September 3, 2002 Chicago cyberstalking trial begins this week Angela Moubray used to love chatting about wrestling and soap operas with others in an Internet chat room at night. Then, one day, a regular participant sent her a menacing e-mail. And then another. Soon, she says, he barraged her with a stream of threats such as "I hope you get raped." Over nearly two years, the Virginia resident received unrelenting messages from a person whom she had never met, culminating in the missive: "I will kill you Ang, I mean it." Angela Moubray is one of a growing number of people who have become a victim of an emerging new crime - cyberstalking. Upwards of 100 new cases are reported each week of someone using the Internet to intimidate another person. - - - - - - - - Four in court over massive mobile theft A London court hears that 15,000 top-of-the-range Samsung phones are still missing following one of Britain's biggest ever mobile phone robberies. Four men appeared in court in London on Tuesday accused of involvement in one of Britain's biggest ever mobile phone robberies.,,t269-s2121712,00.html - - - - - - - - Recording industry site hit again For the third time in five weeks, the Recording Industry Association of America has come under online attack, apparently by activists irate about the group's legal efforts to curtail music-swapping. As of Tuesday afternoon, access to the site was sporadic. Over the weekend, it had been defaced to include a faux announcement that it would "offer the latest albums for download from" and a small collection of MP3 files. - - - - - - - - Venezuela eliminates govt. software piracy Venezuela has announced an official policy of preferring open source software products to proprietary ones in the public sector, according to an article by Linux Today's Brian Proffit. Apparently, from now on all software developed for the government must be licensed under the GPL. Even software used for Internet access to e-government must run GPL'd apps on a GPL'd operating system. For new purchases, free software is to be preferred to proprietaty wherever practical. Reasons for the switch include a desire to promote the local development community rather than enriching those in bondage to foreign software behemoths, and of course assisting in the good work of stamping out unlicensed software from government bureaux. - - - - - - - - Klez clings on to virus top spot Veteran worms still inflicting damage. Internet worm Klez has clung onto the top spot for the most frequently occurring virus, according to antivirus firm Sophos. The virus accounted for 17 per cent of all viruses reported in August. It also held the top spot in July. Klez deletes files on local and network drives and overwrites files with random data, making them impossible to restore. Spammers help Klez top the virus charts - - - - - - - - Hackers claim Lord of the Rings leak Pre-release copies of Two Towers 'already on the web'. Four months before its official release, hackers claim that the next instalment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy may already be available on the internet. The Two Towers is said to be circulating on a couple of CDs among the hacking community in Bulgaria, and there have been rumours of another copy existing on a US hacker's website. But a spokesman for film company AOL Time Warner has issued a statement expressing serious doubt that a real copy is available, as a finished print of the movie has not yet been made. - - - - - - - - In Greece, use a Game Boy, go to jail In Greece, playing a shoot-'em-up video game could land you in jail. The Greek government has banned all electronic games across the country, including those that run on home computers, on Game Boy- style portable consoles, and on mobile phones. Thousands of tourists in Greece are unknowingly facing heavy fines or long terms in prison for owning mobile phones or portable video games. Greek Law Number 3037, enacted at the end of July, explicitly forbids electronic games with "electronic mechanisms and software" from public and private places, and people have already been fined tens of thousands of dollars for playing or owning games.,,t269-s2121692,00.html - - - - - - - - 2002 record year for cyber attacks Threat rises as 11 September anniversary nears. Fuelled by a hacker frenzy during August, 2002 has been a record year for digital attacks. And analysts have warned that the number may rise as we approach the 11 September anniversary. According to security analyst mi2g the number of attacks in August reached 5,580 including a record 1,120 attacks on 18 August alone. A total of 30,839 attacks were recorded by the analyst for the first eight months of 2002, compared to 31,322 in the whole of 2001. - - - - - - - - Email abuse tops staff disciplinary league Porn tops the rankings for sackings. Email and internet abuse at work have become the biggest workplace disciplinary issues, according to a survey conducted by law firm KLegal with Personnel Today magazine. In the last 12 months, disciplinary cases for email and internet abuse at work exceeded those for dishonesty, violence and health and safety breaches combined. - - - - - - - - Ghanas burgeoning hacker culture A hint of technologys promise for Africa. On a Sunday night in July, a light rain is falling on the pot-holed streets of this West African capital city, and Eric Osiakosian is side-stepping rats on