Feds Raid Software Firm

By Chris Gonsalves  |  Posted 2002-12-06 Print this article Print

U.S. Customs Service look for connections between Ptech Inc. and al-Qaeda terrorist network.

Ptech RaidFederal agents who raided a Quincy, Mass., software firm Thursday night continue to look for monetary connections to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, but sources say the firms software appears safe.

Ptech Inc., a developer of business-process modeling software, was raided late Thursday night by U.S. Customs Service agents, according to law enforcement officials. But initial concerns that the companys technology may have compromised the security of its customers, which include the FBI, the Department of Energy, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Navy, the Air Force, the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. House of Representatives, now appear unfounded, according to authorities. "The products that were supplied by this company to the government all fell in the nonclassified area," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said early Friday. "None of it involved any classified products used by the government. The material has been reviewed by the appropriate government agencies, and they have detected absolutely nothing in their reports to the White House that would lead to any concern about any of the products purchased from this company." Fleischer confirmed that White House officials were involved in the discussions that led to the midnight raid of PTech, but "the White House didnt orchestrate this; this is a law enforcement matter."
"It was a Customs Service operation involving the potential for terrorist connections in this company and, beyond that, its law-enforcement sensitive," Fleischer said.
U.S. Customs officials in Washington had no comment on the raid and referred inquiries to the U.S. Attorneys Office in Boston. U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan late Friday issued a terse statement saying the raid on PTech was part of an "an ongoing financial crime investigation," and that media reports linking the event to terrorism were "premature." Due to P-Techs status as a provider of software to agencies of the U.S. Government, there have been questions raised concerning their products. All of the products provided to the Government were of a non-classified nature," Sullivan said in the statement. "However, out of an abundance of caution, the affected government agencies, including the FBI, conducted a review of their computer systems. There is no reason to believe that the software has any secondary purpose or malicious code, or that there has been a breach of any kind. There have been no vulnerabilities identified in connection with any of the products provided by P-Tech. There is also no evidence to suggest that the system is susceptible to compromise or poses any security risk."


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