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by CSO Contributor

Microsoft Earns a Security Merit Badge; Cordless Keyboard Wrote on Neighbor’s Computer; The Art of Airport Security

Nov 06, 20023 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Microsoft Earns a Security Merit Badge

Microsoft announced on Oct. 29 that its Windows 2000 Pro software line had received the so-called Common Criteria certification, an internationally recognized standard for secure design and implementation of info-tech products. A Nov. 5 Business Week Online story describes Microsofts new seriousness about security and explains what the Common Criteria implies. Microsoft received Common Criteria EAL4 certification for Windows 2000 but only for versions that have been augmented by software Service Pack 3 (the third big update to Windows 2000) and not previous versions. Effort and progress aside, BWOnline says, no one claims Microsoft is even close to bug-free code. Cordless Keyboard Wrote on Neighbor’s ComputerStavanger Aftenblad had an inside track on the weird tech story since the incident involved two of their graphics workers, according to an article in todays Aftenposten from Norway. Per Erik Helle saw text ticking in live on his word processor, and could tell from the message that it was his neighbor Per Arild Evjeberg, also his boss at Stavanger Aftenblad, who was writing. A phone call quickly confirmed that Helle was watching Evjeberg type live. Evjeberg and Helle had received new HP machines from the same company and Helle had one time earlier noticed a registration form appear with his neighbor’s information in it. Aftenpost reports that HP product manager Tore A. Särelind believes that only a combination of unusual circumstances could result in the keyboard signal traveling 150 meters and through one wooden and one concrete wall.

Norwegian newspaper

The Art of Airport SecurityThe New York Times today, Devos solicited the resulting photos by putting ads in newspapers and leaving cards near security checkpoints. The pictures started rolling in and she called her venture the Insecurities Project. Then airport security stepped in. The problem was not that Devos had photographed airport screening machines and guards or that she was being irreverent about security. The problem, it turned out, was that making tourists take snapshots to prove their cameras aren’t weapons goes against American and Canadian policy. The fact that some screeners do, Dave Steigman, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration told the Times, simply indicates that security is a little chaotic right now, a mishmash of public and private screeners. But by Nov. 19, Steigman said, all will be sorted out.

A year ago Canadian artist Isabelle Devos discovered that certain camera-toting tourists going through airport security after Sept. 11 were being asked to take a photograph to prove that their camera was not a security risk. According to an article in