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ONLINE MONITORING GOES BEYOND ANONYMOUS POSTINGS

Investigative Service to Uncover Identities of Malicious Attackers

Source: PR Newswire

Posted on June 18, 2000

      Anonymous online attacks can cause considerable damage to a company's reputation and bottom line but companies have had little recourse to protect themselves and their shareholders. A new service available through PR Newswire changes the playing field.

      eWatch Internet investigations, part of PR Newswire's suite of Internet monitoring tools, probes the identities of the individual or entities behind cyber attacks so companies may seek appropriate remedies. Under an exclusive agreement announced on June 12 at the National Investor Relations Institute annual meeting in San Francisco, Internet Crimes Group Inc. (ICG) http://www.internetcrimesgroup.com will perform inquiries for PR Newswire customers.

      "Each day, companies fall victim to Internet chatter where individuals, under anonymous screen names, feel free to post messages of questionable value and veracity," said Nancy Sells, vice-president of eWatch services for PR Newswire.

      "As the power of the online individual investor grows, investor relations officers at publicly traded companies have an increasing need to find out who may be threatening their company on the Internet. They can now turn to us to help them find a solution to these offenders. If an online message appears damaging, companies are now empowered to locate many of these individuals," she said.

      ICG, a Princeton, N.J.-based licensed investigation firm, began offering online investigation services in late 1997 to address the growing problems of crime, fraud, libel and securities manipulation perpetrated via the Internet.

      "Internet Crimes Group has proven to be very capable at identifying individuals who hide behind screen names while causing millions of dollars worth of damage to companies," said David B. Armon, PR Newswire's senior vice president for sales and marketing. "Many corporations subscribe to eWatch as an early alert mechanism and need to take the next step after discovering a problem."

      PR Newswire, the primary global source of company information to the media, financial community and consumers, acquired eWatch(R) earlier this year in an expansion of its core products and services. eWatch, http://www.ewatch.com, pioneered Internet monitoring for companies in 1994, scouring Internet publications, discussion forums, bulletin boards and electronic mailing lists for references.

      "I am excited by the potential that this alliance with PR Newswire presents," said Cameron H. Craig, president of ICG. "eWatch is a premier service for monitoring and locating Internet problems and ICG's expertise lies in identifying the culprits."

      The investigative service also comes with a complimentary 30-day subscription to all eWatch monitoring services scanning web publications, newsgroups, investor message boards and commercial online services.




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