SPOTLIGHT: Who will guard the guardians?

You may recall the story of a fire fighter in New Mexico a few years back who started a small forest fire so she could perform heroically--and receive the proper recognition for--bringing the fire under control. Trouble was, the weather conditions and wind patterns combined to make the fire spread out of control, to the point of threatening the nuclear labs at Los Alamos. Now we hear that some computer and network security specialists--especially, it would seem, if these specialists are themselves reformed hackers--start their own small digital forest fires, warning of security vulnerabilities that do not exist, or exaggerating the consequences of those that do. Two examples: A reportedly easy-to-exploit security problem in a Cisco firewall appliance was not reproducible; an allegedly even-easier-to-exploit hole in Apple's WiFi drivers did not actually involve attacking Apple's products after all. Mind boggling. Report

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