October 16, 2002 Nigerian E-Mail Scammers Reported On Run International authorities close in on 22 Nigerians accused of e-mail bank fraud. Nigerian criminals who have masterminded a series of fraudulent online schemes in several African countries are on the run in South Africa, according to local reports. In a recent development in the ongoing series of Internet- based crimes, the fraudsters made off with millions of dollars swindled from foreign online investors using reputable South African banks. http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,105921,00.asp - - - - - - - - Beta hack rattles Microsoft Microsoft is investigating a security breach on a server that hosts its Windows beta community, which allows more than 20,000 Windows users a chance to test software that is still in development. As a result of the break-in, Microsoft advised beta testers to change their passwords late last week. However, company spokesman Rick Miller down-played the significance of the incident, saying the online trespasser didn't get access to the company's crown jewels: its source code. http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104-962333.html http://news.com.com/2100-1001-962333.html - - - - - - - - Hacks hack stars' mobiles Listening to voicemail easier than looking in dustbins. Britain's celebrities have been warned that journalists are hacking into their mobile phone message services. PR advisors, including Max Clifford and James Herring, have told their clients to change the pin number on their mobiles from the default settings to stop journalists listening to their messages. http://www.vnunet.com/News/1136019 - - - - - - - - Sklyarov denied US visa to testify in DMCA case Dmitry Sklyarov, the Russian programmer at the entre of the first Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) prosecution, has been denied a US visa in a move that jeopardises his requirement to testify in the forthcoming trial of his former employers, ElcomSoft. ElcomSoft's chief executive, Alexander Katalov, has likewise been denied a visa, Planet PDF reports, in a move that surely means the already delayed October 21 start of the trial will be put back still further. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/27643.html - - - - - - - - Cyber crimefighters call for help Top international cyber-crimebusters wrapped up a three-day conference in the world's most wired country on Wednesday with a call for greater global cooperation to fight online offenses. "Cyber crimes are global crimes, using global IT networks," said Des Berwick, an executive officer of the Australasian Center for Policing Research, on the sidelines of the fifth Interpol conference on computer crime. Interpol --which promotes international police cooperation and does not deal with crimes involving just one country-- is based in Lyon, France, and has 179 member countries. http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1105-962257.html http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2123975,00.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A33231-2002Oct16.html - - - - - - - - Ivory Coast's warriors take war to Web Africa's rebel groups use the Net to spread message First their AK-47s, then their satellite phones and now a Web site. Ivory Coast's rebels have come of age. Putting propaganda on the Internet is par for the course for rebel groups in Africa, where access to technology -- though limited -- is making it easier for those who want to start civil wars. http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/internet/10/16/ivorycoast.war.reut/index.html - - - - - - - - Corporate IT Forum takes on cyber-crime FTSE 100 firms to work with police on security problems. The Corporate IT Forum (formerly known as The Infrastructure Forum) has formed a security group to work with the police on hacking and viruses. The group plans to help the police with high-tech criminal prosecutions without companies having to release proprietary secrets or suffer damage to individual brands. David Roberts, chief executive at the Corporate IT Forum, said: "Historically companies have been discouraged from sharing information. http://www.vnunet.com/News/1135990 - - - - - - - - Fat times for spam Spam continues to gunk up the Internet's arteries. In September, more than 17 percent of all e-mail traveling across the Internet could be classified as spam, according to data collected by U.K. e-mail service provider MessageLabs. The company's figures are presented in its latest monthly report. "In speaking with our customers six to eight months ago, (the concerns) were virus, virus, virus. Now, spam is priority No. 1," said John Harrington, director of U.S. marketing for MessageLabs. http://news.com.com/2100-1001-962300.html - - - - - - - - Windows Messenger is new spam vector The forces of evil have produced a devilish tool whereby spam can be sent to thousands of Windows users in minutes, in the guise of system alerts. This was brought to our attention by reader Mike MacNeill, who sent us a screenie of a Windows system alert offering him the university diploma of his dreams with "no required tests, classes, books or interviews," in the classic manner. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/27634.html - - - - - - - - BrightMail works to close spam loopholes BrightMail Inc yesterday released version 4.0 of its spam filtering services to enterprises and service providers, saying it has added features aimed at recognizing sophisticated spam that was previously undetectable. Anti-Spam 4.0 has a feature BrightMail calls BrightSig, which identifies "polymorphic spam attacks". These are attacks where essentially the same email is sent, but with subtle differences in punctuation or spacing designed to circumvent signature-based spam filters. