"The problem is that people do not apply those patches," Clarke said, citing the virus-like Code Red and Nimda outbreaks earlier this year. Both took advantage of holes that had been publicized weeks or months in advance.
Clarke estimated 90 percent of virus attacks could be stopped if software firms did more than just placing the patch programs on their Web sites.
"It is not beyond the wit of this industry to force patches down" to users, Clarke said.
Home users can be a target of hackers as well as large companies and governments. Hackers sometimes target people who have high-speed Internet access, taking control of their computers and using them for further attacks.
Clarke, speaking at the Business Software Alliance's first Global Tech Summit, said high-speed Internet providers must protect their customers.
"People who sell cable modems and [digital subscriber line] modems should sell it packaged with firewalls," Clarke said. Home firewalls, as well as antivirus software, provide an extra layer of security against hacker attacks.
The Business Software Alliance includes top software companies such as Microsoft, Adobe and Symantec.
Software companies should ship their products with security levels set to their highest settings, Clarke said. Software firms try to strike a balance between security and usability, and say their customers want more features rather than stronger security.
"It will not be an afterthought anymore," Clarke said.
— The Associated Press
Salt Lake Prepares for Bioterror at Olympics
S A L T L A K E C I T Y, Dec. 4 —To prepare for the 2002 Winter Olympics, Dr. Scott Hansen brushed up the usual stuff, such as emergency communications and medical triage.
But since the Sept. 11 attacks and subsequent anthrax exposures, another kind of training has become urgent for Hansen and other volunteer physicians for the games: quickly diagnosing biological and chemical exposures.
Terrorism "probably was not in our scope before 9-11," said Hansen, one of 350 doctors, nurses, physical therapists and other medical professionals who will staff 35 clinics at and near Olympic venues.
A Salt Lake medical team huddled with hospital officials in New York City and Washington to learn how they responded to the terror attacks, and how they were frustrated by disparate emergency communications. Utah has a unified communications network, so that shouldn't be a problem here.
Intermountain Health Care, a nonprofit organization that runs five hospitals in the Salt Lake City area, will add to its fleet of three rescue helicopters, leasing two more for the games.
IHC is the official medical provider for the games, in charge of taking care of 3,600 athletes and team officials, 75,000 spectators a day, 4,000 Olympic VIPs, 30,000 Olympic workers and volunteers and 9,000 members of the world's media.
In a Salt Lake warehouse, Olympic sponsor Cardinal Health Inc. is stockpiling $3.2 million worth of medical supplies and equipment, ranging from respirators to surgical gloves and medicines and antibiotics. Supplies include the same antidote for nerve agent used at Deseret Chemical Depot, where the U.S. Army is destroying the nation's largest supply of chemical warfare agents 45 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.