January 18, 2002 Terrorist PCs cracked The default encryption standards on exported versions of Windows 2000 may have revealed confidential details about the movements of the al-Qaeda network. Two computers bought by Wall Street Journal reporters from looters in Kabul after it was captured by the Northern Alliance turned out to have been lifted from al-Qaeda headquarters and still contained documents relating to the terrorist group's activities. http://www.vnunet.com/News/1128496 Weakened Encryption Lays Bare al-Queda Files http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99991804 - - - - - - - - French newspaper reports shoebomber plot E-Mail A French newspaper reported on Saturday that investigators had found an e-mail message in which alleged shoe bomber Richard Reid wrote of plans to destroy an airliner. La Provence, based in the southern city of Marseille, said investigators had tracked the e-mail thanks to a cybercafe address found on Reid. The 28-year-old Briton pleaded not guilty in a U.S. court on Friday to charges that he tried to blow up the Miami-bound plane he boarded in Paris last month. http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/reuters_wire/1736684l.htm - - - - - - - - Crooked taxman faces seven years Former IRS agent Humberto Bert Gonzalez, 50, faces a sentence of up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $450,000 after pleading guilty to three felonies in a computer fraud and graft scheme. Gonzalez, of Casselberry, Fla., was a senior revenue officer at the IRS Maitland, Fla., office. According to the Justice Department, he was assigned a collection case and while following it up, he developed a personal relationship with the businesswoman who owed the government taxes. http://www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/17785-1.html - - - - - - - - Plea Agreement In Distributed Computing Case Network administrator David McOwen faced 120 year sentence for installing clients without permission. He accepted a probation deal this week to 'stop this madness.' A Georgia man who was accused of computer theft and trespass after installing a distributed computing client at work, has accepted a plea agreement that will bring an end to his two- year legal odyssey. http://www.securityfocus.com/news/311 http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/23737.html - - - - - - - - Italy Investigates, Does Not Indict Infiltrators - Update Italian authorities earlier this week identified, but did not arrest, six young hackers who launched attacks on computer systems at the Pentagon and NASA. Italian Embassy spokesman Roberto Natali said that the Italian Guardia di Finanza has identified the hackers as six boys and men between the ages of 15 and 23 who are suspected of hacking computer systems belonging to NASA and the Defense Department. http://www.newsbytes.com/news/02/173782.html - - - - - - - - Hackers attacked 103 Moroccan Web sites in 2001 At least 103 Moroccan Internet Web sites were attacked by hackers last year, in several attempts to modify their contents, the official MAP news agency said on Friday. Quoting experts at leading Menara site, MAP said local firms specializing in information technologies have urged the authorities to set up a legal framework and proceedings to deter hacker attacks and protect the E-business activity in Morocco. http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/reuters_wire/1735938l.htm - - - - - - - - Online information could be aiding terrorists, FBI warns The FBIs National Infrastructure Protection Center is calling on the operators of the nations critical infrastructure to be more aware of what information they post online. NIPC has received reports suggesting that infrastructure-related information, available on the Internet, is being accessed from sites around the world, according to an advisory released Thursday, Internet Content Advisory: Considering the Unintended Audience. http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0102/011802j2.htm http://www.newsbytes.com/news/02/173770.html - - - - - - - - Spammers Near Top Of Would-Be Hackers List Out-of-control Internet worms such as Code Red and Nimda may have heightened awareness of the automated tools hackers use to uncover and exploit vulnerabilities in computer systems. But he people behind some of the most-common probes on the Net aren't looking to break into your computer. They may, however, want to send you some e-mail. http://www.newsbytes.com/news/02/173797.html - - - - - - - - Europe is virus hotbed, warns report Trends on the hacker underground are changing. Viruses are on the way out and exploitation of software vulnerabilities is increasing, according to research. Analysts at mi2g's Intelligence Unit said that the emergence of new trends became evident last year. Figures compiled by the group revealed a decrease of 41 per cent in new virus species, from 413 in 2000 to 245 in 2001. http://www.vnunet.com/News/1128483 - - - - - - - - Auction scams even easier overseas - Buyers, sellers beware: scam artists going international Small businesses and private sellers are increasingly discovering that online auctions offer access to international buyers and sellers literally opening up the world as a market. But they are also learning the hard way that with international markets come international