Odigo Clarifies Attack Messages

Newsbytes (The Washington Post)
September 28, 2001

 

An official at Odigo today made a more substantial comment on warnings the instant messaging firm received prior to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The company's vice president of sales and marketing acknowledged that messages warning of attacks were received but would not comment on the contents of the messages. He had replied to a question about whether he could confirm that Odigo had received messages warning about the World Trade Center attacks. A sender in the alt.politics.bush newsgroup had written on Tuesday that Odigo workers received messages two hours before the Twin Towers attack on Sept. 11 predicting the attack would happen. The incident was also the subject of a report in the Ha'aretz daily newspaper in Israel, which on Wednesday quoted Odigo CEO Micha Macover as saying that "two workers received the messages predicting the attack would happen."

Odigo Vice President of Sales and Marketing Alex Diamandis told Newsbytes Thursday that he could not comment on the text or origin of the message, but said that the sender of the instant message was not personally known to the Odigo employees. Even though the company usually protects the privacy of users, Odigo recorded the Internet protocol address of the message's sender to facilitate his or her identification, he said.

The Odigo workers, based in the company's research and development and international sales office in Israel, were signed on to the same Odigo messaging server used by worldwide users of the company's free, Odigo-branded messaging software, Diamandis said today.

Diamandis today in a telephone interview also said the warning message did not identify the World Trade Center as the attack target. Diamandis declined to reveal any other information contained in the message, including whether the warning named the targets for the attack.

"Providing more details would only lead to more conjecture," he said.

He did confirm that soon after the terrorist attacks on New York, the Odigo employees notified their management, who contacted Israeli security services. In turn, the FBI was informed of the instant-message warning.

The Odigo service includes a feature called People Finder that allows users to seek out and contact others based on certain interests or demographics. Diamandis said Thursday that it was possible the attack warning was broadcast to other Odigo members, but the company has not received reports of other recipients of the message.

In addition to operating its own messaging server network, Odigo has licensed its technology to over 100 service providers, portals, wireless carriers and corporations, according to the company.

Odigo is at http//www.odigo.com .

 

2001 The Washington Post Company

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