January 3, 2003 Former H&R Block Manager Accused in Identity-Theft Ring A former manager of an H&R Block office in White Plains and three of her friends have been charged with running an identity-theft ring that used the names of Block customers to obtain credit cards illegally and steal thousands of dollars in cash and merchandise, the authorities said yesterday. At least 27 customers were victims of the scheme between July 2001 and the spring of 2002, according to a complaint by the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, James B. Comey. (NY Times article, free registration required) http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/03/nyregion/03THEF.html - - - - - - - - Ex-Detroit officer caught in Web sting A former Detroit police officer was charged Thursday with attempting to arrange sex via the Internet with a 14-year-old boy. The ex-officer actually had exchanged e-mail messages with an undercover officer. Dale P. McCarthy, 51, of Warren was charged in Royal Oak 44th District Court with use of the Internet to commit a crime and child abusive activity, both felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison. http://www.detnews.com/2003/technology/0301/03/d01-50821.htm - - - - - - - - Fed sites hacker could spend a decade in jail NASAs inspector general has announced that William Douglas Word of Pelham, Ala., faces up to 10 years in prison after entering guilty pleas last month to 17 counts of defacing government Web pages and one count of possessing counterfeit or unauthorized credit cards. Word pleaded guilty to defacing sites of NASA, Defense Department agencies, Interior Department and the International Trade Commission, among others, according to a grand jury indictment handed down in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. Much of the criminal activity occurred in late 1999, the inspector general said. http://www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/20766-1.html - - - - - - - - Student Arrested in DirecTV Piracy Case The FBI arrested a 19-year-old Los Angeles man Thursday on suspicion of stealing and posting on the Internet documents that might have allowed consumers to pirate broadcasts from DirecTV Inc., the nation's largest satellite- TV provider. Igor Serebryany came across the information while working with his uncle, who is employed by a document-copying service, according to court papers. (LA Times article, free registration required) http://www.latimes.com/technology/la-fi-directv3jan03001444,0,864567.story http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A3545-2003Jan2.html http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/biztech/01/03/economic.espionage.ap/index.html http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/55/28721.html - - - - - - - - Justice O'Connor withdraws stay in DVD decryption case Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on Friday threw out an emergency stay barring a former webmaster from putting DVD decryption programs on the Internet. O'Connor had imposed the stay last week, at the urging of a group that licenses software to film studios to block the illegal copying of DVDs. New York attorney Jeffrey Kessler said the association fears that Matthew Pavlovich will repost programs that help people duplicate movies for free. http://www.nandotimes.com/technology/story/700598p-5180595c.html - - - - - - - - Boeing Says It Should Avoid U.S. Sanctions Boeing Co. said Thursday that it should be immune from any penalties or sanctions arising from allegations by the State Department that its El Segundo-based satellite unit illegally provided China with sensitive space technology in the mid-1990s. Boeing's statement came after the State Department last week ratcheted up pressure on the aerospace giant by issuing it a "charging letter." (LA Times article, free registration required) http://www.latimes.com/technology/la-fi-boeing3jan03,0,7756197.story - - - - - - - - Email virus poised to strike Yaha variants may start to spread when the world goes back to work on Monday. New variants of the Yaha worm are making it an unpleasant new year for some IT managers, but only a few antivirus software vendors are worried. First identified on 21 December, the worm has spread slowly due to the lack of business computer use. But it could start to proliferate on Monday. http://www.vnunet.com/News/1137805 - - - - - - - - Macro and script viruses dying off The end of standard mass mailing worms is nigh - maybe as soon as before the end of 2003. But there replacements - Trojans and Spyware - are much, much worse. Or so Roger Thompson, technical director of TruSecure, a risk management firm, forecasts. In particular he warns of the risk from Remote Access Trojans (RATs) or backdoors posted on the Net or spread via email. http://online.securityfocus.com/news/1962 Virus outlook: Bigger trouble ahead http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1105-979066.html http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2128161,00.html Bugbear remains worst virus threat http://zdnet.com.com/2110-1105-979139.html - - - - - - - - Virus hoaxes claim fresh victims Fuelled by concern over genuine threats such as Klez, Bugbear and Magistr, computer users are continuing to fall for false warnings of non-existent viruses. Anti-virus firm Sophos released details of its latest top ten virus hoaxes on Thursday. These hoaxes typically warn the reader not to open an e-mail with a certain subject line, or to immediately delete a particular file on their hard drive, because they contain a virus. They will also tell the reader to forward the warning to their friends and colleagues. http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1105-979042.html http://news.com.com/2100-1001-979045.html http://www.msnbc.com/news/854482.asp - - - - - - - - Task force shows results When adults go online to solicit youngsters for sexual gratification county detectives find out by posing as the children being sought. We are so public about the fact that we have detectives online all the time but we are still able to prosecute people for this said Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Todd Stephens who will prosecute cases involving alleged online solicitation by Michael Pinyard of Plymouth Meeting and Jimmy Jacob of Philadelphia. Both were apprehended by Horsham Township police. http://www.thereporteronline.