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Top 5 IT thinkers

I think that you missed the boat with the article "The Top 5 Influential IT Thinkers," [December 2005].

First, two of the five people you selected are part of your Editorial Advisory Board.

Second, you did not select Dr. Ed Amoroso of AT&T. In my humble opinion, he is one of the most forward thinking security experts in the industry.

M. D. Benitez via email</strong

llena Armstrong, editor-in-chief, replies: Feedback from our Board was provided independently by each member directly to editorial. No board member was privy to the information each provided. Additionally, as the introduction to the story suggested, editorial staff made the ultimate call on what and whom to include in this cover story, basing decisions on Board feedback, as well as our own knowledge of the market, our comment from attendees and speakers at our SC Forums, discussions with various readers throughout the year and industry buzz.

There is no doubt that Ed Amoroso is a top thinker in this industry -- a prime reason he found himself a finalist in the SC Awards CSO of the Year category. He seems to have become quite known for touting, for example, approaches to collaborative security. Others, too, however are known for this as well. For instance, Professor Salvatore Stolfo with Columbia University's Department of Computer Science has not only been talking about organizations sharing vulnerability and attack information without human intervention for quite a long time, he also is testing such a program now with backing from the likes of the Department of Homeland Security and others.

In short, there are a number of top pros in this industry, which made whittling down our list of five luminaries (and an added list of five others making a difference) quite a difficult task. So, we'll be sure to bear your thoughts in mind for our next Top 5 in 2006.

Thanks for the feedback.

Praise for website

I just want to send my congratulation for the new web design. It's very pleasant for the eye and easy to navigate. I'm writing to tell you that we (obsessed readers) appreciate the amount of time and money you put into making our reading very pleasant. Please thank the team on our behalf.

Ludovic Ibarra, co-founder and technical leader,

Tsunami hacker

There's been a lot of news about Daniel Cuthbert, the infamous tsunami fundraising website hacker, getting a job with security company Corsair. As a former computer forensics detective at Scotland Yard, I'm often asked for my views on whether companies should hire ex-hackers.

Hacking is a criminal offense and is considered serious enough to carry five years imprisonment. Organizations should not employ a self-confessed criminal in a role associated with that crime. Would you employ a conman in a bank or a pedophile in a children's home?There has always been a misconception held by many hackers that they are qualified enough to hold positions related to security.

But security is as much about integrity and ethics as it is about technology. And for that reason alone, companies should never hire ex-hackers.

Simon Janes, international operations director, Ibas

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