August 8, 2002 Debit card fraudster loses by a length Thief's winnings end up in victim's account Ladbrokes' electronic security procedures meant that a debit card thief's winnings after a successful day at the races ended up in his victim's bank account. Jacqueline Boanson was described in court as "the happiest victim of theft ever" after she discovered that her bank balance had actually gone up by PS291.40. Her card had been stolen by Andrew Cameron, who used it to place PS50 bets on two horse races. - - - - - - - - French far-right group ordered to shut site A French court on Thursday ordered the banned extreme right-wing group Unite Radicale, linked to the man who tried to shoot President Jacques Chirac, to shut down its Internet web site. But as soon as the court ruling was issued the group's web site stuck up a notice announcing a new Internet address and saying "the fight goes on." - - - - - - - - Microsoft settles over Passport privacy After a Federal investigation into privacy violations by Microsoft's Passport authentication service, the software giant has agreed to settle. The US government has reached a settlement with Microsoft over complaints that the company's Passport authentication service poses a threat to consumers' privacy and security.,,t269-s2120563,00.html - - - - - - - - Pornographer says he hacked al Qaeda 'I wanted to do something ... I know the Internet' A self-proclaimed Web warrior says he enlisted in the United States' war on terror by mounting an incursion into an Internet site said to be run by al Qaeda. From his beachfront home, Jon Messner uses his keyboard as a weapon against the enemy's site -- first reported by CNN four months ago -- that posts statements from high-ranking al Qaeda members. - - - - - - - - Russian Web dating scams exposed It sounds like a match made in heaven -- Western men meeting Russian women on the Internet. But Russian police are warning that love online is a tempting target for criminals, and say it is only a matter of time before organised criminal groups start cashing in. Anatoly Platonov, of the Russian Interior Ministry's Cyber Crime Division, told CNN: "In the West there are plenty of people who believe these sweet messages because they're written by professionals ... and not, as it turns out, by women." - - - - - - - - Net security threats turn devious The costs of neglecting security can be high There is a computer in the anti-virus research lab of McAfee that has suffered the attentions of more malicious programs than almost any other PC on Earth. It, and a couple of others, get infected with any novel viruses that turn up at the anti-virus lab to help the researchers find out how the malicious programs work and how to combat them. - - - - - - - - FCC pushing for digital TV security The Federal Communications Commission stepped up pressure on the technology, entertainment and consumer electronics industries on Thursday to end a long-running dispute over protecting digital television broadcasts from piracy. With key members of Congress already threatening to legislate some form of digital security, the FCC said it will consider whether to mandate a so- called broadcast flag on digital programming. The broadcast flag is an electronic marker that could tell DVD recorders and other devices not to record those programs. - - - - - - - - Boy, Have You Got Mail: Spam Attacks on Rise Experts have no concrete answer for why junk e-mail has proliferated so much. Some note that spam is more appealing to marketers in a weak economy because it's relatively inexpensive. If you think your mailbox is filling ever faster with junk e-mail, you're right. More than 4.8 million "spam attacks" were counted last month by Brightmail Inc., a software maker that monitors junk mail on the Internet, compared with just over 879,000 attacks in June 2001. As recently as December, the monthly figures were under 2 million. Porn spam on the rise UK corporates are bombarded by porn and pedo bulk-emails - and ineffective anti-spam software and outdated email usage policies mean that many are coping badly. That's the warning from messaging firm Nexor which reckons pornographic emails are on the rise and that many are passing through ineffective defences to reach workers' desktops. It reckons pornographic email is growing at a mininum of 20 per cent per annum, and possibly more, because of under-reporting of the problem. - - - - - - - - Windows API 'flaw' sparks security debate A security researcher has stirred up a new controversy around the security of the Windows operating system, with claims that a flaw in the design of the Windows architecture has led to vulnerabilities in an unknown number of Windows applications. On Tuesday, freelance security consultant Chris Paget published a whitepaper demonstrating what he calls a Shatter Attack, which allows a user to elevate his or her privileges and gain control of a system. The attack makes use of a flaw that Paget says may be found in many Windows applications, due to the way the Windows application programming interface (API), Win32, is designed. - - - - - - - - Treasury employees to get smart cards About 9,000 Treasury Department employees will be issued smart cards this fall. The General Services Administrations Federal Technology Service last month awarded a $1.4 million task order to Maximus Inc. of Reston, Va., for Electronic Treasury Enterprise Cards under its Smart Access Card Common ID contract. Employees of the Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, IRS and Treasury departmental offices will get cards to govern both physical and logical access, GSA officials said. The cards