: February 15, 2005, 5:03 PM PT

SAN FRANCISCO--Symantec outlined plans on Tuesday to defend its large consumer security business, as Microsoft detailed its push to enter the anti-spyware and antivirus market.

Company CEO John Thompson, speaking at a keynote speech and roundtable at RSA Conference 2005 here, said that Symantec would rely on the capabilities of its products to fend off the challenge. He said he would not rely on antitrust regulators, who keep an eye on Microsoft and the products it bundles in with its operating system.

"I don't plan to go to the Justice Department and whine about Microsoft's monopoly," Thompson said. "I'd rather fight Microsoft in the marketplace, because I'm sure we'll whip them."

Symantec's ability to defend its consumer business is critical to the company, given that half its revenue and its rapid growth have come from selling antivirus and other security software to home PC owners and small businesses.

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Cisco updates security products

By Marguerite Reardon CNET February 15, 2005, 9:00 AM PT

Cisco Systems announced several enhancements to its security portfolio at the RSA show in San Francisco on Tuesday. The new products and features are part of Cisco's Self-Defending Network security strategy, which is supposed to help customers manage and mitigate risks in their networks.

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Firms give flaws a grade

Published: February 15, 2005, 4:17 PM PST
By Robert Lemos
Staff Writer, CNET

SAN FRANCISCO--With an eye to guiding companies on which software problems to patch first, Cisco Systems, Symantec and Qualys plan to launch a joint grading system for security vulnerabilities.

The ratings will consist of three numbers, Gerhard Eschelbeck, the chief technology officer at security information provider Qualys said on Tuesday.

The first will be a baseline estimate of the severity of the flaw. The second will rate the bug depending on how long it has been around, and therefore how likely it is that companies have patched against it. The third will measure the threat a vulnerability poses to a specific corporate network. Each will take five or six factors into account for the

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Spybot Search & Destroy News: Please beware!

"If you search for the keyword Spybot on Altavista or some other search engines, you'll got a bunch of sponsored results. One of them is Spyware Doctor, who seem to be agressively using our name Spybot to advertise their software. We receive a bunch of emails every week from people complaining to us and asking for a refund. After some mails we usually find out that those people believed they had bought Spybot-S&D, but actually got Spyware Doctor..."


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