scams. http://www.msnbc.com/news/689959.asp - - - - - - - - Tech aimed at homeland security A Washington, D.C., think tank is calling for increased use of information technology including smart identification cards and the linking of databases to improve homeland security. It also advocates the creation of a chief information officer responsible for reviewing homeland security technology applications. The Progressive Policy Institute, a group aligned with the Democratic Leadership Council, on Jan. 18 unveiled two papers outlining ways technology could be used to help bolster terrorism detection and prevention at all levels of government. http://www.fcw.com/geb/articles/2002/0121/web-ppi-01-21-02.asp Bush Administration Urged To Go High-Tech On Terrorism http://www.newsbytes.com/news/02/173794.html - - - - - - - - Intell info-sharing net gains support After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks broadsided the intelligence community, top officials believe they have the impetus needed to link the 14 intelligence agencies into an information-sharing system originally proposed more than a year ago. The plan, put together by the executive board of the Intelligence Community Chief Information Office at the end of 2000, calls for the development during the next two years of a network- or Web-based system that brings together all of the information intelligence agencies collect. http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2002/0121/news-share-01-21-02.asp - - - - - - - - China orders Internet providers to screen e-mail, use less foreign software. China has issued its most intrusive Internet controls to date, ordering service providers to screen private e-mail for political content and holding them responsible for subversive postings on their Web sites. The new rules, posted earlier this week on the Web site of the Ministry of Information Industry, represent Beijing's latest efforts to tighten its grip on the only major medium in China not already under state control. http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/tech/004019.htm http://www.msnbc.com/news/690246.asp http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/internet/01/18/china.internet.ap/index.html http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,49855,00.html http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/2002/01/18/china-internet.htm http://www.nandotimes.com/technology/story/222813p-2150707c.html - - - - - - - - Qwest To Send Second Opt-Out Notice To Customers Qwest Communications under fire for its policy regarding the use of private account information, today said it will send another opt-out notice to customers. "We plan on sending a second reminder notice in all of our customer bills in February," Qwest spokesman Steve Hammack said. http://www.newsbytes.com/news/02/173798.html - - - - - - - - Exploding Chips Could Foil Laptop Thieves A new way of making silicon explode could mean anyone trying to use a stolen laptop or mobile will be confronted by this message: "This machine is stolen and will self-destruct in ten seconds...". http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99991795 http://www.vnunet.com/News/1128488 PC Antitheft Alarm Card Sounds Off http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/15888.html - - - - - - - - Security gurus hail Gates' memo Security experts hope that this time Microsoft really, really means it. A memo from Chairman Bill Gates, leaked Wednesday, exhorted Microsoft employees to make the company's products more secure and stated that a new initiative, which Gates called "Trustworthy Computing," is now the software giant's top priority. The initiative, Gates wrote, aims to make computing and the Internet "as available, reliable and secure as electricity, water services and telephony." http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104-817847.html Week in review: Trust Microsoft? http://zdnet.com.com/2100-11-818821.html Pro: Computing you can rely on http://news.com.com/2010-1078-818543.html Microsoft's shift to safety won't be easy or cheap http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/2002/01/17/microsoft-security.htm - - - - - - - - Refresher Password Usage Lets be honest, passwords are annoying. These days, we need a password or PIN everywhere. We have so many that we cant keep track of them all. We forget to update them; and when we do, its difficult to come up with effective ones that we can still remember, so we procrastinate changing them for months, even years. We all know this is bad, but the alternative the painful, irritating password creation and memorization process is sometimes more than we can tolerate. There is hope! http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1537 *********************************************************** Search the NewsBits.net Archive at: http://www.newsbits.net/search.html *********************************************************** The source material may be copyrighted and all rights are retained by the original author/publisher. The information is provided to you for non-profit research and educational purposes. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however copies may not be sold, and NewsBits (www.newsbits.net) should be cited as the source of the information. Copyright 2000-2002, NewsBits.net, Campbell, CA.