NEWS & EVENTS


From the May 4, 2001 print edition of the The Tampa Bay Business Journal

Rocky Point office center of cyberspace crime watch

Pamela Griner Leavy - Staff Writer

TAMPA -- A cyberspace cloak-and-dagger business operates out of Rocky Point Center with antennae stretching to Tokyo, Russia, eastern Europe, and Tel Aviv, Israel.

sNet Corp. founder Barry Schlossberg doesn't use the common business titles of chief executive officer and president, choosing instead to call himself sNet's chief security architect.

He's in the business of finding and stopping big time international cyberspace criminals, creating for corporate clients what he calls a "cloud of deception" to track and attack unwanted Internet intruders.

Rob Wallace, producer of the CBS Television Network program "60 Minutes II," told The Business Journal Serving Greater Tampa Bay that he is working on an investigative story involving Schlossberg.
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sNet, in business since July 2000, has attracted national media attention because of involvement in the CD Universe Internet crime case.

A hacker going by the moniker "Maxim" broke into the online music store's Internet files in January 2000 and stole more than 300,000 credit card numbers.

Schlossberg -- under the auspices of another Tampa firm he owned at the time, SYNC Technology Inc. -- joined the CD Universe case in February 2000 at the request of company management. He stopped working on the case in June.

Schlossberg said he knows the parties who comprise "Maxim." He won't identify them but said the CD Universe case is what "60 Minutes II" is following.
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"We were called in by management because of some apparent failures of other firms to deal with the problem," said Schlossberg.

"We know who the guilty parties are but have no comment at this time because the FBI and Secret Service would be all over me.

"It appears there is a Connecticut, Israel and Russian connection."

Schlossberg said he's no movie spy character, but his job requires pretty heady stuff for the 52-year-old who said he has no business plan, is not interested in talking to venture capitalists and claims "98 percent of our customers come to us. We don't go to them."
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He declined to divulge sNet's revenue figures.

Schlossberg said he travels about 30,000 air miles a month visiting clients and tracking down cyberspace criminals. He lives in Tampa with his wife.

"I am not a James Bond," said Schlossberg. "I'm a simple soul involved in the deep throat of information security."

Schlossberg has been in the computer business since 1974. He rates most firewall systems as "useless" and calls today's computer environment an increasingly difficult place to warn potential intruders and deter their activities. His deception systems take advantage of what he sees as a gray area in which a potential intruder can "case the joint" without gaining full entry.
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If set up properly, deceptive measures can derail an attacker's efforts and force them to focus on the wrong systems, he said.

And depending on international laws and jurisdiction, the deception system can identify intruders and go after them, Schlossberg said.

"The ultimate purpose of sNet is to be a crime deterrent," he said.

Schlossberg also owns two other companies. They are Infowar Inc., what he calls the world's largest security Web site at http://www.infowar.com, and Risk Technologies Inc., dedicated to developing products and solutions based on voice analysis.
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A product called Truster, purchased from a company in Seoul, South Korea, is reported to be the world's first hand-held lie detector. Truster includes chip voice technology which recognizes voice stress and judges excitement and tension to identify people lying.

Most purchases so far have been made by people who want to catch cheating spouses, Schlossberg said.

Meanwhile, Schlossberg said a Japanese company is considering purchasing sNet.

Andy Swenson, CEO at Integration Specialists Inc. in Clearwater, also works with companies to protect their Internet information from unwanted intruders.

Swenson said he doesn't know Schlossberg personally, but he has read his articles in trade publications.

"He's written some articles on what they call 'deception management' based on network security inspection," said Swenson. "I would call it honey pot technology, used heavily on the Internet to capture forensic information on individuals who are looking to hack into systems. Schlossberg's technology appears to be cutting edge."

To reach Pamela Griner Leavy, call (813) 342-2479 or send your e-mail to pleavy@bizjournals.com.

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