will contain integrated circuit chips and antennas, and biometric and public-key infrastructure technology. - - - - - - - - VA awards cybersecurity contract The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a $103 million contract to a consortium of five small businesses to develop and manage its response to cyberattacks an innovative approach to deal with hackers that could become a model for other federal agencies. Known as the VA Security Team (VAST), the consortium won the one-year contract with 10 one-year add-ons for the VA's Computer Incident Response Capability (VA-CIRC). The team, which began its work Aug. 1, will be responsible for protecting the VA's entire network, including hospitals, cemeteries, medical records and insurance. - - - - - - - - Black-market tool for Xbox mod squad Another "mod chip" that allows Microsoft's Xbox video game console to play copied games has entered the market, despite renewed legal efforts to thwart such chips. Mod chips are black-market add-ons that typically have to be soldered to the main circuit board of a game console. Once installed, they bypass security measures built into the machine, allowing the console to play legally and illegally copied games, import titles and homebrew software. - - - - - - - - Attacking Nimda-infected attackers A presentation at Blackhat last week by Tim Mullen of AnchorIs, offering a novel treatment for the Nimda worm, has caused considerable controversy because it involves taking unauthorized actions against the offending box. Mullen has come up with two possible ways of shutting down the bandwidth-hungry attacks when an infected IIS box attempts to spread the worm, each with its own advantages and problems. Method one places a bit of harmless code in the boot sequence which simply precludes Nimda from loading. The advantage here is that the machine will be made harmless without interfering with any functionality or damaging any files. - - - - - - - - The Password Is... Confusion One potential roadblock to portable password management is that the business and development communities have not yet agreed on technology standards to make passwords portable and secure. For Web travelers seeking to lighten their load of usernames and passwords, help has generally been slow to arrive. Some relief for the forgetful has come in the form of functions -- installed on popular operating systems -- that serve to ease the mental burden of those surfing from a single computer. - - - - - - - - Biometrics: Beyond hype and hysteria Although the September 11 terrorist attacks focused the spotlight on technologies that recognize irises, facial features, fingerprints and voice, the heightened focus on security is not translating into boom sales of biometrics products. In fact, biometrics suppliers are still struggling to find ways to sell their technology to more enterprise- level customers. Even worse, they are viewed in some quarters as facilitators of a "Big Brother" police state. - - - - - - - - Smile, You're on In-Store Camera Johnny Q. Consumer walks into a national chain store, picks up diapers, pays in cash. He does not walk alone. One store camera captures his face, while another network of cameras traces his stroll through the aisles. The pressure-sensitive floor panels note how he lingers and nervously shifts his feet while browsing in the diaper section.,1848,54078,00.html - - - - - - - - Traffic system causes privacy outcry In about a month, traffic sensors being installed along San Francisco Bay area highways will be able to track a quarter million drivers along their commutes. Proponents say the $37 million enhancement to the region's electronic toll system will be a boon to commuters, providing motorists real-time information about some of the nation's worst road congestion via cell phone, radio or Internet. Traffic planners will be able to gather crucial data on problem areas. But despite government assurances, the new program is also raising fears that drivers' privacy will be invaded. - - - - - - - - Government to unleash SMS floods Notification engines will send alerts by email, text or chat. The government wants to use text, email and chat to allow the public to make appointments with state-run organisations such as hospitals, and to issue warnings of potential disasters such as flash floods. In an exclusive interview with, Alan Mather, chief executive of the Office of the e-Envoy's e-Delivery Team (EDT), revealed the ambitious highlights of its efforts to get all government services online by 2005. - - - - - - - - GPS devices that fight crime Tracking your kids With all these lunatics kidnapping kids, heres an idea: Lets install a GPS device in every newborn human, dog and kitten. That way, when some creep comes along, or when fireworks scare off the family pet, well be in a Minority Report pre-crime busting future where we wont have a minute of worry. - - - - - - - - Online blagging nets cash A bid to save Karyn from her shopping bill enjoys success. A New York woman is trying to blag $20,000 to pay off her shopping debt from people on the internet - and is succeeding. Since setting up her website - - in late June, Karyn, who refuses to reveal her surname, says she has had more than 200,000 hits and that money is starting to roll in, albeit along with hatemail. The home page says: "Hello! My name is Karyn, I'm really nice, and I'm asking for your help. You see, I have this huge credit card debt and I need $20,000 to pay it off. So if you have an extra buck or two, please send it my way!" *********************************************************** 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.