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iomart cashes in on WTC tragedy

Finds bin Laden stego -- right

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Scottish broadband provider and corporate spyware vendor iomart has joined the rapidly-growing list of tech companies seeking to exploit the World Trade Center atrocity for a fast buck.

The company recently leaked some juicy titbits about being "called in" by "US authorities" (no agency named, naturally) to help in the /bin/laden hunt, and about finding Al Qaeda steganographic files on "the dark side of the Web".

The publicity stunt was passed to Business A.M. columnist Victoria Masterson, who repeated it without challenge.

"[The CIA or FBI or NSA or Parks Department or whoever] asked the firm to search its so-called map of the 'dark side' of the Web for steganography, the system of hiding messages inside electronic images or music files which is known to be used by bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network," Masterson explains.

According to company "steganography expert" Stephen Whitelaw, "terrorists maybe want to use [stego] to send a launch code for a missile or an instruction to execute someone. That's exactly what Osama bin Laden is doing, day in, day out, and he's still doing it."

And they've got proof. The company "has identified....hundreds of files, some of them containing Arabic text and dates. Many of the hijackers were frequent visitors to libraries and internet cafes in Florida, where they are believed to have received their final orders in coded message."

But of course the proof, if it exists, has got to be classified, so we can't actually evaluate it independently. Funny that. ®

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