Ottawa Citizen

No system is hack- proof: expert

Even security specialist­s have had problems with their programs, Marc Maiffret tells the GTEC conference. VITO PILIECI reports.

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Marc Maiffret makes one point very clear: In the world of computer software, no one is safe. And as co- founder and “ chief hacking officer” of security firm eEye Digital Security, which lists the U. S. Department of Defence and Continenta­l Airlines as clients, he should know.

The 25- year- old told the GTEC conference in Ottawa yesterday that all software has its difficulti­es.

While the world is hounding Microsoft Corp. to fix the bugs in its software, other companies such as Apple Corp., and even security specialist­s such as Symantec Corp. and McAfee Inc. have had security- related problems with their products, he said.

“ Just because the company is a security company doesn’t mean they are any better at writing software than Microsoft,” said Mr. Maiffret. “ They hired the same engineers from the same universiti­es in the same year as Microsoft.”

Mr. Maiffret said it is imperative that companies and organizati­ons, such as the Canadian government, monitor software for security updates regularly. Otherwise, they may be opening themselves up to malicious threats.

He pointed to recent patches that were quietly released by Apple for its OS X operating system and Apple’s announceme­nt last week that a Windows virus had shipped on some of its iPods — clearly showing weak points in Apple’s armour.

“ We’re even more worried about Bombardier’s plan to switch fuselage and other parts manufactur­e from Canada to its new low- cost Mexican plant that will have 2,000 workers in three years,” he said.

Mirabel was to have produced 75 aircraft in the year ending Jan. 31, 2007, but this will now be reduced to 65 and only 50 in fiscal 2008. The backlog was 43 aircraft before the Northwest and My Way orders and excludes a doubtful order for 29 aircraft from U. S. Air.

The stock market reacted favourably, though Bombardier will take a $ 31- million ( U. S.) charge to cover severance costs in the final quarter. The shares rose 27 cents, or seven per cent, to $ 4.12, just shy of the 52- week high of $ 4.32.

“ They have orders coming, but the aircraft aren’t for delivery tomorrow,” said Jacques Kavafian, analyst with Research Capital Corp.

Richard Aboulafia, vice- president at consultant­s The Teal Group in Virginia, said the main U. S. airlines are battling their way out of bankruptcy and “ a turnaround’s on the way in 2008.”

In New York, Citigroup analysts said weakness in regional jets will be offset by strength in business jets, turboprops and Bombardier’s expanding rail equipment business. They, too, see demand for Bombardier’s regional jets bouncing back in 2008.

Mr. Beaudoin had some good news. Because of soaring jet fuel prices, airlines worldwide are turning to the more efficient turboprops for shortand medium- haul routes.

Bombardier has been steadily raising production of its Q- series turboprops at its Downsview plant in Toronto, and now plans 50 deliveries this year and 65 next year. Downsview, which also assembles large business jets, will have added 800 employees by yearend.

Bombardier is also expected to win the lion’s share of a $ 5.7- billion ( U. S.) order from France for new trains for the Paris suburban network. The announceme­nt is due early today.

 ?? BRUNO SCHLUMBERG­ER, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN ?? Because of its dominant market position, Microsoft Corp. has had to become proficient at spotting and repairing security breaches, says Marc Maiffret, co- founder and ‘ chief hacking officer’ of security specialist­s eEye Digital Security.
BRUNO SCHLUMBERG­ER, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN Because of its dominant market position, Microsoft Corp. has had to become proficient at spotting and repairing security breaches, says Marc Maiffret, co- founder and ‘ chief hacking officer’ of security specialist­s eEye Digital Security.

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