Optus settles with alleged intruders

Cable & Wireless Optus has settled its Internet security dispute with at least two of the alleged offenders.

Seven defendants were scheduled to appear before the New South Wales Supreme Court yesterday over last week's "security breach" at three of CWO's Internet divisions -- Optus Internet, Microplex and DingoBlue.

The defendants were summoned after they allegedly viewed confidential customer material on an Optus Web site.

A spokesperson from CWO said: "We have reached agreements with a couple of the intruders. However, the terms of the settlement are confidential. We are confident we will reach agreements with the remainder of the intruders," the spokesperson said.

Whilst CWO claimed last week the intrusion was "unauthorised", no password was necessary to access the site which was discovered by a Microplex customer while searching for a friend's Web site, sources close to the incident said.

According to an affidavit issued to the defendants, the site had been readable since February 26, 1999. It contained a list of CWO Internet customer user names and passwords.

CWO was alerted to the page after one of the defendants called a customer service line and informed the customer service operator, the source said.

According to the source, CWO seized computers and closed the Internet accounts of some of the defendants.

The Optus affidavit stated access to the material could enable people to perform up to five security breaches. These could include dialling in as another customer, using another customer's access hours, reading another user's e-mail, logging in to another customer's Web site and tampering with it, and untraceable use of stolen credit cards, the source said.

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Luisa Bustos

PC World

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