November 25, 2002 NOTICE TO SUBSCRIBERS: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, NewsBits will not be delivered on Thursday, 11/27/02 and Friday, 11/28/02. Look for your next edition of NewsBits on Monday, 12/02/02. RJL *********************************************************** Feds: Largest identity theft ring in U.S. history busted Federal authorities charged three men with orchestrating a massive identity-theft scheme in which credit information was stolen from more than 30,000 victims. Manhattan U.S. Attorney James Comey said the arrests announced Monday mark the largest identity theft case in U.S. history, with initial losses pegged at $2.7 million and growing.,1848,56567,00.html - - - - - - - - Woman ordered to pay $11 million in software scam A woman described as a major player in a worldwide computer software piracy organization was sentenced to nine years in prison and ordered to pay $11 million in restitution to software giants Microsoft and Symantec. Lisa Chen, 52, pleaded no contest Friday to one count of failure to disclose the origin of a recording or product. She was one of four people arrested in November 2001 as part of a ring suspected of importing nearly $98 million in counterfeit computer products and software from Taiwan. - - - - - - - - Academy seizes computers from nearly 100 mids Officials at the Naval Academy have seized nearly 100 midshipmen's computers that allegedly contained illegally downloaded music and movies, sources said. The raid occurred Thursday while students were in class, and a source familiar with the investigation said the computers were being held by the administration. - - - - - - - - Met officer fined for abusing his access privileges The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) required the Met to take disciplinary action against an officer forthe breaches of the Code of Conduct. Metropolitan Police constable has admitted to three tech-related breaches of the Police Code of Conduct at a misconduct hearing.,,t269-s2126501,00.html - - - - - - - - eBay scam site nipped in the bud A spate of emails inviting eBay customers to divulge usernames and passwords to a scam site reached epidemic proportions last week. The emails invited the foolhardy to hand over confidential details to a site called, Needless to say, this has no affiliation with the online auction site. was acquired using a stolen credit card and has since been closed CNET reports. - - - - - - - - Homeland Security Bill Heralds IT Changes President Bush today signed a homeland security bill that could have far-reaching implications for computer security and Internet privacy. The homeland security bill includes a provision that shields Internet service providers (ISPs) from customer lawsuits if providers share private subscriber information with law enforcement authorities. - - - - - - - - Spam levels skyrocket in UK One in eight UK emails is now junk, according to MessageLabs. But things could be worse: in the US levels are more than twice as high. UK email users have seen a dramatic rise in the amount of spam clogging their in-boxes during 2002, according to new figures released by email security company MessageLabs.,,t269-s2126472,00.html One email in eight is spam - - - - - - - - Parents Abuse Kids' Good Credit It was her first credit card application, or so she thought, prompted by an offer on her Ohio college campus for a free T-shirt. But a rejection letter uncovered troubling news someone had already opened four credit cards in her name and racked up $50,000 in debt. "I couldn't believe it," says the young woman, who asked not to be named for fear of humiliating her father, who was never charged criminally.,1284,56570,00.html - - - - - - - - Experts advocate standard public warning system The nation needs a sophisticated national warning system that relies on IT to spread warning messages far and wide, government and industry public-safety experts said today. The Partnership for Public Warning which includes representatives of IT companies and agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FBI and Nuclear Regulatory Commissionconducted a workshop to generate its report, Developing a Unified All-Hazard Public Warning System. - - - - - - - - Doubts raised over Microsoft patches Danish firm finds flaws in security fixes. Security patches released by Microsoft last week may not completely protect users, according to a Danish security consultancy. Microsoft security alert 65 and alert 66 deal with the Windows operating system and Internet Explorer, and are rated 'critical' and 'important'respectively.,1367,56490,00.html RealNetworks Patches Media Player Flaws,aid,107312,00.asp - - - - - - - - Merde! Alcatel LAN switch ships with backdoor access Some versions of Alcatel's LAN switch software can yield backdoor access to crackers, the company warns. The vulnerability could give crackers full administrative control over Alcatel OmniSwitch 7700/7800 switches running Alcatel Operating System (AOS) version 5.1.1, A CERT advisory explains this flaw could result in, but is not limited to, unauthorised access, unauthorised monitoring, information leakage, or denial of service. - - - - - - - - Grocery Stores Checking Out Fingerprints Small shops are using biometric technology that retrieves customers' data to cut losses from fraud. You might not peg La Playa Market, a cramped Inglewood bodega with a single checkout lane, as an early adopter of technology. But the store was among the first in the nation to install a groundbreaking and controversial personal-identification system that uses unique physical characteristics such as an individual's fingerprint to identify customers and crack down on check-cashing fraud. (LA Times article, free registration required),0,5202844.story - - - - - - - - Winning the Cybersecurity War There must be a fundamental shift from addressing vulnerabilities in a reactive mode to tackling them proactively. Cybersecurity is on everyone's mind. Threats run the gamut, from domestic to foreign, internal to external, from teenage hackers to sophisticated rings with malicious intentions. So, how should corporations protect themselves? And how do they implement security measures without breaking the bank? What Is the Weakest Link? - - - - - - - - The spy inside your home computer Beware: Pretty programs can hide unwanted guests. Bond may be back, but spying never went away. The worrying truth is that secret agents could be lurking in your home computer and broadcasting personal information. Your home computer is a pretty dumb device that usually does what it is told. But with the right help this mute machine can become disturbingly "talkative". - - - - - - - - Bringing Network Security Stateside During a cross-country trip last year, Steve Crutchley made a stop in the Washington area to visit an old colleague, Chris Parker. By the time his visit was complete, the two natives of Britain had mapped out a plan to help American companies secure valuable networks. Crutchley, 50, and Parker, 47, started working together in the security industry in 1976; they were consultants, co-workers at a variety of firms and founders of Comet Computer Service. Through it all, they gained experience building security systems for companies throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. - - - - - - - - Law databases missing a link The arrests of John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo in the sniper attacks here last month were in some ways a triumph of technology: A federal database matched a fingerprint from an Alabama slaying to Malvo in two hours, after a caller boasted on the phone to police about being involved in a shooting in Montgomery, Ala. But crime analysts say the enduring lesson from the 23-day hunt for the suspects could be law enforcement's continuing difficulties in using technology to quickly solve complex cases involving multiple agencies in different states. *********************************************************** Search the Archive at: *********************************************************** The source material may be copyrighted and all rights are retained by the original author/publisher. 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