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by CSO Contributor

Two Internet Explorer Holes Reported; Reagan Funeral Security Unprecedented; Lawmakers Oppose Accenture Deal; Whos Getting Rich on Computer Viruses?

Jun 10, 20044 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Two Internet Explorer Holes Reported

According to a Computerworld Australia story, two new vulnerabilities have been discovered in Internet Explorer which allow a complete bypass of security and provide system access to a computer, including the installation of files on someone’s hard disk without their knowledge, through a single click. It has been rated “extremely critical” by security company Secunia, and the only advice is to disable Active Scripting support for all but trusted websites. The story explains how the exploit works through a malicious Internet link.Reagan Funeral Security UnprecedentedBBC News Online reports that at Wednesdays state funeral, the security presence was obvious, with Secret Service agents with bomb-sniffing dogs, Blackhawk military helicopters in the skies, snipers atop several buildings, a machine in subways stations sampling the air to detect the presence of chemical or biological agents, and a network of wireless CCTV cameras. Still, hours before the funeral, as crowds filled the area around the Capitol, a small plane violated the air exclusion zone around Washington. Police warned the crowd: “You have one minute to impact.” A pair of F-15 fighter jets on air patrol was called on to intercept the plane. It took only minutes for authorities to determine the plane was carrying a dignitary, was cleared to land and had temporarily lost radio contact, but the area was cleared in what some were calling the most alarming evacuation since the 11 September attacks, the BBC notes.

The Department of Homeland Security has declared the memorial events for the late President Reagan a “special security event”. Some 20 heads of state were expected for the national funeral to be held on Friday, the largest number since the 50th anniversary of NATO in Washington in April 1999, according to Washington Police Chief Charles Ramsey.

Lawmakers Oppose Accenture DealCNN Money, a U.S. House of Representatives committee passed a measure on Wednesday that would block Accenture from a $10 billion security contract because the consulting firm is not based in the United States. The House Appropriations Committee voted 35-17 to modify the Department of Homeland Security’s $32 billion budget to bar Bermuda-based Accenture from implementing a program that would track foreign visitors. The U.K.s reports that before the provision becomes law it still has to pass the full House and Senate, and be signed by the President. Accenture beat rival bids from Computer Sciences and Lockheed Martin at the end of May 2004 to help administer US-Visit, which would track foreign visitors using digital photographs, fingerprints and other biometric information. (To weigh in on the deal yourself, go to CSOonlines Talk Back and add a comment at the end of the column.)

According to a Reuters story on

Whos Getting Rich on Computer Viruses? story today. To date, viruses have been considered a kind of graffiti: David Perry, global director of education at Trend Micro, says, “It’s simply a desire to claw their initials into the middle of your hard drive.” Yet, recent events have uncovered what may be a new trend: spammers paying virus writers to create worms that plant an open proxy, which the spammer then can use to forward spam automatically. Many suspect this occurred with the SoBig virus. But it is also possible that spammers are using such open proxies without having any connection to the virus writers, according to Perry, and theres no hard evidence that the SoBig writer received any money. Perry and Christian Byrnes, senior vice president of technology research services at MetaGroup, both reject any speculation that virus companies themselves generate viruses to create a market for their products. “If we were doing that, the FBI would have uncovered it by now,” said Perry.

Computer viruses cost businesses and consumers around the world billions of dollars each year. So who—if anyone—is profiting from viruses, asks a