• United States
by Staff writers,

In brief: Assaults zap security in U.S., FBI says

Jan 23, 20064 mins

FBI releases IT security survey.

Despite improving security, organizations in the United States are facing a barrage of electronic assaults, ranging from such nuisances as spyware and viruses to sophisticated hacking attempts staged outside the country, the FBI reported in its 2005 FBI Computer Crime Survey. Of the 2,066 organizations with more than $1 million in annual revenue surveyed, 87% reported some type of computer security breach within a year, ranging from internal theft to viruses to Web-site defacement, the FBI reported. IT managers and system administrators reported spyware and viruses were the most common problem, followed by port scans, sabotage of data or networks and adult pornography. More than 50% of hacking attempts came from within the United States and from China, as many organizations were able to trace where intrusion attempts originated. But hackers are using computers that are under their control but situated in other countries, combined with the use of proxies to make detection more difficult.

Verizon this week plans to unveil its enterprise-services business unit following the completion of the MCI acquisition earlier this month. Verizon Business, which combines MCI’s enterprise operations with Verizon’s former Enterpise Solutions Group, is expected to announce its first new service offerings for business and government customers. Verizon recently announced the management structure of Verizon Business, which includes John Killian, president; Edward McGuinness, senior vice president and chief marketing officer; Wayne Huyard, executive vice president, global sales and service; and Fred Briggs, executive vice president, network operations and technology.

Tacit Networks this week is expected to announce that it has acquired Mobiliti, a maker of file-synchronization products. Tacit has wide-area file-services products for connecting remote and branch offices into the data center and synchronizing their file operations. Its IShared Server sits in the data center, and IShared Remote sits in the remote offices. Changes to files in the remote office are synchronized with those of the data center. Access to files for remote offices happens as fast as if they were connected on the LAN. Tacit expects to integrate Mobiliti’s incremental file-synchronization product into its IShared product line late in the second quarter of this year. Mobiliti’s Network Unplugged lets users see virtual copies of their file servers, even if they are disconnected from the LAN or WAN.

The task group working on a new, faster standard for Wi-Fi, called IEEE 802.11n, has settled on a draft proposal that will be refined into a final specification. This development ends a long struggle to choose between two main draft proposals for the standard. Both would have used multiple antennas to achieve the real-world throughput of at least 100Mbps that’s required in 802.11n. A special group was formed in the middle of last year to come up with a joint proposal, and it submitted the plan that was approved last week. Once it has been formatted according to IEEE rules, it will go out to a group of engineers across the 802.11 Working Group, which is responsible for all wireless LAN standards. The engineers will point out problems if they see them, and there will be a series of modifications and votes until the draft gets more than 75% approval among those voters.

EBay has decided to stop charging sellers a transaction fee on its Chinese Web site, just a few months after lambasting a rival auction site’s no-fee strategy. “Free is not a business model,” eBay said in an Oct. 19, 2005, statement.’s strategy of not charging a fee from users of its Taobao auction site for three years “speaks volumes about the strength of eBay’s business in China,” it said. Now eBay appears to have changed its tune. The company will no longer charge a transaction fee from sellers on its Chinese Web site, according to a notice posted online. EBay executives were not immediately available to comment.While eBay will no longer charge a transaction fee for sellers, the company will continue to charge for some services, such as more prominent placement among the site’s product listings.