Symantec adds content filters to e-mail scanner

In an effort to help companies stem the flow of inappropriate, confidential or virus-infected e-mail messages moving through their networks, Symantec Corp. announced Symantec AntiVirus/Filtering for Microsoft Exchange 2000, an integrated virus and content-scanning package for the Microsoft Corp. e-mail server.

The software can scan incoming and outgoing e-mail messages for viruses and worms, the company said. The software also includes “outbreak management” features that allow administrators to define acceptable levels of mail use and to have the system automatically trigger alerts when it suspects a worm outbreak. In addition, the software offers content-filtering that allows the software to not only flag specific words, but also review them in context to determine whether or not they are allowed.

New law will treat hackers as terrorists

Legislation under consideration in the U.S. Congress to combat terrorism will treat low-level computer crimes as terrorist acts and threaten hackers with life imprisonment, according to civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

EFF said that the Anti-Terrorism Act will add low-level computer intrusion to the list of “federal terrorism offences,” creating penalties of up to life imprisonment. The act will also add broad pre-conviction asset seizure powers and serious criminal threats to those who “materially assist” or “harbour” individuals suspected of causing minimal damage to networked computers. Treating relatively harmless online pranksters as terrorists is not an appropriate response to the Sept. 11 attacks, EFF said in the statement, and urged Congress to consider less stringent regulations.

Microsoft discontinues NT Server volume licenses

Microsoft Corp. is “ramping down” production of the five-year-old Windows NT 4.0 operating system and will no longer sell volume licences for the product.

The OS will still be available through retail outlets, said a Microsoft spokesman, and volume users will be covered by the Windows 2000 volume license.

Users with an installed base of NT 4.0 machines will be able to extend their licences by buying the Windows 2000 volume licence and “exercising downgrade rights” to keep using the older system, said the spokesperson.