Rocky Point office center of cyberspace crime watch

Friday, May 4, 2001

Tampa Bay Business Journal - by 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.

This title is absurd, given his role and operational duties. Architects design and use artistic talent to create things. Schlossberg claims to use honeypots to track down bad guys.

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.


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.

"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.

So Schlossberg claims to know who committed the crime, but will not cooperate with the FBI or Secret Service. In the US, this is a federal crime.


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.

Averages 1,000 air miles a day = averages 2+ hours in the air a day. That number seems suspiciously high.


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.

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.

This quote is completely absurd. A deception system such as a honeypot, even on steroids, is a dumb system that has value through the people monitoring it. The system itself cannot "go after them" for a variety of reasons, and to program a system to do so is entirely foolish. Such quotes make it abundantly clear that Schlossberg is showboating and making up stories.


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.

Not the only product on the market that claims to do this, as one may guess, research ultimately has "found little or no scientific evidence to support the notion that existing voice-stress technologies are capable of consistently detecting lies and deceptions."


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