Re: [CNET] Hoax shaves $2 billion off Emulex's market cap

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From: Linda (
Date: Sun Aug 27 2000 - 05:46:11 PDT

[Eugene Leitl wrote:
 <<Is it really that difficult to always digitally sign press

Issue to some degree is addressed below. The firm that initially
distributed the release is Internet Wire, a start-up whose
director is VC Ann Winblad.


Daniel Savio, spokesman for Business Wire, a 40-year-old service that
disseminates news, said its paying member companies, about 40,000 of
them, are given a password that encrypts and authenticates the sender of
the electronic mail containing a press release.

In the case of faxes, Business Wire staff members will call to verify
the sender, he said.

``Internet wire, is just about one year old,'' Savio said. ``Call it
growing pains or getting to learn the flame is hot by getting burnt. We
know where the pitfalls are...We've already gone through our learning

Technologies such as authentication and encryption have sprung up in
recent years. Authentication encompasses the area of digital
certificates and digital signatures, which ensure a reader of the
identity of a an e-mail or message.

``The technology is definitely there,'' said Bob Pratt, director of
product marketing for VeriSign Inc. (NasdaqNM:VRSN - news), which makes
the ``keys'' that work to unlock the box of a message containing an
author's identity. ``The issue is getting people to use it. There's
still a lot of people who believe things because they show up on Web

Encryption shields digital information from tampering and also prevents
a message being viewed or viewed before a set time.

"Encryption doesn't do anything to attest who the sender or recipient,
said Ken Beer, product line manager for Tumbleweed Communications
Corp.(NasdaqNM:TMWD - news), which makes the software that supports
security systems.

``It really protects the information as it goes across the Internet,''
said Steve Schick, spokesman for Internet security firm Check Point
Software Technologies Ltd. (NasdaqNM:CHKP - news).

Even if the sender is authenticated, that doesn't mean the information
is accurate. In July, Business Wire's competitor, PRNewswire,
distributed a press release from unknown Pegasus Capital of a proposal
to take over AutoNation Inc. (NYSE:AN - news), the largest U.S. new car
retailer. PRNewswire later withdrew the release after AutoNation said
that the firm did not have the means to back up the proposal and was not

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