October 10, 2002 Chatty worm hits MSN Messenger users A worm spread among MSN Messenger users by fooling them into downloading an infectious file from the Internet, antivirus firms said on Thursday. Known as Henpeck, the worm used MSN's chat network to send messages containing a link to a malicious online file, called BR2002.exe. People who clicked the link triggered a download of the file and inadvertently ran the infectious program. The worm then sent instant messages to everyone on a victim's buddy list. http://news.com.com/2100-1001-961693.html - - - - - - - - Why Bugbear's spreading so fast--and how to stop it Bugbear (also known as Tanatos) may not be the most original worm out there; it appears to be a variation of last year's Badtrans worm. But it's currently the fastest spreading computer virus on the Internet. After months with no major virus outbreaks, antivirus companies said we should be on the lookout for a complex virus like Nimda. But instead, along came Bugbear, a rather ordinary piece of malicious Windows code that bolted to the top of the charts in a matter of days. How did get so far so fast? http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/stories/story/0,10738,2884840,00.html - - - - - - - - Viruses find easy pickings in China The flourishing Chinese IT market is also the world's biggest security nightmare. At least 80 percent of China's computers have been infected with viruses, the official China Daily newspaper reports, highlighting the vulnerability of one of the world's biggest PC and Internet markets. http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2123656,00.html - - - - - - - - Cyber warriors protect Air Force computer network Air Force computer systems around the globe are kept safe from viruses and unauthorized users by a dedicated group of computer network defenders. Because the Air Force computer network is a weapons system and is under constant attack by viruses and illegal entry attempts by adversaries, defending that weapons system has become an ongoing war, said the director of operations for the 33rd Information Operations Squadron, home of the Air Force Computer Emergency Response Team at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. http://www.af.mil/news/Oct2002/101002264.shtml - - - - - - - - Bedford County gets more funds for Internet program The Bedford County Sheriff's office has received a $242,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to continue its efforts in fighting Internet crimes against children. Sheriff Mike Brown created Operation Blue Ridge Thunder in 1998 in an effort to catch pedophiles who used the Internet to target children. The investigations involve Bedford County Sheriff's deputies surfing Internet chat rooms while portraying themselves as children. The nationally recognized task force works with international, federal, state and local authorities. http://www.roanoke.com/roatimes/news/story137756.html - - - - - - - - Hollywood chases down campus pirates Trade groups for the movie and recording industries are putting new pressure on universities to crack down on file-swapping by students using high-speed campus networks. In a letter sent to more than 2,000 university presidents, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and other copyright owner trade groups told university officials that large numbers of students were using college resources to violate federal law. http://news.com.com/2100-1023-961637.html - - - - - - - - Microsoft takes employee privacy pulse Microsoft unveiled Wednesday a new measure for gauging how effectively its managers have followed company privacy policies. The latest push in the company's Trusted Computing Initiative, the so-called Privacy Health Index could, if successful, provide the company with a grade for how well its employees are guarding customer data. "Because you cannot manage what you cannot measure, ultimately, this is an important step towards our broader effort of institutionalizing trustworthy computing at Microsoft," said Richard Purcell, corporate privacy officer for the company, in a statement. http://news.com.com/2100-1001-961472.html - - - - - - - - Heavy criticism of IT security Companies are still not doing enough to protect themselves from viruses and hackers attacks, despite their unprecedented growth over the past year. In a scathing attack on the state of IT security, Arthur Coviello, president of RSA Security, blasted companies for failing to act against the rising threat faced by corporate systems. Speaing at RSA's annual European conference he said increasing use of Wireless Local Area Networks (Wireless Lans), the huge growth in external rather than internal attacks and the growth in email viruses were all reasons why 2002 has been the worst yet for IT security. http://www.computeruser.com/news/02/10/10/news1.html - - - - - - - - Sun exec defends open-source security Whitfield Diffie, the inventor of public key cryptography and now chief security officer at Sun Microsystems, spoke out Tuesday in defense of the security of open-source software. In a keynote address at the RSA Conference here, Diffie defended open-source software against an attack made earlier at the same conference by Microsoft's chief security officer, Craig Mundie. During his keynote speech, Mundie had labeled as a "myth" the idea that open-source software can be more secure than closed, proprietary software. "Just because people can look at software, it doesn't mean they will," said Mundie. "You need trained people looking, not just arbitrary people." http://news.com.com/2100-1001-961365.html - - - - - - - - Users don't want Passport or Liberty ID management schemes better suited to business use. Identity management systems, such as Microsoft's Passport and the proposed Liberty Alliance standard, are not wanted by most consumers, according to panellists at RSA Security's European conference in Paris. In a round table debate between the two camps, none of the Liberty Alliance representatives could provide any evidence that consumers were interested in signing up to online identity schemes. http://www.vnunet.com/News/1135822 - - - - - - - - Bluetooth may leave PDAs wide open If you have Bluetooth, make sure security is enabled, or others might snoop your contacts or even make calls from your phone. Bluetooth- enabled phones and PDAs may have a gaping security gap, which could allow other people to read data such as personal contacts and appointments, and even make phone calls using the owner's identity. Some of these devices are shipped with the security features in Bluetooth disabled, allowing other Bluetooth devices access, according to RSA Security. http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2123677,00.html - - - - - - - - Divx vets look to beat movie pirates As one of the key architects of the discontinued Divx DVD system, Robert Schumann knows first hand how hard it can be to sell copyright protection to the masses. Still, some three years after Circuit City pulled financial support for the limited-use