May 3, 2002 Pakistani ring charged in computer scam Sixteen members of a Pakistani ring accused of ripping off major computer makers for nearly $2 million were named in a 140-count indictment on charges including enterprise corruption, officials announced on Thursday. The defendants obtained expensive computer equipment using dummy companies validated by a smokescreen of phony credentials, and later sold the equipment to legitimate retailers at reduced prices, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, who said the indictment was the result of a 24-month investigation. - - - - - - - - Creator of 'Melissa' virus gets another 20-month sentence The creator of the "Melissa" virus that snarled e-mail worldwide received a 20-month prison sentence on a New Jersey charge Friday, the same sentence he received on a federal charge earlier this week. David L. Smith also was fined $2,500 by state Superior Court Judge Lawrence M. Lawson on the single count of computer theft. The judge upheld a plea deal allowing the state term to end when the federal term does. That means the actual 10-year state term will end in 20 months along with the federal sentence.,1283,52261,00.html - - - - - - - - Security causes Best Buy register ban Best Buy, one of the nation's largest electronics chains, banned the use of wireless cash registers at its 492 stores this week after learning a hacker may have intercepted a customer's credit card number, spokeswoman Joy Harris said Friday. The Best Buy cash registers used a Wi-Fi net- work, which uses a standard known as 802.11b. It runs on three channels in the unregulated 2.4GHZ spectrum, which is also used by cordless phones, microwave ovens and many Bluetooth products. Because the information is transmitted through the air, a person can "capture" the information from the parking lot outside the store or anywhere within about 300 feet of the source. - - - - - - - - SonicBlue ordered to track ReplayTV users' viewing choices A federal magistrate in Los Angeles has ordered SonicBlue to spy on thousands of digital video recorder users -- monitoring every show they record, every commercial they skip and every program they send electronically to a friend.,1283,52302,00.html - - - - - - - - Vivendi cleared for hacker inquiry Paris court agrees to firm's independent look at voting system. A Paris court has agreed to give media conglomerate Vivendi the opportunity to independently examine the wireless voting system which it claims was hacked following the vote results of a recent shareholder meeting. Vivendi and two of the company's largest share-holders, Compagnie de Saint-Gobain SA and Societe Generale, jointly filed the petition with the Paris Commercial Court. The court hearing was held on Thursday. - - - - - - - - Klez Offers Ride To CIH Virus As if the Klez virus hasn't caused enough trouble already, an anti-virus company reports in some cases it might be carrying the dangerous CIH virus along with it. Vincent Weafer, senior director at Symantec Security Response, told Newsbytes a new variant of CIH, also known as the Chernobyl virus, was discovered April 30. - - - - - - - - Jail for mobile phone thieves Anyone caught re-programming a mobile phone could be jailed for up to five years and face unlimited fines, according to a new Government Bill unveiled today. The proposed legislation is being introduced in a bid to tackle mobile phone theft making the devices less attractive to would-be thieves.,1283,52261,00.html,,t269-s2109630,00.html - - - - - - - - Round Two on 'Morphed' Child Porn It didn't take very long for conservative activists to try a second time to eradicate computer-generated smut. Just two weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court "appears to be" of a nude child or teenager under 18 years old. The court's reasoning: If the image was generated by a computer, no actual minor was harmed.,1283,52285,00.html - - - - - - - - Ashcroft Seeks Tougher Law To Punish Identity Thieves The Bush administration said Thursday that it will seek speedier trials and tougher penalties for crimes involving identity theft. Alarmed by increasing reports of identity theft -- the nonprofit Privacy Rights Clearinghouse estimated that there are 500,000 to 700,000 cases annually -- Attorney General John D. Ashcroft said he wants legislation to make aggravated identity theft a crime, and to impose an additional two years of prison time for offenders in the most serious cases. An additional five years would be imposed for terrorist acts involving stolen identities. - - - - - - - - Lieberman bill would create a tech office for homeland security Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) wants $200 million to develop homeland security technologies under a new Science and Technology Office within a cabinet- level Homeland Security Department. Lieberman and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) yesterday introduced the National Homeland Security and Combating Terrorism Act of 2002 to centralize the governments many homeland security functions. The new department would coordinate and act as a focal point for all homeland security activities as well as the governments response to natural and manmade crises. GAO gets specific about security costs and tests - - - - - - - - Net Guard Would Function As Virtual National Guard Two bills to strengthen the nations cyberdefenses will come up this month before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a sponsor of the Science and Technology Emergency Mobilization Act, said his bill would establish volunteer rapid response teams to help restore critical infrastructures in the wake of disasters. The teams, which would be known as the Net Guard, would function like a digital answer to the National Guard. - - - - - - - - Bill Would Criminalize False Domain Name Registrations Internet users who knowingly submit incorrect contact information when registering Web addresses could face up to five years in jail under legislation introduced in the House of Representatives this week. Proposed by Reps. Howard Coble (R-N.C.