Stories by Ann Harrison

French Company Bull Exposes Customer Data

French technology giant Bull Groupe said an internal sales and marketing database containing customer contact names and network configurations was exposed on one of the company's data processing servers.

Users on Guard Against New Denial of Service Tool

Several information technology managers said they've gone on guard to protect their systems against the Trinity distributed denial-of-service attack tool, which came to light earlier this week as a vehicle for using Internet Relay Chat channels to unleash floods of IP packets from compromised Linux servers.

Bull Exposes Confidential Customer Data

French information technology giant Bull SA acknowledged Aug. 31 that an internal sales and marketing database loaded with customer contact names and network configurations was exposed on one of its data-processing servers.

Hacker Tool Targets Linux

Information technology managers said they're on guard against a new distributed denial-of-service attack tool called Trinity that preys on Linux servers and uses Internet Relay Chat channels to unleash IP packet floods on targeted host machines.

Laser Art and Science in the Black Rock Desert

An intrepid group of engineers endured 60-mph rain and dust storms in Nevada's Black Rock Desert this weekend to construct what they say is one of the largest stationary geometric laser sculptures ever created.

Flaw Found in PGP Code

A serious vulnerability has been found in several versions of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) encryption software that could expose the content of encrypted messages. The flaw affects PGP 5.x, 6.x and derived products that are used to encrypt e-mail and control access to sensitive files and services.

Univ. Researcher Traces Response to DDOS Attacks

In August 1999, University of Washington researcher David Dittrich discovered that machines on the university's network had been invaded by a new type of attack program that harnessed thousands of compromised computers to launch denial-of-service attacks against targeted systems.

Parametric Modeling Tool Rehabs Design Process

Until recently, like most users of computer-aided design (CAD) software for building design, Scott Brown had to interpret his boss's architectural drawings on trace paper and translate them into a software program that required each design change to be painstakingly replicated in subsequent documents. Ensuring the consistency of all drawings for a large building project was a time-intensive, tedious task with a frightening potential for error.

Court Rules for Tougher Surveillance Standards

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled yesterday that law enforcement agents seeking to intercept data packets that combine addressing information and the content of communications must meet the higher legal requirements needed for a search warrant.

Software Vendor Questions Disclosure of Flaws

In a contentious keynote speech that created an uproar at the Black Hat Briefings security conference here, security researcher Marcus Ranum charged that the full disclosure of software vulnerabilities isn't improving computer security. Instead, Ranum said, it only encourages attacks by what he called "armies of script kiddies."

Warnings About Security Holes Abound at DefCon

Unsuspecting attendees logging on to the wireless network at the Def Con hackers convention here last weekend immediately found themselves targets in the event's annual "capture the flag" hacking competition. One visitor found his machine pinged within 10 seconds and had several of his Windows utilities disabled within minutes - but that was all part of the fun.

Hackers- Naughty and Nice

"We apologize for the delay," said the Def Con press attache. "The CIA is caucusing in the men's room."

Debate Erupts over Software Security Holes

In a contentious keynote speech that created an uproar at the Black Hat Briefings security conference here yesterday, security researcher Marcus Ranum charged that the full disclosure of software vulnerabilities isn't improving computer security. Instead, Ranum said, it only encourages attacks by what he called "armies of script kiddies."