The International Computer Security Association (Icsa) has set up a Malicious Mobile Code Consortium (MMCC) to try and protect users from the increasing threat of potentially dangerous auto-executable applications such as ActiveX controls, Java applets and CGI scripts.
Icsa is a US based for-profit organisation that establishes industry working groups to deal with computer security issues and it develops software testing and certification schemes to support them. The company plans to set up a European office, possibly building on its one-man band set up in Bristol, UK, in the next quarter.
Larry Bridwell, Icsa?s product development manager, said: "The goal is not to stop people using Java, ActiveX, CGI and the like, but to make it clear that they need to use such code wisely and properly due to its vulnerability. Any auto-executable code that is passed around the network via email or over the Internet can provide harmful effects and our aim is to enhance corporate security and protect people from malicious attacks."
Members of MMCC include Axent Technologies, Computer Associates, Symantec and Dr Solomon?s and the aim is to meet four times a year to increase public awareness, exchange information, undertake research and analysis on the extent, scope and cost of the problem, and develop credible testing and accreditation criteria.
The Consortium has already started defining its criteria and expects to have testing tools in beta within three to six months. Vendors can then submit their products for annual accreditation and receive a logo indicating compliance with the scheme.
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