EBay, Microsoft form Internet security group
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EBay, Microsoft form Internet security group

Chief security officers at major hi-tech firms said they will form a think tank to share ideas about how companies can keep computer networks safe from attacks.

india Updated: Dec 10, 2003 22:22 IST

Chief security officers at major hi-tech companies and several banks said on Wednesday they would form a think tank to share ideas about how corporations can keep computer networks safe from attack.

The group will share information with member companies and governments on cyber-security issues, provide feedback to technology vendors and consider how businesses can be better run to protect against hackers, organizers said.

"Malicious hackers collude. They're very good at sharing information," said Mary Ann Davidson, chief security officer of Oracle Corp. "We as an industry need to come together on the other side to strengthen our defenses."

In addition to Davidson, the 10 charter members of the Global Council of CSOs, which stands for chief security officers are: Howard Schmidt of eBay Inc, Scott Charney of Microsoft Corp, Whitfield Diffie of Sun Microsystems Inc, Vint Cerf of MCI, Bill Boni of Motorola Inc, Dave Cullinane of Washington Mutual Inc, Rhonda MacLean of Bank of America Corp, Steve Katz, formerly of Citigroup Inc and president of consultancy Security Risk Solutions, and Will Pelgrin of the New York State Office of Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure.

The organization is the brainchild of Schmidt, who was chief security officer at Microsoft and then White House cyber-security advisor.

Schmidt said that before he left his federal post he promised government officials that he would work to get the private sector more involved in cyber security issues.

The US government released its plan to secure cyberspace in February, advocating increased spending on research and a greater degree of coordination between high-tech firms and government agencies. But it was criticized as being ineffective because it lacked any requirements for businesses.

Since then, viruses have continued to plague corporate networks and consumer PCs, including the Blaster worm and various versions of the SoBig e-mail virus.

In an unprecedented move, Microsoft last week offered a bounty of $250,000 each for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for Blaster and the virulent SoBig.F virus.

First Published: Nov 28, 2003 16:57 IST