Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 8:24 pm Post subject: Symantec's 'Submit a Deal' Flawed
A security glitch at Symantec's corporate website revealed to casual Web surfers hundreds of proposals from companies seeking to be bought out by the security firm. The hole at Symantec's Submit a Deal site has some would-be buyout targets fuming over the billion-dollar company's careless handling of their sensitive data. "We're talking about business deals. This is critical stuff, and I'm pretty upset about the potential damage this could do to us," said Eric Robichaud, chief executive of Rhode Island Soft Systems. RISS' proposal that Symantec acquire its Vmyths virus information site was among the many proffered deals revealed on the site.
After being notified this week that entries in its Lotus Notes database could be viewed by anyone with a Web browser, Symantec took the deal site offline. NGS Software, one of many security software companies that had submitted partnership proposals at the site, discovered the flaw. Chris Paden, a spokesman for Symantec's business development group, said the company was unsure how long the data went unprotected. According to Paden, the information in the database was not confidential. "It's not necessarily classified or covert information or tied up through legal bounds," he said. But security industry analysts said the goof could be harmful to companies that opened their kimonos to Symantec. "Just exposing the fact that a company sent in a deal to Symantec is a bad thing," said John Pescatore, vice president of security research for Gartner. "It lets competitors see each others' moves, including Symantec's competitors." Robichaud confirmed that RISS has been shopping Vmyths since late 2001, when the site's ad revenues dried up. In his proposal, submitted in June, Robichaud offered to sell Vmyths to Symantec for $350,000, plus $50,000 a year for the contract of the site's editor, Rob Rosenberger....continued..
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