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by CSO Contributor

Flu Vaccine Supply Cut; Spyware Bill Passes House; T-Mobile Boosts Public WLAN Security

Oct 06, 20043 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Flu Vaccine Supply Cut

Amid safety fears, the British government closed a drug plant yesterday that would have been responsible for producing nearly half of all U.S. influenza shots this year. According to a report in the Boston Globe, American officials are now scrambling to ensure that those most vulnerable to the virus the elderly and frail will have access to it. Said Tommy G. Thompson, U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services, “This is very disappointing news that creates a serioius challenge to our vaccine supply for the upcoming flu season.” The company, Chiron Corp., was expected to provide 46 to 48 million doses of its vaccine. But the company learned yesterday that the British government had revoked a license for its Liverpool plant over contamination concerns. During a typical flu season, the virus kills 36,000 Americans.

For more details, read the full article in the Boston Globe.

Spyware Bill Passes House

The House passed a bill Tuesday that would make spyware illegal. According to a report on (a sister company to CXO Media), Joe Barton (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said he would like the president to sign the bill this year and he is working with the Senate to make that happen. The bill, which forbids computer technoogy that downloads programs onto their computers without their permission, passed 399-1. A similar, but not identical, bill is moving through the Senate.

For more details, read the full Medill News Service article on

T-Mobile Boosts Public WLAN Security

T-Mobile has taken steps to secure its public Wi-Fi hotspots in order to make it more difficult for hackers to gain access to users’ names and passwords. According to a report in The Register, T-Mobile has begun using 802.1x secuirty to authenticate users logging on to its network. This approach will allow T-Mobile to use the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security scheme to encrypt messages sent over the WLAN. The company said the move will add security for those business users that don’t have a virtual private network (VPN) connection. “CIOs across the country have been asking for enhanced security,” Joe Sims, VP and general manager of T-Mobile HotSpot told the Register. “The roll-out of 802.1x across our network will enable IT managers and business professionals to use T-Movile hotspots as a more secure virtual extension of their corporate networks and offices.”

For more details, read the full article in The Register.