Thursday, March 30, 2006

Laptop Thefts, Spam, and More of Same

Sigh...Some computer security vulnerabilities are timeless:

"Fidelity Investments last week disclosed that someone made off with a laptop containing the names, Social Security numbers and other information for 196,000 current and former Hewlett-Packard employees." Sci-Tech Today

The reasons for stealing laptops may change, but laptops used by business people are, by definition, loaded with business information. Now it seems, owing to corporate stupidity, they are also loaded with large amounts of personal information abouts large numbers of persons. The fact that a company like Fidelity had the 401K details of almost 200,000 people sitting on a laptop (instead of on a server in a locked room) is disturbing but sadly not surprising. It is not the first time something like this has happened and we confidently predict it won't be the last. Here's an article on the subject from 2000, ironically published in the HP Chronicle

As for newer vulnerabilities, there is a pretty good blog put out by Sunbelt, a Florida software company. Has some interesting stories about IE, eBay accounts for sale, and bots that might be used for more than spam (which has not gone away the way that Mr. Gates predicted--although this should come as no surprise, given that every major product in the history of Microsoft has been late).