May 23, 2002 2 FBI Agents Charged In Internet Fraud Scheme Two FBI agents passed confidential information about investigations of companies to participants in a stock-manipulation scheme, according to a federal indictment unsealed yesterday. Jeffrey A. Royer and Lynn Wingate were charged with racketeering conspiracy, securities fraud conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Royer, who resigned from the FBI in December and allegedly went to work for one of the stock manipulators, was also charged with extortion. - - - - - - - - Two Kazakhstanis Charged In Bloomberg Extortion Plot Two Kazakhstan citizens are in New York to face charges for plotting to extort $200,000 from Bloomberg L.P. in exchange for telling how they broke into a company' database, the FBI said. The duo, first arrested in August 2000 in England, were extradited to the United States and made their first court appearance this week, said agent Kevin Donovan of the FBI's New York field office. Oleg Zezov and Igor Yarimaka are named in a four-count indictment stemming from an alleged plot that started when Zezov was able to infiltrate Bloomberg L.P.'s computer system. - - - - - - - - Navy Domain Hijacked By German Pornography Site Due to a domain registration snafu, two Internet addresses used by the U.S. Navy for recruiting new sailors have recently been commandeered by other sites, including a pornography site. Since late April, visitors to, formerly the home page of the Navy's Dallas recruiting district, have been redirected to, a portal that features links to numerous hardcore pornography sites. - - - - - - - - Sony shoos away robot-dog hackers Sony has forced a programmer to remove from his Web site code that changed the behavior of its Aibo robot dog. According to a report in New Scientist, the programs gave Aibo new functionality. One, called Disco Aibo, made the robotic canine dance to music. Sony protested, saying that the applications used proprietary and encrypted code. The Japanese company demanded the removal of the programs, along with details of Aibos software protection. - - - - - - - - Qwest Glitch Exposes Customer Data Critics say the phone company took too long to close a hole that left some long-distance phone bills and subscriber credit card numbers accessable to anyone. Telecom giant Qwest Communications acknowledged Thursday that a glitch in its Web-based paperless billing system left some long-distance customer records exposed for over a week. Qwest offers long-distance customers a price break if they forgo printed statements and pay their bills with a credit card though the company's Web site. Subscribers who avail themselves of the service are offered a choice of logging in with a phone number and calling card PIN, or a user-specified name and password. - - - - - - - - E-mail scam purports to be from U.S. soldier A new e-mail scam from a purported American "Special Forces Commando" in Afghanistan who needs help getting terrorist drug money out of the country is making the rounds on the Internet. The Secret Service says it is the latest incarnation of a fraud scheme that targets hundreds of people each day. On the Web Secret Service warning about scams. The e-mail starts simply a request to respond to the e-mail to get a phone number but authorities say it is the first step of a long con that takes in victims looking for easy cash. Other versions of the con involve wiring funds overseas or even traveling to an African nation to claim the nonexistent money. - - - - - - - - Top 10 e-mail scams exposed Fraudsters are moving with the times, with many now using e-mail to cheat innocent web surfers of their hard-earned cash, according to a new study. Ninety-four percent of respondents to a National Consumers League survey said they had received unsolicited emails offering financial services or touting dubious money-making schemes. - - - - - - - - Comcast Sued Over Internet Data Gathering A multimillion-dollar privacy lawsuit on behalf of customers of Comcast's broadband Internet service has been filed in a federal court, according to the plaintiff's attorney. The litigation seeks compensation for the approximately one million Comcast Internet customers nationwide whose Web surfing habits were tracked by the Internet service provider earlier this year, according to Steven E. Goren, a partner with Goren & Goren, the Michigan law firm handling the case. - - - - - - - - Senate panel authorizes $10 million for White House cybersecurity team The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday authorizing $10 million to help a White House security squad battle Internet terrorism. The bill (S. 1989) authorizes the National Cybersecurity Defense Team headed by White House aide Richard Clarke. The squad includes representatives of the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and departments of Treasury, State, Justice, Defense and Commerce and any other agencies designated by Clarke, the special advisor to the president for cyberspace security. - - - - - - - - Gov. Ventura Signs Internet Privacy Bill Gov. Jesse Ventura has signed a bill that makes Minnesota the first state to enable Internet users to decide how ISPs handle their personal data. Ventura on Wednesday signed the legislation, which was overwhelmingly approved by state lawmakers late Saturday. Internet service providers are now required to notify subscribers that they can control whether their personal data is disclosed and how it is to be used. - - - - - - - - IRS adjusting site pages to curb fraud The Internal Revenue Service is tweaking the technology in its Web pages so that people surfing the Web to research ways of avoiding taxes will turn up the agency's fraud pages instead. The IRS publishes information on the Internet about suspect tax schemes and online scams. The agency is trying to make those pages more prominent in search results by using key words or metatags, code that is not visible to Web surfers, but helps search engines find relevant sites. Sample metatags the IRS is looking at include the terms "pay no tax" and "form 1040." - - - - - - - - Hong Kong Agency To Review ISPs' Spam Prevention Hong Kong's Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) will soon ask local Internet service providers (ISPs) to provide it with information for a review of the industry's spam prevention efforts. With the volume of spam exploding during the past six months, a Hong Kong industry association earlier this year introduced a code of practice for local Internet access providers. - - - - - - - - EFF Responds In California DVD Cracking Case The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the First Amendment Project today asked the California Supreme Court to uphold a lower court's decision to permit publication of the source code for DeCSS technology, which circumvents digital copy protection systems. DeCSS is a computer program designed to defeat an encryption-based copy