Novell chief's credit card stolen online

Sally Khudairi (
Fri, 3 Dec 1999 12:57:36 -0500,4586,2403346,00.html

Novell chief's credit card stolen online

Eric Schmidt blames cookies for cyber theft -- calls cookies 'one of the
biggest disasters for computers.'

By Ben Elgin, Sm@rt Reseller
UPDATED December 2, 1999 3:26 PM PT

Novell chief Eric Schmidt knows firsthand the problem of Internet fraud.
Speaking at San Francisco's Digital Economy conference Thursday, Schmidt
informed the crowd that his credit card number had been stolen over the
Internet in the past.

Although he isn't sure exactly how his card number was lifted, Schmidt says
he believes it was through a mechanism that reads the cookies-files sitting
on a user's desktop and storing personal information, such as passwords and

"Cookies are one of the biggest disasters for computers in the past
[several] years," says Schmidt, citing the lack of security and the blatant
breach of consumer privacy.

As Novell's chairman and CEO, Schmidt is trying to oust cookies with his
company's new "digitalme" online identification-management service. Based on
Novell Directory Services technology, digitalme is aiming to store and
consolidate a user's multiple passwords, address books, favorites lists and
purchasing preferences.

"Cookies are a great idea, [but] they are just stored in the wrong place,"
says Schmidt.

Schmidt's brush with cyber thieves may have left him wary, but not a whole
lot poorer. "My liability was $50 ... [but] I'm not sure what the credit
card company's liability was," he says.