May 1, 2002 `Melissa' Virus Maker Gets 20 Months The creator of the "Melissa" computer virus was sentenced Wednesday to 20 months in federal prison for causing millions of dollars of damage by disrupting e-mail systems worldwide in 1999. David L. Smith, 33, pleaded guilty in December 1999 to a state charge of computer theft and to a federal charge of sending a damaging computer program. In the federal plea, both sides agreed the damage was greater than $80 million.,1283,52228,00.html - - - - - - - - Hacker pleads guilty to accessing NASA system A hacker charged last year with breaking into a NASA server has pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court in San Antonio to one count of intentionally accessing a federal computer without authorization, NASA said Monday. He faces a possible one-year jail term and a $100,000 fine. - - - - - - - - Klez wreaks havoc with hijack high jinks Tops the virus charts for April. April's virus activity was under the sign of the 'evil twins', the now notorious Klez virus which has reached its eighth incarnation, and the Elkern virus which hitches a ride with Klez. Aside from being a hard hitter in terms of the resources needed to combat it, further problems were caused by Klez's ability to seemingly 'hijack' trusted email addresses. - - - - - - - - Ashcroft renews child porn crackdown Criticizing a Supreme Court ruling that struck down a "virtual" child pornography law, Attorney General John Ashcroft on Wednesday unveiled legislation that seeks to address the constitutional concerns and restore the government's ability to prosecute such cases. "The Supreme Court's legalization of computer- generated child pornography has created a dangerous window of opportunity for child abusers to escape prosecution," he said in announcing the Justice Department-crafted legislation that was introduced in Congress.,1283,52230,00.html - - - - - - - - Burns Predicts Swift Movement On Spam Legislation Sen. Conrad Burns' (R-Mont.) bill designed to stem the rising tide of unsolicited commercial e-mail or "spam" - should make its way to the full Senate before the end of May, Burns told reporters today. "It looks like we're finally going to get some action on the spam bill," Burns said. "I really think we will pass this in the Senate." - - - - - - - - Lawmakers want biometrics for state IDs A bill introduced in the House of Representatives on Wednesday would require states to include biometric features such as retinal scans or fingerprints on encrypted microchips in driver's licenses and state-issued ID cards. The Driver's License Modernization Act, sponsored by Reps. Jim Moran, D-Va., and Tom Davis, R-Va., would give states five years to conform to a new nation-wide standard for licenses. - - - - - - - - Can your bank stop an e-stickup? Even if you have never banked online, your money may never be completely safe from an electronic heist. Nearly every bank in the United States runs its operations on an internal network that connects to the Internet at some point. Although the banking industry claims that its security is virtually foolproof, others say that any technology can be penetrated under the right circumstances. Cracking the Nest Egg - - - - - - - - China to get tough with 'harmful' Internet content Chinese officials have vowed to crack down on "harmful" content on the Internet, saying they want to protect youth from being corrupted, state media reported Wednesday. The decision to "put Internet content in order" was announced at a teleconference Tuesday among senior officials across the country, the Legal Daily reported. - - - - - - - - Netscape flaw exposes hard drives An Israeli software firm has discovered a flaw in Netscape and Mozilla software that allows code hidden in a Web page to read files from the user's PC. The bug is a more serious variant of one patched in Microsoft's Internet Explorer in February. GreyMagic Software reported that the problem affects XMLHttpRequest, which allows Web pages in the browser to send and receive XML data via HTTP, the standard Web transfer protocol.,,t269-s2109450,00.html Netscape blows off new vuln warning - - - - - - - - USB Port Devices Pose Security Threat Firewalls and virus checkers are no defense against the latest form of computer attack that comes via open USB ports. Not only can viruses, worms and Trojans get into the corporate network this way, but valuable data can leave the company in huge quantities, according to security experts. - - - - - - - - Eminem looks to quell piracy Rapper, Universal discuss making release copy proof. Universal Music is in talks with its best-selling rap artist Eminem to deploy copy protection technology on all upcoming CD releases of The Eminem Show, marking the biggest move yet to protect its top acts from music piracy, a label official told Reuters on Wednesday. The Day the Music Sighed,1283,52237,00.html - - - - - - - - Security certificates offer little guarantee Qualifications may be meaningless, warns expert. As the IT training market becomes flooded with security courses and certifications, experts have warned that qualifications may be leading companies into a false sense of security. Concerns about IT security have prompted companies to get certifications in place, but a senior security consultant is warning that many qualifications offer little guarantees to companies looking for hiring benchmarks for IT security staff. - - - - - - - - Cyberwar with China? Nope--it's just May again Is it just the tenor of these jittery times, or is there really something to reports that China will soon launch a cyberattack against the United States and Taiwan? On Thursday, March 25, the Los Angeles Times wrote that, according to a CIA document they'd obtained, China could be preparing to attack U.S. and Taiwanese Web sites in a mass hack. Other media outlets, including the New York Times, quickly ran articles refuting the report. Who's right? - - - - - - - - Restricting UNIX Users Stories of cruel system administrators oppressing poor users have been around since the rise of UNIX in the 1970s. Users are inherently limited in what they can do on a UNIX system due to file permissions, passwords and other standard UNIX controls. However, it is often necessary to further restrict system users in other ways, both to protect them from themselves and to protect the system from the malicious or overly "playful" users. - - - - - - - - Surveillance cameras to predict behaviour Cameras of future could be watching how you behave. CCTV cameras that can predict behaviour could play a vital role in the fight against crime. The software, dubbed Cromatica, is being developed at London's Kingston University to improve security on public transport systems but it could be used on a wider scale. It works by detecting differences in the images shown on the screen. *********************************************************** Search the Archive at: *********************************************************** 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 ( should be cited as the source of the information. Copyright 2000-2002,, Campbell, CA.