December 18, 2002 DEA data thief sentenced to 27 months A 14-year veteran of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who fled to Mexico to avoid federal computer crime charges was sentenced in a federal court in Los Angeles on Monday to 27 months in prison for selling information on private citizens he plundered from sensitive law enforcement databases. - - - - - - - - Online publisher said jailed in China The publisher of an online Chinese pro-democracy journal has been detained by police, adding to a growing number of people picked up in a crackdown on Internet dissent, a human rights group said Wednesday. Li Yibin was secretly detained about a month ago in Beijing, New York-based Human Rights in China said in a written statement. It said other details of his case weren't known.,,t269-s2127713,00.html - - - - - - - - New 'oil' worm 'unlikely to succeed': Sophos A new Windows worm has appeared on the scene, but is so poorly designed that it is unlikely to spread, experts have said. Anti-virus vendor Sophos has moved to arrest panic over the appearance of a new computer worm, saying its method of propagation makes it highly unlikely to succeed.,,t269-s2127738,00.html New Windows network worm detected - - - - - - - - Klez wins virus of the year Antivirus companies agree that the mass mailer was the most prolific of 2002. Antivirus companies have named Klez as the most prolific virus of 2002. UK-based Sophos revealed that the worm accounted for almost a quarter of reports to its customer support department this year, and topped the company's monthly chart for seven months in succession. The second most common virus was Bugbear, which made the number two slot even though it was only detected in October. - - - - - - - - One Man's Info War on al-Qaida In a case that shows both the risks and rewards of vigilante tactics, an American man has hijacked two Web addresses apparently used by al-Qaida to laud terrorist attacks. The domains, and, are now in the control of a manager for a large Minnesota financial services firm. The man said he wrested control of the domains from their owners after reading on Dec. 8 that al-Qaida used to claim responsibility for recent attacks on an Israeli airliner and a hotel in Kenya.,2100,56896,00.html - - - - - - - - Snooping in All the Wrong Places Not only would the Administration's plan to centralize every American's records destroy privacy, the security payoff would be minimal. The 2002 elections proved one thing: The promise of security wins votes. The GOP campaigned on a pledge to make the country safer, and it brought home one of the biggest midterm victories in decades. That huge win may have emboldened the Bush Administration to ignore wide-spread criticism of the Defense Dept.'s $240 million effort to develop a Total Information Awareness system (TIA). - - - - - - - - Personal e-mails behind corporate virus alarms Non-work-related Web surfing activity is behind an explosion in virus-driven network security disasters, according to a recent Australian survey. Around forty percent of Australian companies surveyed said that viruses had been unleashed on their corporate networks as a direct result of their employees' Web surfing activities, according to Websense's Australian 2002 Web@Work report. The employee Internet monitoring organisation has made some surprising recommendations to Australian companies in response to the survey. - - - - - - - - ISP libel laws 'need global treaty' As ISPs report a massive increase in incidences of take-down notices, a report by the Law Commission says there is a strong case for a global treaty. A global treaty is needed to harmonise libel laws, which are forcing many ISPs to take down Web sites for fear of being sued, according to the influential Law Commission. In a report to the Lord Chancellor's department on Wednesday, the Commission put a "strong case" for reviewing the liability of ISPs, saying that although freedom of expression may legitimately be restricted in order to protect the reputation of others, "it is important to ask whether this goal can be achieved without the regular removal of material which deals with matters of public interest and which may be true.",,t269-s2127777,00.html - - - - - - - - Music file flaws could threaten traders A security firm on Wednesday warned that people using Windows XP or popular music player WinAmp could fall prey to a vulnerability, enabling a modified music file to take control of a person's PC. Flaws in both pieces of software could introduce malicious MP3 or Windows Media files--which sound identical to unmodified music--into the file- swapping systems, said George Kurtz, CEO of Foundstone. - - - - - - - - SSH opens computers to attack The protocol for securely accessing servers contains bugs that could allow attackers to crash or take over SSH-equipped servers and clients.Vulnerabilities have been found in multiple SSH implementations that could allow an attacker to execute code or create a denial of service on servers and clients, according to an advisory from CERT, a security alert service.,,t269-s2127772,00.html - - - - - - - - Free Speech -- Virtually Late last year, John Stanforth posted to his personal Web site a reminiscence about software he had developed for internal use by a former employer. It was a minor project, he said, one he never thought would warrant any secrecy. So he was bewildered when, about two months later, he received a cease-and-desist letter in an e-mail from his old company. It said that by mentioning the project, he had violated the nondisclosure agreement he signed when he joined the firm in June 1997. - - - - - - - - Software, Security, and Ethnicity The 2,000-mile distance from the stark high desert of Los Alamos, N.M., to the high-tech office parks of Boston's suburbs appears to have shrunken dramatically in the past two weeks. I'm referring to the cases of Wen Ho Lee and Oussama Ziade. Both represent the federal government's fears that moles could work their way into the U.S. and achieve positions of trust that they later use to harm national interests. Whether Ziade is in fact such a mole seems unlikely, but expect the scenario playing out in Quincy, Mass., where his company, Ptech, is based, to be often repeated as the war on radical Islamic terrorists ramps up. - - - - - - - - Dan Gillmor: Copyright verdict, new technology are reasons to hope The past several days have brought good news on two fronts in the copyright war. An unjust prosecution has ended in acquittal, and some pro-freedom activists launched some useful new technology. Elcomsoft not guilty - DoJ retreats from Moscow,0,1537163.story,1367,56898,00.html - - - - - - - - Evaluating Network Intrusion Detection Signatures, Part Three In this three-part series of articles, we are presenting recommendations that will help readers to evaluate the quality of network intrusion detection (NID) signatures, either through hands- on testing or through careful consideration of third-party product reviews and comparisons. Evaluating Network Intrusion Detection Signatures, Part Two Evaluating Network Intrusion Detection Signatures, Part One - - - - - - - - Transit agencies seek federal guidance on counterterror technology State and local transit agencies say they need more guidance from the federal government in acquiring counterterrorism technologies, according to a General Accounting Office report released Wednesday. Officials from one agency, for example, told GAO that they have been "bombarded" by vendors selling security technologies since Sept. 11, 2001, but they have been unsure about the quality and usefulness of those products and whether they soon might be rendered obsolete. - - - - - - - - UK plans for ID cards under fire Introducing a national ID card scheme in Britain would cost around PS1.5bn, say critics of the plans. At the first public debate into the idea of ID cards since the government launched a consultation in July, there was fierce opposition to the plan. *********************************************************** 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.