Stories by Network World staff

MCI appoints five members to board

MCI, legally known as WorldCom , is appointing five new members to its board of directors. The appointments will become official when the carrier emerges from bankruptcy protection. W Grant Gregory, former chairman at Touche Ross; Judith Haberkorn, retired executive from Bell Atlantic Corp.; Laurence Harris from Patton Boggs; Eric Holder, former US Deputy Attorney General; and David Matlin, CEO at MatlinPatterson Global Advisers, will join the board. MCI also plans to appoint a chairman of the board. CEO Michael Capellas currently also holds that title.

Millions fall victim to identity theft

More than 27 million US residents have been victims of identity theft during the past five years, according to a survey the US Federal Trade Commission released this week, but the agency is unsure how many of those crimes happened through technological means. After conducting a phone survey, the FTC estimates that 9.9 million US residents have been victims of identify theft during the past year. The survey of more than 4,000 adults is the first comprehensive attempt by the US government to learn the number of victims. The FTC's numbers are higher than most previous estimates. A Gartner survey released in July found 7 million victims of identity theft in the previous year, while the FTC received about 380,000 complaints about identity theft in 2002. Last week, the Information Technology Association of America launched the Coalition on Online Identity Fraud to combat identity theft online.

Ripple expected from patent case

Companies with products that work on the internet are waking up to the implications of a recent judgement against Microsoft in a patent infringement case. The US$520 million award to Eolas Technologies and the University of California stemmed from a 1999 lawsuit in which Eolas and UC charged Microsoft with infringing on a 1998 patent owned by the university and licensed to Eolas. That patent, which Eolas President Michael Doyle developed at UC San Francisco, covers technology that lets applets or plug-ins be embedded in Web pages and interacted with through web browsers such as Internet Explorer. In response to the judgement against it, Microsoft said last week it will be making changes to Internet Explorer that might affect a "large number of existing Web pages," the World Wide Web Consortium said in a statement. Technology and legal experts agree that the ruling could affect a range of companies with products that interact with Web browsers or services that rely on customer interaction through web browsers.

Zix acquires Elron

Zix , which provides email encryption services and content filtering, this week acquired Web content-filtering vendor Elron Software for about US$7 million in a stock-based transaction. The acquisition, subject to shareholder approval, is expected to give Zix more than 4,500 new customers, including Eli Lilly & , 20th Century Fox, Anheuser-Busch, CVS , Texaco and Time Warner

Verizon awards Nortel $1 billion contract

Verizon Wireless has awarded Nortel Networks a $US1 billion multiyear contract to supply equipment for upgrading and expanding Verizon's nationwide network. Verizon Wireless plans to deploy CDMA2000 1X radio base stations, switching, Passport IP platforms and other related equipment from Nortel in Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego. The agreement also includes a market build-out and deployment of CDMA2000 1X technology in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The upgrades are designed to provide more network capacity for digital voice and high-speed data services such as Web browsing, streaming audio and video, multimedia messaging, m-commerce and VPNs. Verizon Wireless has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network with 34.6 million customers.

Vendors giving SIP a boost

More than 20 vendors of Session Initiation Protocol-enabled products will join in an interoperability demonstration to show customers what their offerings can do. The SIPop booth at the Fall 2003 VON trade show September 22-25 in Boston is scheduled to include a variety of products, including videoconferencing systems, phone services software and media servers. "The goal is to show how applications can be supported seamlessly across multiple platforms," says Carl Ford, who is helping organise the event for the show producer, "This is a significant display that SIP is readily available for people to purchase." SIP, a real-time communication protocol, enables peer-to-peer style communication among devices on an IP network, making it possible to put much of the call intelligence within end devices, such as phones.

