GroupWise users grapple with bug

Users of Novell Inc.’s newest version of GroupWise should be concerned about a bug that can severely compromise the security of their e-mail system, a security group has advised.

The problem, which appears in GroupWise 6 and GroupWise 5 Enhancement Pack, allows users to view all files on all drives, a permission that would normally be disabled with policies, according to the Help Net Security, a group of users that report security problems. The security problem affects both the Windows client and server portions of GroupWise and is severe enough that Novell has issued a patch called the Padlock Fix. The Padlock Fix can be downloaded from

Researchers try ‘parasitic’ play

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana, have demonstrated “parasitic” computing – using other people’s servers to do your own processing.

The Notre Dame researchers did not ask for permission from the server owners, however, they did not have to hack to gain direct access to anyone’s computer, but used the infrastructure of the Internet itself to create a virtual machine.

The researchers hijacked the infrastructure to show what is possible using the Internet. A data validation program called a checksum is used, which runs on the transmission control protocol (TCP) connection between Internet-connected computers. It forces the connected Web servers to solve a specific mathematical problem, the researchers said.

Bank sites outpace online-only banks

Brick-and-mortar banks’ Web sites saw a far greater increase in use during the past year than online-only banks, according to a report by New York-based Jupiter Media Metrix Inc. that predicts the demise of Internet banks that don’t embrace a particular niche audience or build physical locations.

Visits to the Web sites of banks that offer physical locations and online services rose from 6.4 million in July 2000 to 13.4 million in July 2001, a 110.5 percent increase. Traffic at online-only banks fell 8.1 percent, from 1.2 million “unique” visitors to 1.1 million, during the same period, Jupiter Media Metrix reported. The report also showed that online traffic at all bank sites grew 77.6 percent between July 2000 and July 2001, compared with an 18.9 percent overall rise in Web traffic.