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SQL Server 2000 flaws located

Microsoft Corp. recently warned of five vulnerabilities in its SQL Server 2000 database product, the most serious of which could allow an attacker to take over the server.

Deemed “critical” are three vulnerabilities in a feature that allows users to host multiple copies of SQL Server on a single machine. Less serious are two flaws in utilities for database consistency checks and database replication. Previous versions of SQL Server are not vulnerable as they do not support multiple copies on one system and thus do not include the SQL Server Resolution Service, Microsoft said.

More information on the SQL Server Resolution Service vulnerabilities can be found at:

BCE Emergis to develop Visa’s B2B

Ninety billion business-to-business (B2B) transactions valued at US$50 trillion per year – those are the global numbers Montreal-based BCE Emergis Inc. and Visa International estimate their expanded “non-card based” payment service will yield.

BCE Emergis was recently selected by San Francisco-headquartered Visa International to support worldwide development and hosting of Visa Commerce, its global B2B payment and information management solution. The software solution is currently in pilot mode and expected to be fully rolled out in 2003.

Available through Visa’s 21,000-member financial institutions worldwide, the Visa Commerce software solution will offer users a Visa/bank-branded payment account, an optional Web-based user interface, and a payment transaction platform known as VisaNet.

Software spending on the rise: IDC

While IT spending on hardware is expected to decline in 2002, increased spending on software and services, particularly in the fourth quarter, will bring total worldwide IT spending to US$981 billion for the year, an overall increase of 3.7 per cent over 2001, according to a recent study by market researcher IDC.

But the good news, according to IDC, is that the bottom has already been reached when it comes to worldwide spending on IT – in fact, IDC predicts that the market in 2003 is expected to reach record heights, growing by nine per cent worldwide to top the $1 trillion mark for the first time, IDC said.

Total Telcom gets 20-year contract

Western Canadian-based service provider Bell West has purchased six fibre lines in Alberta from broadband network owner/operator Total Telcom, taking another step towards completing its SuperNet Network. The network is aiming to provide broadband services to most businesses and residences in the province.

The six dark fibres, which stretch for 473 km, run northwest between Edmonton and Grand Prairie, Alta. Under the agreement, Total will maintain the lines for at least 20 years. Bell West plans to use the lines to provide inter-exchange transport connectivity between the two cities.

The brainchild of the Alberta provincial government, SuperNet is scheduled to be completed in 2004.

Win2K security benchmarks unveiled

A number of private-sector organizations and government agencies have gotten together to released a new benchmark testing tool designed to let users and administrators more easily configure security settings on their Microsoft Corp. Windows 2000 systems.

The benchmark, which has been agreed upon by the Center for Internet Security, the SANS Institute, the U.S. General Services Administration, the President’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, the U.S. National Security Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is designed to give companies and users a clear standard for achieving a baseline level of security in their Windows 2000 systems. The benchmarks and configuration checking tools are available for free on the Center for Internet Security’s Web site,

IBM to provide middleware for Palm

In a major deal that may lend credibility to Palm Inc.’s promise to make its devices relevant to the enterprise, the handheld manufacturer will partner with IBM Corp. to interoperate with WebSphere application servers and to deploy a WebSphere Everyplace Access software stack on Palm 5 and Palm wireless devices.

IBM’s WebSphere Everyplace Access wireless middleware will allow corporate developers to create links between Palm mobile devices and enterprise applications and data residing in the network.

One industry analyst said the alliance will help Palm gain acceptance in large organizations.

“IBM is clearly an enterprise provider and it gives Palm bragging rights to IBM support,” said Rob Enderle, senior analyst with Giga Information Group Inc. in San Jose, Calif.

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