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the legislation would make it a crime to - "knowingly and with intent to defraud" - submit false information to an Internet domain name seller. - - - - - - - - Anti-spam legislation heading to Senate floor A measure that would crack down on the unwanted junk e-mail known as "spam" will soon head to the Senate floor, Sen. Conrad Burns said on Thursday. The measure enjoys enough support to win the Senate Commerce Committee's stamp of approval when it is brought up for a committee vote this month, tentatively scheduled for May 16, the Montana Republican said. "It looks like we're finally going to get some action on spamming," Burns said. "I think the bill is in pretty good shape right now." - - - - - - - - CERT running security pilots The CERT Coordination Center at Pennsylvania's Carnegie Mellon University has developed two unique pilot programs designed to bolster the information assurance capabilities of government agencies. The number and sophistication of cyberattacks against U.S. government systems have increased in recent years, but the refinement of the individuals initiating them has decreased, which makes it even more difficult for agencies to differentiate a high school hacker from an extended, coordinated intrusion attempt, said John McHugh, senior member of the technical staff at the CERT Coordination Center (CCC) at Carnegie Mellon. - - - - - - - - "Online, the Armies Have No Borders" One of the most profound social impacts the Internet will have is the creation of "network armies," which Richard Hunter, author of "World Without Secrets: Business, Crime and Privacy in the Age of Ubiquitous Computing," describes as geographically dispersed communities knit together by a common issue, even if their agendas are different. The Internet enables network armies to form faster and assume more power than traditional grass-roots movements, Hunter says, and cites the increasing power of networks as providing a boost to network armies. Hunter gives several examples of network armies, including the Linux Open Source movement and the Al Qaeda terrorist group. - - - - - - - - Hacker duo says they hack for sake of national security A pair of hackers who have been penetrating U.S. government computer systems across the country said they're trying to call attention to vulnerabilities in national security. But analysts said they're probably nothing more than publicity seekers.,10801,70728,00.html - - - - - - - - Hacker exposes holes in .Net The much-vaunted security of Microsoft's next- generation Web services platform is good, but the company still has some kinks to iron out, one security consultant said Thursday. H.D. Moore, a hacker and senior security analyst for Digital Defense, told attendees of the CanSecWest security conference here that the .Net Framework could nearly eliminate some types of vulnerabilities that plague Microsoft products today, but that the server software is still easy to misconfigure, especially since much of the documentation teaches insecure programming. - - - - - - - - Macromedia Flash Bug Could Open Windows PCs To Hackers Users of the Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser are being urged to install the latest version of Macromedia's Flash player to protect themselves from a serious security hole in at least one previous release. Computer security experts say a bug in software for Flash that is launched via ActiveX technology in the Explorer browser could allow evil-doers to gain control of a victim's computer.,,t269-s2109644,00.html - - - - - - - - Solaris wall shows cracks Sun Microsystems is working on a patch to correct a format string vulnerability in a utility within its Solaris operating system. According to a notice issued by security clearing house CERT earlier this week, the format string bug within the rwall daemon (rpc.rwalld) may permit an intruder to execute code (which could be potentially malicious) with the privileges of the operation (typically root).,10801,70717,00.html - - - - - - - - Turn Tables on Cellphone Snoops Worried that someone's listening in on your cell- phone? Are there things you shouldn't say? Is analog or digital safer? Robert Weaver, assistant to the special agent at the Secret Service in New York City, Pete Cavicchia, group supervisor of the Secret Service's New York Electronic Crimes Task Force, and Eric Friedberg, senior litigation counsel for the US Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of New York, offer tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of cellphone cloners and eavesdroppers and discuss which are safer -- analog or digital phones.,23008,8201,00.html - - - - - - - - McNealy: Weve already lost privacy The Transportation Security Administration could guarantee air safety by collecting passenger information from public and private databases, industry executives said at a Washington forum sponsored this week by the Council for Excellence in Government. Its not a technology problem, its a problem of political will, what we are willing to give up in exchange for greater security, said Steve Perkins, senior vice president for public-sector business at Oracle Corp. - - - - - - - - Security poses primary wireless challenge The Defense Department faces many obstacles in its attempt to outfit soldiers with reliable, interoperable wireless communications on the battlefield, including battery-life concerns, the need for ruggedized machines and ever-present bandwidth issues. But securing those communications is still far and away the main problem to be overcome regarding such technologies, according to a panel of government and industry experts at an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association information technology conference May 2 in Quantico, Va. - - - - - - - - BBC launches commercial-free search engine The British Broadcasting Corp. has launched a search engine that it says will allow discerning surfers to avoid the crass, commercial side of the Internet. The BBCi search engine, which went on- line Thursday, is "free from commercial pressures and safe from undesirable sites," contains no advertising and uses screening technology to weed out pornography, racist material and other offensive sites, the BBC said. *********************************************************** 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.