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by CSO Contributor

Expert Raps Security Vendors; Security Coalition Drafts Rules for Bug Alerts; WHO Says SARS Epidemic Has Peaked; Terror Plans Against Australian Jewish Community Suspected

Jun 05, 20033 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Expert Raps Security Vendors

Some experts at an FTC workshop on consumer privacy blamed software vendors for selling “snake oil” privacy solutions or building products with an “enormous lack of accountability” for privacy and security problems, according to a story in Infoworld. The story reported that Peter G. Neumann, principal scientist at SRI International, took IT vendors to task for building those flawed systems, saying most have “zero accountability” for security, and he disagreed with panelists who suggested vendors who don’t adequately protect privacy and security will face an unfriendly marketplace.Security Coalition Drafts Rules for Bug AlertsCnet, the Organization for Internet Safety (OIS), has published draft guidelines for issuing bug alerts, a bid to temper a hot debate over when and how alerts should be released. The draft rules were released yesterday by OIS, a coalition of software companies and security firms, which have found themselves on opposite sides of the debate. The guidelines call on application makers to respond within seven days to a researcher’s notification of a vulnerability in their software and to attempt to create a patch for that flaw within 30 days. The draft guidelines are posted to the OIS website for a month-long comment period, with final rules expected to be released at the Black Hat Briefings security conference in Las Vegas at the end of July.

According to a story today on

WHO Says SARS Epidemic Has PeakedBBC News reports that the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak has peaked in countries around the worldincluding China, the worst hit by the pneumonia-like disease. Henk Bekedam, a World Health Organization representative in China made that statement after no new cases of the SARS virus were reported in China for the second consecutive day on Thursday. But he urged health officials to remain vigilant against the disease, pointing to a recent second Sars outbreak in Canada, the only country outside Asia to suffer SARS deaths.


Terror Plans Against Australian Jewish Community Suspected The Age reports that an al-Qaeda terrorist cell planned attacks on Jewish institutions in Melbourne and Sydney that would have caused huge loss of life, according to Jewish community leaders. They spoke yesterday after revelations that Melbourne-based mining magnate Joe Gutnick was the target of an al-Qaeda-sanctioned assassination plot. The planned attack, discovered during raids on suspected Jemaah Islamiah supporters in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth last year, would have involved bombing his home or the synagogue where he worships. The Age reports that the Jewish community was spending up to $40 million a year on private security since intelligence agencies warned that it had become serious targets. The federal member for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby, said the combination of reports from intelligence services and national leaders, and the modus operandi of terrorist networks, showed how serious was the threat to the Jewish.

In Australia,