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Clipper isn't the only encryption chip available. VLSI Technology makes chips so secure that you can't read the key by slicing them open for microscopic examination, and Mykotronyx encryption for government satellite control would require $Bs to break. Other companies in this arena are Lattice Semiconductor, Advanced Micro Devices, and Xidex. Michael Gianturco suggest investing in them, as commercial services on the Infobahn will all require encryption. [Forbes, 4/25/94.]

Need truly random numbers? Richard Dell recommends amplifying the avalanche breakdown noise of a signal transistor's base emitter junction, binarizing with a high-speed comparator, toggling a flip flop to remove bias, and sampling at a rate less than the noise bandwidth. Bit rates of 10MHz are easily achieved. [rdell@cbnewsf.cb.att.com, sci.electronics, 4/6/94.]

FTP daemon software prior to V2.3 may contain a Trojan horse. The Computer Emergency Response Team Command Center recommends immediate replacement from /networking/ftp/wuarchive-ftpd on ftp.uu.net. [Chronicle of Higher Education, 4/13/94. EDUPAGE.] (Downloads from wuarchive may be the only copies infected.)

Wilson Hsieh is circulating a warning that WWW URLs can use telnet commands to delete files or execute arbitrary programs on your Unix host. Watch for URLs at the bottom of your Mosaic screen that contain semicolons followed by Unix commands. You can prevent such links from executing by putting a "Mosaic*xtermCommand: ;" command in your .Xresources or .Xdefaults file. [cetus news. wchsieh@denhaag.lcs.mit.edu, 4/5/94. Rich Lethin.]

David LaMacchia, an MIT CS major, has been indicted on one felony count of conspiring to commit wire fraud. His [alleged] semi-private CYNOSURE I & II bboard -- different from the Cynosure Online BBS -- was used for uploading and downloading over $1M in copyrighted commercial software. More than 180 users were logging in per day, many via an anonymous server in Finland. A 1992 law makes it a felony to make 10 copies of copyrighted software or to copy and distribute programs worth $2,500 in total. Federal prosecutors intend to make this the first of many prosecutions. [SJM, 4/8 and 4/9/94.] For more on this, see the Computer underground Digest, cudigest from listserv@vmd.cso.uiuc.edu. LaMacchia's defense, according to his lawyer, is that he did no copying himself and is no more liable than is AT&T for the conversations on their wires. The indictment claims that LaMacchia knew what was going on and actively solicited commercial applications by name. The sysop tried to conceal his use of Project Athena equipment, warning users not to alert security. Another student noticed unusual disk activity, and MIT tipped the FBI about unauthorized use of the equipment. University disciplinary action has been postponed pending criminal prosecution. Even if found innocent of criminal charges, LaMacchia might face lawsuits by software companies. [Josh Hartmann, THE TECH (archive@the-tech.mit.edu), 4/8/94. cudigest@mindvox.phantom.com and Jason N. Gull (jgull@world.std.com), CuD, 4/10/94. comp.society.cu-digest.] (AT&T is regulated as a common carrier; LaMacchia is not. It's a legal status with statutory obligations, not just a way of doing business. This case could set a precedent, as when CompuServe was judged to be more like a bookstore than a publisher -- but I wouldn't bet on LaMacchia.)