Briefs: New Worm Puts Windows in Danger

SAN MATEO (03/20/2000) - A new worm discovered to be "in the wild" last week can shut down a Microsoft Corp. Windows operating system and rename files in such a way as to render the OS completely unusable, according to Computer Associates International Inc., which discovered the worm. Deployed through Microsoft Outlook running on Windows 95/98/2000 or Windows NT, the Win32/Melting.worm creates a copy of itself as MeltingScreen.exe into a Windows directory, renaming .exe files to .bin files when activated. The renaming process could adversely affect files used in the operations of Windows. The worm also e-mails itself to the victim's Outlook address book, randomly executing .exe files along the way.

Net taxation proposal gathering steam

An Internet taxation proposal backed by America Online and other businesses will receive a majority vote next week when the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce (ACEC) convenes its final meeting, two officials close to the negotiations said. The proposal calls for a five-year extension of the current ban on new and discriminatory taxes on e-commerce transactions. Put forth by six business representatives on the 19-member commission, it has won the support of five other members, giving it a simple majority, said Mark Nebergall, president of the Software Finance and Tax Executives Council. That is short of the 13-vote "supermajority" that Congress will want, according to the 1998 Internet Tax Freedom Act, but Nebergall said that Congress would look favorably on it.

Cisco to acquire InfoGear, JetCell

Two privately held California companies will join the fold at Cisco following acquisition deals announced last week worth a total of more than $500 million in stock. Cisco will buy InfoGear Technology of Redwood City, Calif., for $301 million worth of Cisco stock, Cisco officials said. Separately, the networking giant plans to buy JetCell of Menlo Park, Calif., a company in which Cisco already holds a 10 percent stake, for $200 million in stock. Cisco currently holds an 8 percent stake in InfoGear, which makes Internet appliances and software used to manage information appliances. JetCell develops in-building wireless telephony products for corporate networks.

Qwest close to selling long-distance bizTo meet requirements imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on its merger with US West, Qwest last week indicated that it is closing in on the sale of its long-distance business. Qwest's buyer is Touch America, a telecom subsidiary of Montana Power. The FCC does not allow RBOCs (regional bell operating companies) to offer long-distance within that company's region. That rule would apply to Qwest, because it is merging with US West, also an RBOC.

The companies expect to complete the merger later this year.

Novell, PassLogix extend Single Sign-On

Teaming up to extend SSO (Single Sign-On) to log-on requests from multiple types of applications and locations, Novell and PassLogix this week will integrate Novell's SSO API set and connectors with PassLogix' v-Go password and file storage solution. This combination, along with the foundation of NDS and its SecretStore security, extends SSO to Windows desktops, groupware log-ons, host emulator/mainframe log-ons, and Web or browser log-ons by pulling down appropriate user log-on information from the directory, officials said.

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