RealNews

Officials Urge Quick Patch on E-mail Security Hole

The race is on to patch a security hole on millions of e-mail computer servers. The concern: The flaw could be exploited by hackers to potentially disrupt America’s infrastructure as war looms with Iraq. The hole was found by security firm Internet Security Systems (ISS) in December. Though no attacks have occurred, a hacker could tap into the Internet’s most widely used e-mail-server program, Sendmail, and block, steal or erase e-mail. Government officials worry that a cyberterrorist could gain control of tens of thousands of computers and launch waves of frivolous e-mail, which could slow networks or render them useless. That could disrupt business communications at a time when companies are increasingly supplying the military. “There are a lot of interdependencies when you go to war, and the Internet is what ties a lot of this together,” says Marcus Sachs, communications infrastructure director for the White House Office of Cyberspace Security. “We need to get everyone as ready as the Defense Department to defend our critical networks.” ISS has worked with the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate a plan to widely implement an available patch. Computer security officials attending a security conference here hope that will be a model for handling other future threats. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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