• United States



by CSO Contributor

Industry Group Wants DHS Agency to Review Deal with Microsoft; Airports Still Finding Armed Travelers; Social Security Numbers for Sale; To Fight Music Piracy, Industry Goes to Schools

Aug 28, 20033 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Industry Group Wants DHS Agency to Review Deal with Microsoft

According to a ComputerWorld story, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) is criticizing last month’s decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to exclusively use Microsoft Corp. software, arguing that recent computer virus and worm attacks against Microsoft products are evidence that such a decision is a poor choice. The DHS awarded Microsoft a $90 million enterprise software deal last month, just two days after company Chairman Bill Gates met with DHS head Tom Ridge in Washington. In a letter to Ridge, CCIA asked the agency to reconsider its decision, citing the usual complaints against Microsoft products level of security, and also pointing out that from a security standpoint, the lack of diversity within a networked system amplifies the risk emanating from any vulnerabilities that do exist. But diversity is difficult without interoperability, and the benefits of interoperating with more robust systems can be blocked if any dominant player does not cooperate in fostering interoperability.” Airports Still Finding Armed Travelers

640,891were confiscated last month from passengers trying to board planes at the nation’s airports, according to federal officials, reports The Boston Globe today. But the record at Logan International Airport was set in June, when screeners seized 14,900 potential weaponsthe most since federal officials took over security at the airport last year. George Naccara, the federal security director at Logan for the Transportation Security Administration speculated that droves of college students leaving Boston for home or vacation may be partly responsible for the spike in the number of potential weapons confiscated at Logan in June. Similarly, July is one of the busiest travel months for vacationers, federal officials said, so it makes sense that more potential weapons were confiscated last month. The biggest offenders appear to be travelers who don’t fly often and say they didn’t know about the many prohibitions that have been put in place since the terrorist attacks, according to aviation officials and Massachusetts State Police.

A record number of potential weapons

Social Security Numbers for story today. The foundation did it to illustrate the need for tougher data protection laws, especially in the face of legislation currently in the House that would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act. While backing the overall goals of the bill, the group objects to a portion of it that would continue a current pre-emption of tougher state privacy laws.

The California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said for $26 each it was able to purchase the Social Security numbers and home addresses for CIA Director George Tenet, Attorney General John Ashcroft and other top Bush administration officials, including Karl Rove, the president’s chief political adviser, according to a

To Fight Music Piracy, Industry Goes to SchoolsThe Washington Post today, the recording industry has decided to put more pressure to curb illegal file-sharing on college administrators, many of whom have traditionally resisted industry pleas to monitor or restrict student Internet use. Last year, the Recording Industry Association of America formed a joint committee with university representatives to brainstorm ways of approaching the problem. Since many of the most enthusiastic offenders are freshman, the committee focused much of its energy on the late-summer orientation programs meant to acclimate 18-year-olds to college life. As a result of the committee’s push, incoming freshmen have attended technology orientation programs around the country this month. Many universities are following a standard informational approach designed to limit their own liability. Technology officials train resident assistants to address the issue with freshman, according to the Post.

According to a story in