Packet Rat: The Rat takes a turn as Hans Brinker

The Rat

Michael J. Bechetti

It hasn't been a good year for network security. After last month's raft of Microsoft Corp. vulnerability patches, the Sasser worm and other assorted nasties, the Rat figured things could only get better.

Alas, it was not to be. New leaks are springing up all over the whiskered one's security dike, and for once Microsoft isn't to blame.

'Just call me Little Dutch Rat,' the furry one whined to his spouse by cell phone as he sat watching the security patches roll out to his agency's networks. 'I'm running out of fingers here.'

'Well, Dear,' Mrs. Rat reminded him, 'just remember to leave your wooden shoes at the door tonight. I don't want you tracking mud into the burrow.'

White-hat hackers at eEye Digital Security of Aliso Viejo, Calif., had just found a major flaw in several of Symantec Corp.'s network security products'including Client Firewall, Norton AntiSpam and Norton Internet Security.

But Symantec quickly responded with a LiveUpdate. So, except for having to add another patch to the workload of his minions, the cyberrodent didn't get too jittery until a few days later. Then he heard someone had stolen the source code for the operating system that drives Cisco Systems routers.

'Breathe ... deeply,' the Rat reminded himself as he read the bad news on the Web, trying not to hyperventilate.

According to Russian security site [email protected].


  • business meeting (Monkey Business Images/

    Civic tech volunteers help states with legacy systems

    As COVID-19 exposed vulnerabilities in state and local government IT systems, the newly formed U.S. Digital Response stepped in to help. Its successes offer insight into existing barriers and the future of the civic tech movement.

  • data analytics (

    More visible data helps drive DOD decision-making

    CDOs in the Defense Department are opening up their data to take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that help surface insights and improve decision-making.

Stay Connected