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/27632.html - - - - - - - - Voiceprints make crypto keys As we rely on computers for tasks like handling money and keeping secrets safe, it has become increasingly important to give our desktops, laptops and PDAs the means to know for sure who they are dealing with. The classic solution is to lock up the data, and give the user a cryptographic key. The main challenge to improving this type of security is to make it more difficult to steal or reconstruct the keys, but at the same time make it easier for legitimate users to access computing resources. http://www.trnmag.com/Stories/2002/101602/Voice_prints_make_crypto_keys_101602.html - - - - - - - - Do you need a storage security appliance? Despite the high profile that all security matters currently hold, little attention has been paid to the protection of data storage platforms at source. It is into this arena that a small US vendor, Decru, has started to make a mark. Based in Redwood City, California, Decru was founded in April 2001 with the aim of producing security appliances designed to protect information held on networked data storage systems from any unauthorised access. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/63/27645.html - - - - - - - - Freed hacker Mitnick debunks myths World famous hacker shares secrets in new book The world's most notorious hacker Kevin Mitnick claims that false accusations of breaking into top secret US installations were used to demonise him by law enforcement agencies in their fight to bring him to justice. In an interview with vnunet.com, he described himself as a hacker not a cracker, a prankster and explorer who was motivated by a desire to see how things worked rather than malicious intent or a thirst for profit. http://www.vnunet.com/News/1136009 - - - - - - - - Trap blackhat hackers with IT-Minds It's all gone a bit Mata Hari this week at Reg associate IT-minds.com. Our favourite online bookshop is offering an insight into how to lure blackhat hackers to a sticky end with Honeypots: Tracking Hackers. This ultimate guide to a rapidly growing, cutting-edge technology will teach you the skills you need to deploy the best honeypot solutions for your environment. Available to all Register visitors at PS:24.49 - a saving of 30 per cent. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/31/27647.html - - - - - - - - Identifying and Tracking Emerging and Subversive Worms Using Distributed Intrusion Detection Systems Worms continually become more sophisticated, as new propagation methods and stealth techniques are developed and implemented. As worms continue to evolve, so must our ability to detect and track them. One solution is the use of distributed intrusion detection systems (dIDS) to identify new and emerging worms that utilize new subversive propagation techniques. This paper will discuss how and why the dIDS design is able to identify, detect, and track worms even as they implement more advanced propagation methods. http://online.securityfocus.com/infocus/1634 - - - - - - - - More Americans go online Even as Internet usage, satisfaction levels rise, many consumers are still worried about security. Americans are using and enjoying the Internet more, a private research firm said Wednesday, even though they're still not entirely sure their personal information is secure. Sixty-one percent of all Americans go online at least once a month, compared with 59 percent at the end of 2001, the Conference Board said in its quarterly report on Internet usage. The private research firm is better known for its monthly survey of consumer confidence. http://money.cnn.com/2002/10/16/news/internet_barometer/index.htm - - - - - - - - In the Net age, governments question open records policies Jim Moehring knows firsthand the pros and cons of making public court records available online. A general manager at the city's hockey arena, Moehring has used the Hamilton County court's Web site to check out potential hires. He's even turned away a few because of what he found. But someone used the site to pull Moehring's Social Security number and other details from a 1996 traffic ticket, opening seven credit cards in his name and charging $11,000. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techpolicy/2002-10-16-public-info_x.htm - - - - - - - - Existing technologies could bridge information gaps The intelligence and law enforcement communities could use existing technologies to bridge information gaps scrutinized after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, several government and industry experts said Tuesday. However, implementing those technologies will not be a quick or easy task, they noted. "The technology is there," said Maj. Ronald Moore, an information security specialist in the Air Force Reserve who has been on active duty since the attacks. - - - - - - - - Human, technological limitations threaten INS tracking A sweeping border security bill that President Bush signed into law earlier this year assigned the Immigration and Naturalization Service an ambitious task: Track the arrival and departure of every foreign visitor in the country. To screen more than 331 million foreigners annually, the INS is counting on a sophisticated network of computer and database systems. But the effort is not off to a promising start. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techpolicy/2002-10-16-ins-tracking_x.htm - - - - - - - - Calif. fingerprint-comparison system under fire California is relying on what critics say is an outdated $100 million electronic fingerprint comparison system provided under a sole-source contract similar to another one that prompted a legislative investigation of a different technology contract earlier this year. Attorney General Bill Lockyer's Department of Justice this summer signed a new exclusive $5.3 million contract with the same firm NEC to develop a palm print system. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2002-10-16-calif-fingerprint_x.htm - - - - - - - - Police put Linux on trial West Yorkshire police has taken delivery of some Linux workstations as part of a trial which, if successful, could lead to the force rolling out the open-source software on 3,500 desktops, shaving PS1m off its annual IT spend in the process. The machines have been made for the force by Taiwanese company GCI, and come with built-in smartcard readers to tighten security and to enable staff to log on to any workstation. http://zdnet.com.com/2110-1104-962303.html *********************************************************** 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. Copyright 2000-2002, NewsBits.net, Campbell, CA.