When is a virus not a virus?

Kieron Lawson (kieron@developments.co.nz)
Fri, 30 Apr 1999 16:01:46 +1200

The privacy issue raised here merely points to the lax security model
implemented in ActiveX controls. For some reason, no one has pointed
*that* out.


Zero Knowledge: http://www.zeroknowledge.com/p3/

Intel Sees Return Of Serial Number Debacle

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Intel Corp. (Nasdaq:INTC - news), the world's
leading chip maker, is still grappling with a consumer-relations problem
that stems from its decision to embed a serial number in its Pentium III
micro chips, the New York Times reported Thursday.

Intel in January reacted quickly to complaints from privacy advocates
about the serial numbers by distributing software that enabled owners of
computers containing Pentium III chips to hide the number, the newspaper

But the problem has not gone away. The newspaper reported that a small
Canadian software maker has found a way to make the serial number, that
has been hidden, visible without the knowledge of the computer owner.

Acting in what it says is in the public interest, the Montreal-based
Zero-Knowledge Systems placed a program on the Web site demonstrating
the vulnerability.

Intel, however, has reacted by persuading Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:SYMC -
news), a maker of the popular Norton Antivirus software, to include the
Zero-Knowledge program on its list of malicious programs. Consequently,
users who visit the Zero-Knowledge site get a warning that the program
is a virus.

Zero-Knowledge officials have said that Intel has unfairly portrayed it
as outlaws, the newspaper said.

The issue of the serial number has been a volatile one for Intel because
privacy advocates have said the serial number allows direct marketers
and data-mining companies to track the patterns of Web surfers. They
also say it is a poor way to protect against theft, the initial purpose
of the serial number.

An Intel spokesman said the company has been discussing the
vulnerability of the serial number with Zero-Knowledge officials, the
newspaper reported.