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In brief: German police say they have Sasser writer

May 17, 20044 mins
Cellular NetworksCisco SystemsWi-Fi

Also: Mercury Interactive nabs Appilog; Gric to change its name;WLAN DoS attack found; carriers face second WNP deadlinel and more

  • German police last week arrested an 18-year-old man on charges he created the Sasser worm that disrupted networks around the world two weeks ago by penetrating unpatched Microsoft-based computers. The arrest of Sven Jaschan, who lives with his parents near the German town of Rotenburg, occurred after Microsoft received tips about Sasser’s creator and passed them on to law enforcement. German law enforcement says Jaschan has confessed to creating the Sasser worm and one called Netsky. However, the arrest did not stop yet another variant of the Sasser worm – Sasser.F – from appearing on the Internet last week.

  • Mercury Interactive last week announced plans to buy Appilog, a three-and-a-half-year-old maker of software used to discover and map relationships among applications and their underlying infrastructure. The $49 million cash deal is intended to bolster Mercury’s application management line. Mercury, a $500 million-plus software vendor that ranked 77th on this year’s Network World 200 list, also sells application tuning and IT governance products. Appilog, based in New York, is privately held and employs about 40 people. Mercury initially plans to sell Appilog’s stand-alone software, but the bigger play is to meld it into Mercury’s offerings, starting with its Business Availability Center software.

  • Gric Communications, best known as an aggregator of remote-access services, is putting a new face on the company – or at least a new name. The company is expected to change its name to GoRemote on May 19 at its shareholders meeting, according to a company executive, although the change is not official. This is the second name change for the 10-year-old company. The service provider was originally known as AimQuest and then changed its name to Gric in 1998. Gric stands for Global Reach Internet Connection, which is what the company calls its network. Gric offers dial-up, DSL and Wi-Fi remote-access services to business users around the globe.

  • The Australian Computer Emergency Response Team has confirmed a “trivial but effective” wireless LAN denial-of-service attack. According to the advisory issued last week, a semi-skilled attacker can use a handheld device with any 802.11b or 802.11g card to disrupt WLAN traffic for other devices within range. The attack entails writing code that creates, in effect, a WLAN “busy” signal. The other devices continually postpone their own transmission because they all think the attacking device is transmitting on the wireless channel. Once this jamming transmission stops, the network recovers at once and works normally. The vulnerability was first reported by ComputerWorld Today , based on work by researchers at Queensland University of Technology’s Information Security Research Centre.

  • Cellular telephone carriers should be ready for a second deadline for allowing number portability, but many rural wireline telephone companies are trying to get out of the national portability rules, officials with the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association said last week. Most cellular and wireline carriers outside of the 100 largest U.S. markets face a May 24 deadline from the FCC to let customers switch carriers and retain their telephone numbers. Cellular carriers in the 100 largest U.S. markets, representing about 70% of U.S. cellular customers, had to allow number portability after Nov. 24. However, the deadline this month lets state public utility commissions grant extensions to some carriers. Hundreds of rural local exchange carriers have filed requests for extensions, CTIA officials said. The extensions would range from a few months to an indefinite period, and some already have been granted.

  • Cisco breathed some life into the IT job market this week, announcing the addition of 1,000 jobs. The increase in staff comes after Cisco added 200 jobs in the previous quarter, its first large-scale hiring in three years. The company said it is adding jobs in its emerging technology businesses, which include IP telephony, security and storage. But all is not rosy in the network arena: Enterasys Networks cut 200 jobs earlier this month after the company reported a first-quarter net loss of $35.7 million.