Security Web Digest: Dell ships smart cards... and More

New Check Point Internal Security, SSL Remote Access Products Group criticizes FTC approach to spyware New cryptographic phones run Microsoft software


Dell this week unveiled smart cards and associated software for enterprises that want to more closely control who has access to which laptops, desktops, and workstations. Each package consists of two smart cards -- made by Axalto -- and OtaniumSuite authentication software provided by 360 Degree Web. The two-factor authentication provided by smart cards -- a traditional password and the physical card -- is designed to ensure that only authorized users can access a machine or the network.

Check Point is promising two products by mid-2004 intended to minimize the damage worms and viruses do if they manage to get inside corporate networks. The Internal Security product line would enable network executives to segment their networks so the damage malicious activity does can be confined more easily. In addition, it would identify and block attacks. The companys upcoming Web Security product line would include an upgrade of its Web-based SSL remote access support. The new product would provide unified authentication and authorization and enable users to sign on once to the Check Point device and access applications without having to sign on again to each application server.


Lawmakers have yet to get a handle on the best way to combat computer "spyware", the Center for Democracy and Technology said this week. Rather than drafting narrowly targeted legislation to outlaw specific snooping tactics, Congress should establish broad online privacy rights to protect against secret online surveillance, the group said. Some spyware may violate deceptive-business laws, but to date the Federal Trade Communication has taken no action against spyware merchants. "We have followed up on some allegations and to date we havent found things that violated the law or violated individual privacy," said FTC spokeswoman Claudia Bourne-Farrell, adding that the agency took consumer privacy seriously.


German company Cryptophone has unveiled a new mobile handset with encryption software. The phone ensures that calls can only be decoded by a similar handset or a computer running the software. The software runs on a Microsoft-based XDA handheld computer phone made by Taiwans High Tech Computer.