FBI urges firms to trust feds

The director of the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center had a rough mission at the World E-Commerce Forum in London this week.

He was trying to convince more than 100 business and government leaders that they need to trust law enforcement when their computer security has been compromised.

Michael Vatis trotted out a litany of examples in which companies benefited from contacting federal agents immediately after surmising an attack on their networks.

He added that if all companies were cooperative, hackers would have a tougher time carrying out denial-of-service attacks like the ones executed in February on Yahoo, CNN and other major Web sites.

But Vatis said somberly that new vulnerabilities never cease, and the FBI announced a new one this week. The "SubSeven DEFCON8 2.1 Backdoor" is the latest Trojan horse that threatens to take over a computer and launch denial-of-service attacks on other systems.

Vatis encouraged IT managers to check their systems using the latest tools from antivirus vendors or from the FBI's advisory area at the NIPC's Warnings page.

Risaburo Nezu, director of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, says his group would like to help facilitate the discussion between companies and government. He called for international law enforcement agencies to develop interoperable procedures and for companies to voluntarily share security information with each other.

For more information about enterprise networking, go to Network World Fusion. Story copyright 2000 Network World Inc. All rights reserved. Distributed by IDG News Service.

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