Citigroup Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have signed up for the consulting services of Infrastructure Defense Inc., a company that helps organizations defend against terrorism, fraud, and other threats, such as the year-2000 conversion.

"It is critical to our future," said P. Michael Nugent, Citigroup's general counsel for technology and intellectual property. "An important element of information security is protection of critical infrastructure from all manner of attacks and compromise."

He called the company, known as iDefense, "the most meaningful effort to date in serious and coordinated private-sector action" in this area.

The company, which employs 30 people, was formed last year by James Adams, ex-chief executive officer of United Press International. It obtained funding and software from US Web to sponsor, a nonprofit Web site that officials hope will become a focal point for collecting and disseminating information.

"The cyber-environment is unique to our commercial history," Mr. Adams said. "It breaks down national barriers, and it breaks down sector barriers, so any solution will have to do the same."

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