Wednesday, September 26, 2001
workers were warned of attack
By Yuval Dror
Odigo, the instant messaging service, says that
two of its workers received messages two hours
before the Twin Towers attack on September 11
predicting the attack would happen, and the company
has been cooperating with Israeli and American law
enforcement, including the FBI, in trying to find
the original sender of the message predicting the
Micha Macover, CEO of the company, said
the two workers received the messages and
immediately after the terror attack informed the
company's management, which immediately contacted
the Israeli security services, which brought in the
"I have no idea why the message was sent to
these two workers, who don't know the sender.
It may just have been someone who was joking and
turned out they accidentally got it right.
And I don't know if our information was useful
in any of the arrests the FBI has made," said
Odigo is a U.S.-based company whose headquarters
are in New York, with offices in Herzliya.
As an instant messaging service, Odigo users are
not limited to sending messages only to people on
their "buddy" list, as is the case with ICQ, the
other well-known Israeli instant messaging
Odigo usually zealously protects the privacy of
its registered users, said Macover, but in this
case the company took the initiative to provide the
law enforcement services with the originating
Internet Presence address of the message, so the
FBI could track down the Internet Service Provider,
and the actual sender of the original
Friday, September 28, 2001
By Brian McWilliams, Newsbytes.
AN official at Odigo today made
a more substantial comment on warnings the instant
messaging firm received prior to the Sept. 11
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 [September 26,
2001; above] 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
"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
In turn, the FBI was informed of the
The Odigo service includes a feature called
People Finder that allows users to seek out and
contact others based on certain interests or
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
Odigo is at http://www.odigo.com
Reported by Newsbytes.com, http://www.newsbytes.com
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