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=6571204&BRD=2275&PAG=461 - - - - - - - - Why RIAA Keeps Getting Hacked The Recording Industry Association of America may not want people to share digital files, but the organization certainly seems to be in favor of open access to its website. On Monday, the RIAA site was hacked for the sixth time in six months. This time, the defacement resulted in bogus press releases on the front door, touting the joys of cheese and interspecies romantic relationships. http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,57048,00.html - - - - - - - - Study: Spam cost U.S. corporations $8.9 billion All those junk e-mail messages may promise instant wealth, but they can be quite painful to the bottom line. A study to be released Monday attempts to quantify the annual cost of spam: $8.9 billion for U.S. corporations, $2.5 billion for European businesses and another $500 million for U.S. and European service providers. http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/editorial/4862020.htm http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/biztech/01/03/spam.costs.ap/index.html http://www.nandotimes.com/technology/story/699289p-5173015c.html Net users want law to can spam http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1106-979108.html Spam outlook smells worse http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1106-979069.html - - - - - - - - CIO Council: Protect your architecture data The CIO Council yesterday reminded agency CIOs to guard their enterprise architecture information and applications as closely as their core systems. Energy Department CIO Karen Evans, vice chair- woman of the council, said the memo to CIOs was a pre-emptive step. She said some agencies have been concerned about the integrity of their architectural plans after federal agents raided Ptech Inc. of Quincy, Mass., last month. http://www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/20764-1.html http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2002/1230/web-cio-01-03-03.asp - - - - - - - - Passport problems lock MS services Microsoft said late Thursday that problems with its .Net Passport servers briefly locked some subscribers out of their online accounts. "Some users have been experiencing some intermittent problems with sign-in," said Adam Sohn, a Microsoft spokesman. "It was a networking issue with a small subset of accounts." Sohn said the company detected problems with the .Net Passport servers around 3:30 p.m. PST and the company's technical team had it under control about three hours later. "We think we've fixed it, and we're continuing to monitor the situation," he said. http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1105-979005.html - - - - - - - - Data Miners New software instantly connects key bits of data that once eluded teams of researchers. What do Hamas terrorists have in common with Martha Stewart? No, we're not talking about their public-approval ratings. Rather, both may have drawn unwanted scrutiny in part because of the same piece of software. The data-mining algorithms of ClearForest, based in New York City, are at work within both Israeli security agencies and NASDAQ. http://www.time.com/time/globalbusiness/article/0,9171,1101021223-400017,00.html - - - - - - - - PC Spies at the Gate ZoneLab's ZoneAlarm is a free, consumer-level personal firewall that, among other things, notifies a user when a program is trying to send data over the Internet, then asks for the user's permission. Last spring, the public got a firsthand look at spyware's pervasiveness when it was discovered that peer-to-peer file-swapping app Kazaa Latest News about Kazaa was bundling a program designed to form a giant distributed network -- composed of Kazaa users' computers -- that could transmit information back to Brilliant Digital Entertainment, the company that created it. http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/20361.html - - - - - - - - 2002: The Year of Home PC Insecurity Home PC Users Faced Spam, Scams, Viruses And Software Holes. The virus outbreaks of 2002 were less dramatic than the Code Red and Nimda scares of 2001. But this year's trends are very clear: The new target is the home user. Businesses took computer viruses seriously in 2002, meticulously scanning email, locking down networks, and educating corporate users about the danger of attachments. But on the home front users are transmitting viruses at an epic pace. http://abcnews.go.com/sections/scitech/TechTV/techtv_2002securityreview030103.html - - - - - - - - Why Kevin Mitnick Worries Me The solution to the ever-growing army of intruders is to beef up our cybercrime-fighting forces -- exponentially. The FBI created a new cybercrime unit in late 2001, but it doesn't appear to be enough. Things are looking good for Kevin Mitnick. In 2000, he completed a five-year prison term for computer crimes; this January, 39-year-old Mitnick will have his probation restrictions lifted. So Mitnick, probably the world's most notorious hacker, is on the verge of once again being free to use his computer. http://www.osopinion.com/perl/story/20358.html - - - - - - - - Researchers worry that fear of terrorism could muzzle science More federal research dollars are coming with strings attached as the government tries to keep sensitive information out of the hands of terrorists. Some federal agencies, for example, are pressing to review papers on certain topics and ban foreign researchers who have not been specially screened. http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/editorial/4866827.htm http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techpolicy/2003-01-03-government-research_x.htm - - - - - - - - N.J. To Start Issuing Digital Licenses In July Officials Instituting New System To Combat Fraud The state has accelerated its plan to issue digital driver's licenses and hopes to begin giving out the more secure documents in July instead of 2004. Division of Motor Vehicles Director Diane Legreide said the state is responding to concerns about document fraud and a shortage of Polaroid film used for the current paper licenses after the company went bankrupt. The film's distributor has told the state it can't guarantee the film will be available beyond March. http://www.wnbc.com/news/1866552/detail.html - - - - - - - - Spying on Snookums With GPS In a rambling building that overlooks a freeway in San Diego, a bank of computers monitors the travels of trucks carrying hazardous materials, making sure they don't go anywhere near such landmarks as the White House and the capitol building of Arkansas. Using GPS software, the computers also track cars for seven police agencies. Some of the vehicles are waiting to be stolen, while others are driven by unsuspecting suspects who are under surveillance. http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,56537,00.html - - - - - - - - A Nasty Surprise for Car Thieves Armed with satellite tracking technology and remote-control devices, police officers from Virginia to Southern California are arresting car thieves who have unwittingly stolen booby- trapped Camrys and Accords. When a thief drives off with a "bait car" that's been left parked somewhere, police track its location, dispatch officers and use remote control to stop the vehicle in its tracks. http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,56536,00.html - - - - - - - Mobile phone mast attacked Health fears are again cited after a base station is destroyed, and terrorists are reported to have carried out the attack. A second mobile phone mast has been destroyed in Northern Ireland, and this time terrorists have been implicated in the violence. http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2128178,00.html http://zdnet.com.com/2110-1106-979117.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. 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