DVD technology he helped build, Schumann and a group of former Divx engineers are hoping for a second act in Hollywood with the advent of digital cinema. http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1106-961484.html http://news.com.com/2100-1023-961484.html - - - - - - - - Auction service targets deadbeat bidders Auction bidders who don't pay for the items they win may soon find themselves blacklisted. Auction management company ChannelAdvisor plans to launch a service later this month that will let sellers automatically block certain auction users from bidding on any of their auctions. By early next year, ChannelAdvisor intends to take the blacklist concept a step further by combining sellers' individual lists of bad bidders to create one comprehensive list. "Amongst our customers, we've found (deadbeat bidding) is the largest problem facing sellers today," said Scot Wingo, the company's chief executive officer. http://news.com.com/2100-1017-961312.html - - - - - - - - RSA pushes usability in security RSA Security is putting usability at the head of its product goals, as it hopes that future authentication products will be used more widely --by administrators, not security specialists. The latest version of its Web authentication product, ClearTrust 5.0, is intended to be more usable, and more interoperable with other products than previous versions. "There are 13 million security tokens out there, but there are tens of millions of passwords," said Art Coviello, chief executive of RSA Security, introducing the new version. "It's our job to eliminate them." Two-factor security based on tokens will have to replace the current single-factor method based on passwords, he said. http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1105-961352.html - - - - - - - - Unisys, ISS offer threat-protection service Services vendor Unisys is marketing a new threat protection service from Internet Security Systems (ISS). According to the duo, the deal provides a way to use general engineering skills to deliver such services more cheaply--although the companies were reluctant to quote a price. The Dynamic Threat Protection Service monitors intrusion detection systems within the user company and raises an alert within ten minutes if there is an attack. http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1105-961599.html - - - - - - - - Computer forensics tips help you monitor investigations Businesses today are all too vulnerable to high tech crime. PriceWaterhouseCoopers reported in June 2002 that 78 percent of the companies it surveyed had experienced a security incident and that 27 percent of the companies it surveyed had no plans to deal with security problems. Meanwhile, the average cost of a security incident in the U.K. was $50,000. The situation in the U.K. is typical for most of the industrial world. (TechRepublic article, free registration required) http://www.techrepublic.com/article.jhtml?id=r00620020806mik01.htm - - - - - - - - Footprints in the Sand, Part One. Fingerprinting exploits in system and application log files. Forensic analysts and incident response engineers are armed with a slew of open source and commercial forensic toolsets to attempt to understand and analyze break-ins they did not witness. The most critical component of forensic analysis is system log files. In particular, the analyst must be able to understand and recognize footprints that exploits leave on system logfiles. Identifying these signatures, and their impact on the application within the log files, is the key to understanding what took place during a security incident. http://online.securityfocus.com/infocus/1633 - - - - - - - - Guerrilla Warfare, Waged With Code When the reports started trickling out in early September, they were met with disbelief and then outrage among technophiles. The Chinese government had blocked its citizens from using the popular search engine Google by exercising its control over the nation's Internet service providers. The aggressive move surprised Nart Villeneuve, a 28-year-old computer science student at the University of Toronto who has long been interested in Chinese technology issues. (NY Times article, free registration required) http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/10/technology/circuits/10hack.html - - - - - - - - Can software catch a killer? A high-tech tool known as geographic profiling is playing a key role in the investigation into the Washington-area sniper shootings. Investigators are using the software to try to pinpoint the killer's home base. Law enforcement officials are hoping the system, one of the latest crime- fighting techniques, will help them home in on a suspect, who so far has shot and killed at least six people in the past week while they performed mundane tasks such as gassing up a car, mowing the lawn, or loading packages into a trunk. http://news.com.com/2100-1023-961684.html - - - - - - - - Plead guilty, press send New system on trial to allow lawyers to enter pleas by email. The High Court in Manchester is running a pilot scheme that allows solicitors to enter their clients' pleas by email. The trial, which was officially launched today, is the first of its kind in the UK. It aims to reduce the number of times a defendant has to appear in court by allowing lawyers and court officials to work out the timetable and proceedings of a case without the need for personal appearances in court. http://www.vnunet.com/News/1135855 - - - - - - - - Information is as effective a weapon as a bomb, IT brass say One of the best ways to strip an enemy force of battlefield control is to take away its command of information. The enemy won't know where U.S. forces are or when they will strike, a panel of senior military brass said yesterday at the MILCOM 2002 conference in Anaheim, Calif. Defense Department agencies are working to develop command and control systems that can accomplish this goal, said Air Force Brig. Gen. William T. Lord, director of communications and information systems for the Air Combat Command. http://www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/20235-1.html - - - - - - - - UK guns database delayed again Seven-year delay comes under fire. The introduction of a national firearms database has been delayed again. The central gun register will not be active until at least 2004, seven years after it was first proposed. Development was due to begin last month, having already been held up since the database was recommended in the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997. But vnunet.com's sister title Computing has learned that the project has stalled. http://www.vnunet.com/News/1135831 *********************************************************** Search the NewsBits.net Archive at: http://www.newsbits.net/search.html *********************************************************** 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 (www.newsbits.net) should be cited as the source of the information. 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