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by CSO Contributor

Security Spending Growing at 28 Percent; CIA Developing Software to Scour Photos; Hundreds of Airport Screeners Dismissed; Microsoft Renews Security Vows; Girls Teach Teen Cybergab to FBI Agents

Jun 04, 20034 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Security Spending Growing at 28 Percent

VNUnet reports that spending on security during 2003 will exceed 5 percent of companies’ IT budgets for the first time, according to Gartner Group. According to the story, Gartner said that the increase means that security budgets will have grown at a compound annual rate of 28 percent since 2001, compared with just 6 percent for IT budgets as a whole over the same period.CIA Developing Software to Scour last night, the CIA is bankrolling efforts to improve technology designed to scour millions of digital photos or video clips for particular cars or street signs or even, some day, human faces. PiXlogic plans to announce today that the CIA’s venture-capital organization, In-Q-Tel, has invested an unspecified amount to help the company improve the software. The story adds that the cloak-and-dagger software presently has only rudimentary ability to recognize a person’s face and then find other photos and video footage of that person, although a demonstration of this feature worked almost flawlessly.

According to an AP story posted on

Hundreds of Airport Screeners DismissedOakland Tribune today, the dismissals included 503 screeners who failed to notify the agency that they had been arrested or convicted of a crime. The TSA discovered the workers’ disqualifications in recent months as it has been completing vetting of screeners already on the job. Lawmakers sharply criticized the agency for moving too slowly to thoroughly examine the backgrounds of its workers.

The Transportation Security Administration, which oversees airport security, disclosed yesterday that it fired 1,208 screeners at airports nationwide, including 85 convicted felons, after discovering the workers had questionable backgrounds. According to a story in the

Microsoft Renews Security VowsCnet, by the end of the year, the company intends to consolidate from eight to two the number of ways that patches are distributed to customers. One of the two new systems will address changes to the Windows operating system, while the other will apply to Microsoft’s business applications. Eventually, Microsoft will consolidate its patch management into a single tool that can work across all the company’s products. It plans to ensure that Windows fixes add themselves automatically to the operating system’s internal registry, rather than to different parts of the system. The partnership with Verisign, reports, will allow customers to use the security company’s digital certificate service to authenticate a person’s identity over a network of servers running Windows Server 2003. The service, which should also work over Wi-Fi wireless networks, is set to become available by the end of 2003, according to the allies.

Microsoft pledged on Tuesday to improve its system for sending out security fixes, or patches, to existing products, and announced a partnership with VeriSign to authenticate Web services. According to a story on

Girls Teach Teen Cybergab to FBI AgentsWashington Post, its formal education for the agents undercover assignments, posing as teenage girls online to catch pedophiles, in Operation Innocent Images. That is a 1995 initiative that tries to stop people from peddling child pornography or otherwise sexually exploiting children, FBI officials told the Post. The first time the girls gave a quiz, all the agents failed. “They, like, don’t know anything,” said one of the instructors. The girls were recruited after one of their fathers, an agent involved in the pedophile investigations, watched her instant messaging a friend and couldn’t understand what she was typing. He realized that FBI training wasn’t enough.

During the past year, three eight-grade girls have been teaching FBI agents across the country how to communicate just like teenage girls, complete with written quizzes on celebrity gossip and clothing trends and assigned reading in Teen People and YM magazines. According to an article in todays