his way to the entrance of his preferred hangout, the Java Cafe on Ring Road, the central drag. He passes up a flight of steps and through a set of glass doors into what looks like a computer graveyard; Old PCs are strewn everywhere, discarded keyboards and hard disks lie in a pile. - - - - - - - - Attacks yield new surveillance laws Governments worldwide have made it easier for authorities to augment citizen databases and eavesdrop on telephone and online conversations in order to fight terror, according to a survey of privacy regulations released Tuesday. The report, written by privacy activists Electronic Privacy Information Center and Privacy International, show the United States was not alone in passing new laws that value increased security over personal privacy. "It's a general theme toward total identification," said Sarah Andrews, an author of the report. "When you're outside in public or when you're online, you can be identified." Report: Anti-terror plans hit privacy In the year that has elapsed since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the world's governments have moved to restrict privacy, boost surveillance and increase linking of databases, according to a survey released by a pair of advocacy groups on Tuesday. The 393- page report, which reviews current and proposed laws in 50 nations, is the first comprehensive survey of how privacy rights have been globally affected after last September's catastrophes. It was released by human rights group Privacy International and the Electronic Privacy Information Center.,,t269-s2121714,00.html One effect of 9/11: Less privacy - - - - - - - - Hollywood, Tech Piracy Efforts May Curtail Choices Entertainment: Meeting the demand for secure content could limit consumers' use of TV shows, movies and songs. As the entertainment and technology industries publicly are locking horns over electronic piracy, they privately are moving closer to a consensus that consumer advocates fear may limit how people watch or listen to movies and music. The fight focuses on how entertainment will be distributed in the future, particularly the digital transmission of movies and music to homes by broadcast and the Internet. - - - - - - - - Microsoft shores up Passport security Microsoft began notifying Passport users Monday night of changes that would give them more control over their accounts and increased privacy and security. The changes could eliminate two of the biggest customer gripes against Passport: That users can create accounts using bogus e-mail addresses and that users cannot easily cancel accounts they no longer wish to keep. "Microsoft is just trying to clean up stuff," said independent security analyst Richard Smith. "They're fixing some problems here in what is a natural evolution of Passport." MS Outlook digital sigs easily forged - - - - - - - - New PCs restrict copying Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday released additional details about digital entertainment PCs coming for the holidays. But new anti-copying technology could hamper sales, say analysts and potential buyers. The new consumer computers run Windows XP Media Center Edition, a variation of Microsoft's flagship operating system. Besides normal PC functions, Windows Media Center PCs offer a second user interface through which people can access the operating systems' digital media features via a remote control. HP, as well as Samsung, will start offering the new systems sometime before the holiday-shopping season, with HP's models selling in the high $1,500 range to around $2,000. - - - - - - - - Security products aim to make nets hacker-proof Concerns over network security are giving rise to a new breed of Internet products aimed at foiling the efforts of hackers and cyberterrorists. The products reflect a newfound awareness sharpened in recent weeks by a spate of high-profile hacking incidents that computer networks in corporate and government environments are very often chock-full of security holes. - - - - - - - - Password guessing games with Check Point firewall Security researchers have discovered two potentially serious flaws with Check Point's flagship FireWall-1 firewall which give rise to both username guessing and sniffing issues. First, affected versions permit attackers to determine if a firewall username is valid without having to know the associated password. This enabling crackers to guess valid usernames using a dictionary attack. - - - - - - - - Why FBI Computer Force Ain't Fat The carefully coiffed men wearing suspiciously shiny shoes are at every major computer security convention. They are there to remind hackers that law enforcement is always interested in their activities. They are also there to encourage security experts to become special agents. But after responding to the agency's appeals for computer security experts, aspiring G-men hackers sadly say that their names will never appear on the FBI's Most Wanted Job Applicants list.,1283,54850,00.html - - - - - - - - Hacker vs. Hacker: How To Tell Them Apart If we do not distinguish good from bad, if we fail to understand the make-up of such a complex group of people, how can we ever hope to limit black-hat hacking? A few years ago, there were a few short months when the public seemed almost able to grasp the fact that there are different kinds of hackers. Some arrests had been made, and media comments began to sound