http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2831288,00.html Reuters December 10, 2001 5:38 AM PT SAN FRANCISCO -- Since Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison began boasting that his software was "unbreakable," hackers have taken that as a challenge to try to crack the company's code and the confidence behind its brash marketing effort, executives said this week. In the seven weeks Oracle's "Unbreakable" ad campaign has been running, hacking attempts on the company's Web site have increased ten-fold, Ellison said during his Oracle OpenWorld keynote this week. `"Normally we get roughly 3,000 attacks a week. Now we're getting 30,000 attacks a week," Mark Jarvis, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, told Reuters. "We are not inviting hackers to come and attack our site. They have decided to take it on of their own accord." So far the Oracle fortress is holding up, mostly because the attackers are trying to break in by exploiting potential holes in Windows NT and Oracle is running Oracle 9i Application Server on Unix, according to Jarvis. "People are sending attacks to Oracle.com to try to find the NT bugs, but sadly it's like a fly hitting a wind screen. The wind screen doesn't budge," Jarvis said. "Microsoft doesn't even use NT on their own Web site. They use Unix," he added. "It's rather ironic." Microsoft executives were unavailable for comment, a spokeswoman said on Thursday and Friday. The "Unbreakable" marketing campaign, which shares its title with the 2000 movie starring Bruce Willis as a security guard with seemingly superhuman powers of survival, has been the company's most successful marketing effort ever, according to Jarvis. The Redwood Shores, California company has spent $30 million on it and plans to spend another $70 million--"every marketing dollar we have," he said, adding that it has resulted thousands of phone calls, e-mails and registrations on the Web site seeking more information. Oracle executives had been trying since June to figure out a simple way to say their software is robust and reliable when Ellison thought of "Unbreakable" in early September, Jarvis said. After the attacks of Sept. 11, executives discussed briefly whether it was appropriate to go ahead with their marketing plan and decided they would, he said. In his keynote, Ellison said his engineers warned him that hackers might take up the challenge. "And they said, 'Are you crazy? We're going to get creamed, ... everybody from the Soviet Union to Redmond, Washington, is going to be attacking our site,'" he recounted. "People aren't supposed to be able to break into our site, by the way, guys. That's how we distinguish ourselves from the game manufacturers," Ellison quipped, in a reference to software rival Microsoft, which launched its next-generation game platform, the Xbox, last month. There's no doubt the slogan accurately reflects Oracle's image. "It's a little brash, a little boastful, a bit challenging," said Jarvis, who could easily be describing Ellison himself. "It's so typically Oracle. It's just our style." - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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