Zero-Knowledge gets a lesson from Intel

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Zero-Knowledge gets a lesson from Intel

Intel has struck back at a company that blew holes in the chip maker’s efforts to pacify consumers worried about embedded security codes in Pentium III chips.

In January, Intel responded to concerns over built-in PIII ID codes by distributing software that enabled owners of computers containing Pentium III chips to turn off the embedded ID number.

But Canadian software maker Zero-Knowledge Systems found a way to reactivate the serial number – without the knowledge of the computer’s owner.

Acting in what it says is in the public interest, the Montreal-based company placed a program on the Web site demonstrating the vulnerability.

Now Intel has lashed out. The New York Times has reported that Intel persuaded Symantec, a maker of the popular Norton Antivirus software, to include the Zero-Knowledge program on its list of malicious programs. As a result, users who visit the Zero-Knowledge site get a warning that the program is a virus.

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