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by CSO Contributor

Microsoft Deepens Firewall Integration; Microsofts Trustworthy Initiative Makes Slow Progress; Internet Porn Investigations Strain Police Forces; Megan’s Law Unevenly Applied

Jan 13, 20033 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Microsoft Deepens Firewall Integration

Microsoft last week incorporated additional application-layer filtering technology into its firewall product that lets users secure remote access to e-mail and authentication to Web servers, according to a story in Network World last Friday. The release, called Feature Pack 1, emphasizes security services for Microsoft’s Exchange Server and Internet Information Server, two frequent targets for hackers and malicious code. (Absent was technology to addresses XML and Web services traffic, which Network World reports is yet to come, according to Microsoft.) Feature Pack 1 is available now as a free download and comes in three parts: the main installation, the URL scanning filter and the RSA SecurID filter. Microsofts Trustworthy Initiative Makes Slow ProgressSan Francisco Chronicle analyzes the companys progress. According to the story, analysts monitoring the software giant’s efforts give it mixed grades. Even security experts known as harsh critics of the company see evidence of real change in its culture and direction. But most observers also note that these changes have so far had little effect on the experience of the average Windows user.

Jan. 15 will mark the anniversary of Bill Gatess famous memo making trustworthy computing a priority at Microsoft. A column in todays

Internet Porn Investigations Strain Police ForcesBBC News today reports that the criminal network was much larger than first imagined; for example, credit card details used to download material gave police direct access to 250,000 people worldwide. In the U.K., police have complained they lack the resources to investigate all the names passed to them by the FBI, and have asked the government for emergency funding. The U.K.s largest-ever police hunt against Internet pedophiles has resulted in about 1,300 arrests out of a list of 6,000 suspects.

The arrest last year of computer consultant Thomas Reedy in Texas for running an Internet child porn ring led to an international criminal investigation that is putting pressure on police forces in three continents. The

Megans Law Unevenly AppliedMercury News review has found that where you live in the Bay Area can determine how easy it is to learn whether a registered sex offender is living down the street. The 1996 federal Megan’s Law was passed in response to the 1994 rape and murder of Megan Kanka by a convicted child molester living in her New Jersey neighborhood. It was designed to provide the public with detailed information about registered sex offenders, and gave police wide latitude in how to make that information available. The Mercury New says that in California, some police departments post online maps or distribute leaflets when a dangerous sex offender moves into a neighborhood, but others say they don’t have the money or time to provide the public with even basic access to the statewide database.