New flaw in tax-return softwareAnother serious flaw...


New flaw in tax-return software

Another serious flaw has been uncovered in a popular tax-preparation software program, and this time the error has exposed thousands of federal and state tax returns to unauthorized viewing, tampering or deletion, a computer software company acknowledged yesterday.

Intuit Inc. of Menlo Park, Calif., conceded yesterday that its programmers had inadvertently included information in its Macintax tax preparation program that would enable computer users with modems to gain access to the central computer that stores the electronic tax returns filed by Intuit's customers.

The company said Intuit's programmers had corrected the flaw and restricted access to the system within hours of learning of the problem yesterday. Last month, Intuit admitted that its Turbotax and Macintax programs contained flaws that could create erroneous tax returns.

Jobless claims rise

The number of newly laid-off Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits rose last week for the third straight week, a string of advances that some analysts saw as evidence of a weakening job picture.

The Labor Department said yesterday that first-time applications for unemployment insurance increased by 3,000, to a seasonally adjusted 346,000. That followed increases of 5,000 during the week of March 11 and 6,000 during the week of March 4.

Hearing on UA Cable slated

The Mayor's Office of Cable and Communications will hold a public hearing on the performance of United Artists Cable of Baltimore Tuesday evening. People who wish to speak at the meeting, set for 7:30 p.m. in the Board of Estimates Room in City Hall, should call Cedric Crump at 396-1100.

Target to buy land in Charles Co.

Interstate General Co. L.P. has signed a contract to sell 9.7 acres of commercial land in St. Charles, Charles County, to Dayton Hudson Corp., the Minneapolis-based parent of the Target Stores discount chain.

The Target site is located across from one of the entrances to the St. Charles Towne Center, a 1.1 million-square-foot regional shopping mall.

Caserta, 9 workers indicted

Peter Caserta, the former president and chief executive officer of computer company Spectrum Information Technologies Inc., was indicted yesterday along with nine others on charges of mail and wire fraud.

The U.S. attorney for the eastern district of New York alleged that Mr. Caserta and nine former employees of the Manhasset, N.Y.-based Caserta Group defrauded hundreds of victim companies of more than $6 million from 1988 to 1994.


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