Riverstone overstates 2002, 2003 revenue

Riverstone Networks says it overstated fiscal 2002 and 2003 revenue by US$98.8 million. An ongoing internal audit turned up the discrepancies, which initially found that the two fiscal years were overstated by $51.5 million. The internal review was prompted by requests for information and then the launch of a formal investigation into Riverstone's accounting practices by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Spectel offering MobileConnexion

Spectel is targeting road warriors with its new MobileConnexion offering. Announced this week, MobileConnexion integrates with Spectel's voice and Web conferencing bridge and lets users with wireless devices and cellular phones participate in and control a conference remotely. The product uses Short Message Service and instant-messaging technology to invite participants into a conference and offers an auto-reconnect system for dropped cellular callers. Wireless handheld users have an interface for adding, dropping and muting conference participants. Spectel is targeting MobileConnexion at service providers and large corporations. Average price range for a mobile network operator implementation is about US$750,000 to $1 million. Pricing is dependent on how and where the product is installed.

Virginia Tech to build Power Mac InfiniBand cluster

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University will build an InfiniBand cluster using Apple Computer 's new dual-processor Power Mac computer with the 64-bit G5 processor. When it is completed, the cluster of 1,100 nodes is expected to rank among the most powerful in the world, Virginia Tech said. The Apple cluster will reside within Virginia Tech's Computing Centre and the university's Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science will use it, Virginia Tech said. Mellanox Technologies supplied the I/O fabric, drivers, cards and switches for the cluster, Cisco Systems provided the Gigabit Ethernet switches, and Liebert, a division of Emerson Electric , supplied the cooling system. Shipments of dual-processor Power Macs to regular customers were supposed to start in August, but many users have reported on Apple enthusiast sites that their shipments have been delayed. Apple says the new Power Macs currently are shipping, and the company is increasing shipments of the dual-processor model to production volumes over the next two weeks.

Sanctum launches tool to test apps for vulnerabilities

Sanctum this week announced AppScan 4.0, the latest version of its security-testing tool for analyzing Web and proprietary applications for possible security holes. AppScan 4.0, which adds support for testing for XML and Simple Object Access Protocol vulnerabilities, costs US$15,000 and runs on Windows 2000 and XP servers.

Iron Mountain launches data recovery service

Iron Mountain recently announced a service that lets businesses rapidly restore electronic data. The company's Data Restoration and Electronic Discovery Support service lets organisations gather, restore, search for, organise and deliver email records required for litigation purposes. Iron Mountain recovers email and electronic records from back-up tapes and other media. It then captures and indexes the records and loads them into the outsourced Digital Archive, where records can be organised for retrieval. A Web-based user interface is available for users to search, retrieve, view and organise assets. The service is priced on the number of tapes retrieved and starts at US$200 per tape depending on how fast the data needs to be retrieved.

IBM rolls out portal software

IBM has rolled out three portal-based software packages aimed at creating online environments to streamline business and improve collaboration for specific vertical industries. IBM executives say they worked with business leaders to design the software packages that are geared for the automotive, government and life sciences markets. The software uses IBM's WebSphere Portal and Lotus software as the foundation for applications that are integrated to create industry-specific collaboration environments. The platforms, which IBM announced last week can work with multiple operating environments, including Linux and Windows, IBM says. Pricing for the packages vary because customers select the building blocks such as WebSphere Portal, which starts at $US87,000, and WebSphere Commerce, which starts at $80,000.

IBM bolsters DB2 module

IBM has bolstered its DB2 Information Integrator software to include data and content that packaged SAP and Oracle applications generate. IBM expects the new software to be available next year. DB2 Information Integrator offers a single, consolidated view of resources scattered across a company's data sources. IBM says with DB2 Content Manager customers can integrate all forms of content — document, web, image or rich media — across diverse business processes and applications, including SAP and Siebel Systems, plus deliver integrated, consistent content across a corporation. The software consists of several packages, including Library Server and Resource Server. A monthly licensing fee starts at $US1350 and $750, respectively.

Court 'slams' name registrar

Internet domain-name registrar last week won a preliminary injunction against a reseller of domain-name registrations that it accuses of deceiving customers into transferring their registrations.

Symantec announces DeepSight

Symantec has announced a security alerting service called DeepSight, through which network managers can receive email or fax alerts about newly discovery vulnerabilities or viruses.