A Knight E-Rant

By Spencer F. Katt  |  Posted 2004-04-05 Print this article Print

"The pen—or, in this case, the e-mail—seems mightier than the sword," mused the Mouser as he skimmed Bill Gates'heroic-sounding security update letter to Microsoftcustomers.

"The pen—or, in this case, the e-mail—seems mightier than the sword," mused the Mouser as he skimmed Bill Gates heroic-sounding security update letter to Microsoft customers. In words worthy of a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Sir Bill of ye Trustworthy Computing initiative touted the upcoming Windows XP Service Pack 2 and his valiant Redmondians efforts to slay the evil wizards who turn the innocent into unknowing worm propagators.

"Bills trying," said a pal of the Puss. "But IT folks have so many more daily headaches brewing besides the constant battering Windows takes from virus writers." As the two downed multiple martinis in a Manhattan bistro, the Katt crony said companies constantly face new dilemmas, such as being blindsided by a clueless wage slave plugging in a WAP phone without alerting the IT department first. The misguided company minion may not have taken security measures with the device and may consider it to be like any other phone. Spence, half-listening to the security maven, juggled his fifth martini while IMing his editor that his column was almost finished. As the Furball finished fibbing, the bistro buddy laughed and noted that virus writers also exploit IM services. A fairly harmless virus called Jitux recently slipped into computers through Microsofts instant messaging network in several countries outside the United States, confirming security experts fears that the number of IM virus writers is increasing. "And with an IM, you dont even need an unwitting buffoon like me to click on some bogus porn attachment," cackled the Kitty. "Uh, not that Ive ever done anything like that to my IT guys."

IM junk mail is also on the rise. The source said spim, like spam, is a concern for IS folks and reportedly accounts for a small but growing chunk of enterprise IM messages. Before Spence took his leave, the crony made him chuckle by noting that the folks at Sanctum, long rumored to be ripe for acquisition, are vigorously denying that the company will be scooped up by Computer Associates. The application security vendor isnt denying its looking for a suitor; it just wants it clear that it has no plans to dance with CA.

As Spence stared out a cabs drizzle-streaked window, he got a call on his Kattphone from a pal who said a products on the way that will be a boon to all laptop-losing folks, whether youre a British espionage agent who discovers his notebook has gone missing at a railway station or the boss of a large telephony company who leaves his laptop lying about. A small Utah-based software company claims its developing a Lojak-type device to locate missing or stolen laptops. "And it would be called, um, Lapjack?" laughed the Lynx.


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