Controversial security Web site to return under new management

Controversial security Web site to return under new management

By William Jackson

GCN Staff

The controversial Packet Storm security Web site, which was taken down by host Harvard University in June, will be remounted by Kroll-O'Gara Co. at

'We're going to bring it to the next level' as a reliable resource, said Charles Breed, vice president of marketing for the Palo Alto, Calif., professional services company.

The site had more than 45,000 files, including security and hacking tools, patches, advisories and vulnerability alerts. During its three years online, about 20 percent of the visitors were from the .gov and .mil domains, Breed said.

Agencies visiting or monitoring the site included the FBI, the National Security Agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Defense Department.

One official in the Office of Information Security said that Packet Storm was helpful but that not all its material could be accepted at face value.

On a largely unmoderated site such as the original Packet Storm, users must sift fact from opinion to evaluate the information.

'I kept an eye on it,' said the official, who requested anonymity. 'Would I recommend it to anybody else? I would recommend everything out there. Each [underground site] brings some value.'

Kroll-O'Gara saw the site as an opportunity to increase the Web presence of Securify, its information security group, Breed said.

The professional services company is making a due-diligence examination of the Packet Storm files before remounting them, Breed said.

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