Coming Clean

Security gig gets boring; Microsoft pokes holes in the Swiss.


Sent: Monday, January 2, 2006 12:05 AM

To: eWEEK readers

Subject: Security gig gets boring; Microsoft pokes holes in the Swiss

"This is one New Years resolution Im gonna keep," sighed El Gato as he started to finally sort through the rubble that his cubicle hid beneath. The cleanup would be cathartic, thought the Katt, who was mourning both the passing of news hound Jack Anderson and Red Sox great Johnny Damons decision to sign with the New York Yankees.


Soon, a muffled ring from under the Mousers mountainlike mess turned up a call from a security-maven buddy. The pal said hed heard that Vinny Gullotto, who led McAfees AVERT (Anti-Virus Emergency Research Team) through discoveries of the Melissa and ILoveYou viruses, has left the company. The buzz is that Gullotto, considered one of the best anti-virus researchers in the business, was bored with the bug biz. The pal also claimed that Chris Wysopal, a founder of Lopht, which became @Stake, which was acquired by Symantec, has left that company to begin work on a startup.

Bidding his pal adieu, the Kitty mulled over the recent brouhaha that began over the news that the Swiss government planned to use Novells enterprise Linux technology across the countrys public-sector IT infrastructure. Novell had issued a press release saying it was selected following a formal tender process, and "as a result, approximately 3,000 servers operated by the Swiss Federal Government will now run on Novells SUSE Linux platform."

Although the Novell press release never implied that the Swiss Linux move was at the expense of Microsofts business, Redmond immediately launched alerts to the press that the release was inaccurate. Microsoft claimed that the number of servers the Swiss government had moved to Linux was only 300, with 100 more soon to follow. The Microsofties also provided a link to a statement from the Swiss government. The Swiss statement said that the Linux move was in addition to existing proprietary Unix and Windows solutions and that currently about 10 percent of the 3,000 servers in the Swiss Federal Government run on Linux and about 100 more will be implemented going forward.

"The aim is to get rid of the diversity of different Linux distributions," read the statement. It went on to say, "Contrary to several announcements in the press, not all servers of the Swiss Federal Government will be migrated to Linux." A Novell spokesperson told the Tabby that its press release was vetted and approved by the Swiss and that it reflected the terms of the agreement. "This story has more different components than a Swiss Army knife," cackled the Kitty.

As Spence tossed out old memory chips and dongles, he heard from a crony who said that Reuters plan to send video feeds of breaking news to its Web site "video affiliates" via an embedded video player could bring a content distribution deal with a popular online content store to reach users of a certain portable media player. "As long as it isnt $1.99 a pop, Ill watch," laughed the Lynx.

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt, the Whiskered Wonder, has been the mascot and tipster extraordinaire for eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week since 1984. The Gadabout Gatto makes the rounds of...