Security back-door leaves Intel mail servers open

Remote access is a double-edged sword

A security glitch in Intel's InBusiness Email Station has left servers open to attack, according to a US security analyst. The hole was part of the original design in 1997 to allow remote control of servers in the event of serious technical problems. Without submitting a password, an intruder can issue commands to delete files, restore machines to factory settings or take over a machine completely using the secret back entrance to the server, says Kit Knox from Security site, Rootshell. Knox found the problem while evaluating the product and discovered the commands within the machine's start up instructions. Intel talking head, Mikki Fuller told CNET: "This was a back door that existed in our product. We are publishing code that will close the back door for our customers." Knox believes computer security would be improved if security software went open source. In this way there is less likelihood of there being security issues that are not known about. Which some people might interpret as an exercise in passing the buck. A similar criticism was made of Intel's Pentium III processor which it was alleged could allow Web sites or government agencies for instance to track users' Web habits. The fix update should be on Intel's support Web site late this afternoon. ®

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