almost insightful as more attention was paid to the hacking phenomenon and its causes. - - - - - - - - Three fallacies about remote access Security precautions are only as good as the assumptions that underpin them. Enterprises must be scrupulous in separating myth from fact when it comes to how, why, and by whom the enterprise's network and information might be illicitly accessed --with potentially disastrous consequences. Rather than relying on unfounded assumptions, enterprises must anticipate vulnerabilities--such as unauthorized remote access, rogue wireless LAN access points, and undervalued and unguarded information--and take appropriate, preventive measures.,14179,2878581,00.html - - - - - - - - Whither the worm? The war against PC worms and viruses seems to have lost its thunder. Following last year's "Code Red" attack, anti-virus experts tallied billions of dollars of damage, and software firms warned that the attacks would continue and even spread to cell phones and PDAs. However, with the exception of an e-mail worm called "Klez," there has been limited PC panic. - - - - - - - - As tracking technologies improve, we're ever more constantly watched Computer databases already have a lot on us: Credit cards keep track of airline ticket purchases and car rentals. Supermarket discount programs know our eating habits. Libraries track books checked out. Schools record our grades and enrollment. On top of that, government agencies generate amass information on large cash transfers, our taxes and employment, driving history -- and visas, if we're a foreign citizen. - - - - - - - - TSA system would dig up passenger info By late fall, federal airport security officers hope to begin installing computer systems that can instantly check the personal backgrounds of airline passengers and alert security officials to any who are deemed dangerous before they can board planes and take off. The tool, a substantially advanced version of the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS) now in use, is being designed to comb multiple government and commercial databases for information that could indicate that a passenger poses a threat. - - - - - - - - Supercomputing 2002 will test badges that can track attendees activities Using tracking technology developed for Defense Department materiel logistics, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications has designed optional radio frequency badges that will track the interests and movements of attendees at Novembers Supercomputing 2002 trade show in Baltimore. - - - - - - - - Digital Photos Give the Police a New Edge in Abuse Cases The New York City Police Department, which handles about 90,000 domestic violence cases annually roughly a third of which lead to arrests and enter the courts is starting to gather evidence using digital photography, a tool that experts say could drastically reshape the way these cases are prosecuted. Domestic violence is among the most complex crime to prosecute, because the cases often pit the victim's word against the batterer's or make their way into court with no cooperation from the victim and little evidence. Photographs of bruises or broken furniture, if taken at all, are usually shot with Polaroid cameras. Those snapshots, which are often blurry and fail to make the injuries visible, can take days or even weeks to reach the courts. (NY Times article, free registration required) - - - - - - - - Terrorist to join online conference Web debate focuses on the future of Islam. A man believed to be close to Osama Bin Laden is due to take part in a conference in Egypt via the internet. According to the online version of Russian newspaper Pravda, Ayman Al-Zawahiri will be taking part in the conference to discuss the future of Islam. Al-Zawahiri is on the FBI's most wanted terrorists list, and the agency believes that the man serves as an advisor and doctor to Bin Laden in Afghanistan. - - - - - - - - The False Promise of GPS Tracking Gadgets Applied Digital Solutions last year rolled out a line of wearable wireless safety devices under the trademark "Digital Angel," which can monitor temperature and pulse as well as location-sensitive information. Recent publicity about child abductions has led many companies to prey on public fears by advertising their trackers as useful for protecting children. While wristwatch-type gadgets like the GPS Personal Locator from Wherify Wireless and the Digital Angel from Applied Digital Solutions do have some valuable applications -- such as finding hikers lost in the wilderness or keeping track of pets -- rescuing children from serial killers is probably not one of them. - - - - - - - - Google inaccessible in China China appears to have blocked leading search engine Google, sparking speculation of a crackdown on Internet content viewed as subversive ahead of a Communist Party congress in November. The U.S.- based Web site, which has become popular among Internet surfers in China because of its simplicity and ability to run thorough Chinese-language Web searches, was inaccessible via Chinese servers as early as Saturday, users said. "It's being blocked out of Beijing," said one industry insider, who follows China's regulation of the Internet closely and used his computer to confirm and pinpoint the block. *********************************************************** 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.