A group of renowned hackers chose this week?s Infosecurity conference in London to announce that they are turning their skills to protecting corporate computer networks from hacker attack. The breakaway band of 10 internationally renowned hackers are planning to set up their own company specialising in online security. Rumours at the conference suggested that some of the biggest names in hacking are involved in the project - but in true underground tradition the individuals concerned are keeping their identities secret until the company begins its operations.Kent Browne, an ethical hacker who helps police bring down child pornography Internet sites, is close to the group’s plans. He said he expected the company to be set up within six months.

Browne, who goes by the soubriquet of ?rloxley?, claimed he had managed to break into a financial institution that had undergone a security makeover from one of the world’s biggest computer companies. ?It could be my money in that bank, so I support these hackers,? he said. Sir Dystic of the Cult of the Dead Cow hacking group, who took his name from an obscure 1930s comic strip, said recent attacks that took down big e-commerce sites such as Yahoo! and eBay confirmed just how vulnerable internet companies are.