protection system known as the Content Scramble System, or CSS, which is employed to encrypt and protect the copyrighted motion pictures contained on DVDs. - - - - - - - - Media execs fret over high-tech piracy On the streets of Cannes and in the recording studios of Southern California, weary media bosses this week were once again asking themselves how to protect major movie and record releases from piracy. For the music industry, sophisticated anti-piracy measures, such as the expensive deployment of copy- proof technology for compact discs, have proved a fiasco. - - - - - - - - Major Label First: Unencrypted MP3 For Sale Online For apparently the first time ever, a major record label subsidiary is releasing an unencrypted MP3 file onto the Internet, hoping fans will fork over 99 cents for the right to own and use the song without constraints. Maverick Records and Vivendi Universal Net USA jointly announced today that a special dance remix of, "Earth," a track by bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, marks the first time a major label artist has ever put a downloadable MP3 song up for sale on the Internet. - - - - - - - - Kazaa Creators Say Lawsuits Too Costly To Continue The company that created the program known as Kazaa says it doesn't have enough money to continue battling copyright-infringement lawsuits in the U.S., while two other outfits in the file-sharing game have signaled that they, too, may not have the financial fuel for a powerful defense in the same litigation.,,t269-s2110720,00.html KaZaA collapses under Rambo-style lawsuits KaZaA, the Dutch software and products company which founded, is to shut down because it can't afford to defend copyright infringement charges brought against it by the entertainment industry. In a court filing last Friday, KaZaA accused major studios and labels of engaging in "Rambo-style litigation," AP reports . KaZaA claims it has not violated any copyright laws in developing its peer-to-peer file sharing services,, which it sold in January to then Australian firm Sharman Networks Limited along with the right to license the FastTrack P2P Stack developed by KaZaA. - - - - - - - - GSA preps security solutions Agencies and vendors should expect to see some big opportunities for increasing government security as the General Services Administration readies several new solutions and solicitations this year. In March, GSA's Federal Computer Incident Response Center (FedCIRC) awarded its patch authentication and dissemination capability, a free service to provide agencies with a way to get only the security patches they need for the software on their networks. - - - - - - - - Microsoft warns of debugger flaw Microsoft warned Windows NT and 2000 users on Wednesday of a new flaw in its debugger tools that could let attackers give themselves complete control of a system once they've gained basic access to that system. The vulnerability involves a flaw in the debugger's authorization feature. The flaw lets any user run any program on the system, with the highest privileges. The hole could be used in conjunction with other Windows vulnerabilities that allow a remote attacker to run as a local user, said Marc Maiffret, chief hacking officer with network-protection company eEye Digital Security. - - - - - - - - Microsoft's Privacy Czar on the 'Trust Model' Richard Purcell, the man Bill Gates charged with creating security standards, talks about the huge dimensions of the job. If you're concerned about privacy, you can't ignore Microsoft. The Colossus of Redmond is at the center of setting standards for the way information is used and shared online. - - - - - - - - Open Source Fight Flares At Pentagon Microsoft Corp. is aggressively lobbying the Pentagon to squelch its growing use of freely distributed computer software and switch to proprietary systems such as those sold by the software giant, according to officials familiar with the campaign. In what one military source called a "barrage" of contacts with officials at the Defense Information Systems Agency and the office of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld over the past few months, the company said "open source" software threatens security and its intellectual property. - - - - - - - - Biometric sensors beaten senseless in tests Have biometric systems developed to the point where theycould be a viable alternative to passwords and PINs? The answer is a resounding "nein", according to comprehensive tests of 11 consumer-orientated biometric products by German technology magazine c't . The results are timely - the biometric security (which includes enterprise products outside the scope of the test) market will be worth more than E500 million euro this year, according to industry estimates. - - - - - - - - Squashing computer bugs takes some effort I'm not out to frighten anybody, but if you're convinced your computer is fully protected from malicious hackers, you may want to reconsider. I understand why you might feel secure: The PC came preloaded with antivirus software, and the Windows XP operating system includes a personal firewall to block online intrusions. And you're probably thinking: "What, me worry? I'm just a small fry with nothing to hide. No reason for anyone to target me." - - - - - - - - Police Records For Anyone's Viewing Pleasure I should have known the Internet would spawn a, but I confess it took me a while to grasp the scary part of putting digital dossiers online. A few weeks ago, began selling national criminal background checks for $20 to $30 a pop. The tiny Tennessee firm claims its new criminal directory is the most comprehensive on the Internet, encompassing 50 million criminal records in 36 states (it includes Virginia but not Maryland or the District). - - - - - - - - Computers to track biological, chemical threats National lab scientists are developing a plan to help cities track biological and chemical agents such as anthrax and other nearly invisible weapons of mass destruction. The program, demonstrated Wednesday at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, links cities by computer to the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (NARAC), which now provides emergency planning response help to the Energy and Defense departments. - - - - - - - - Key lawmaker laments lack of intelligence info-sharing system The chairman of a House Armed Services subcommittee on Thursday lambasted federal intelligence agencies for their reluctance to share critical data, a mentality that he said contributed to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But Pennsylvania Republican Curt Weldon, chairman of the Military Procurement Subcommittee, also acknowledged that some efforts are now underway to enact measures he has advocated for years as the route to better sharing of intelligence. *********************************************************** 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.