January 21, 2003 $3 Million U.S. Computer Theft, Hatched It Seems in Pakistan First, a San Francisco postal inspector tried to unravel it. Then a North Dakota customs agent tried. For three years, no one could solve it. A mass of names and places hinted to the investigators that someone, somewhere, was stealing millions of dollars of computer equipment from American companies without ever setting foot in the United States. There were sham auctions on E-bay and Yahoo! Stolen credit cards from across the world. Shipments to more than 100 branches of the company Mail Boxes Etc. in places like North Dakota, New York and Texas. There were also hundreds of Federal Express deliveries to a company in Singapore. (NY Times article, free registration required) http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/20/international/asia/20KARA.html - - - - - - - - Computer virus author jailed A man who admitted infecting thousands of computers across the world with fast-spreading viruses has been jailed for two years. Simon Vallor, 22, created the viruses at his home in Llandudno, north Wales, and released them on to the internet. The "mass-mailer" viruses were sent as e-mails that would corrupt data on the computer's hard-drive when they were opened. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/2678773.stm http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/56/28953.html http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/01/21/virus.arrest/index.html http://zdnet.com.com/2110-1105-981442.html - - - - - - - - Police arrest 40 in European piracy raid The biggest music and film pirating network in Europe has been broken up, and hundreds of thousands of CDs and DVDs have been seized. Spanish police have broken up Europe's biggest music and movie pirating network, arresting 40 people and seizing thousands of illegal copies of compact discs and DVDs in Madrid, officials say. "We have seized 240,000 CDs and DVDs ready to go onto the black market," interior minister Angel Acebes told reporters, estimating the material was worth nearly 2bn euros (PS1.24bn). http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2129047,00.html - - - - - - - - JAIL FOR KID SEX INTERNET PERVERT NAILED BY THE PEOPLE An Internet pervert who tried to lure girls as young as 10 for sex has been jailed after being exposed by The People. Cops swooped on Richard Evans after our investigators handed them a dossier of the outwardly respectable accountant's paedophile lust. Evans, 26, a semi-pro soccer player with a girlfriend, posted Internet adverts saying: "Daddy is looking for you. Are you a girl aged 10 to 16? If so I would like to hear from you if you like older guys." http://www.people.co.uk/homepage/news/page.cfm?objectid=12550072&method=thepeople_full&siteid=79490 - - - - - - - - Prosecutor jailed on computer child porn charges An assistant Palm Beach County state attorney specializing in drunk driving cases was taken out of a courtroom Tuesday morning and arrested on Internet child porn charges. Ira Karmelin, a 10-year veteran of the prosecutors office and a former deputy sheriff, was arrested for Orange County on charges he tried to solicit what he thought was a 14-year-old girl for sex. He also accused of using a Web cam attached to his computer to send images of himself stripping and masturbating over the Net. http://www.sun-sentinel.com/templates/misc/printstory.jsp?slug=sfl%2D121pbcjailed - - - - - - - - Former U.N. inspector arrested in Internet sex sting A former U.N. weapons inspector was arrested in 2001 during an Internet sex sting operation and was under investigation for a similar incident months before his arrest, according to published reports. The arrest of Scott Ritter, 41, who served as a weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991-98, was first reported by The Daily Gazette of Schenectady on Saturday. Ritter, an outspoken critic of President Bush's plans for war against Iraq, was arrested in June 2001 for allegedly trying to lure a 16-year-old girl he met on the Internet to a Burger King restaurant. http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/ny-bc-ny--formerinspector-c0121jan21,0,7050501.story - - - - - - - - SoCal man arrested in Internet sex sting FBI agents arrested a California man Tuesday for allegedly using the Internet to try to arrange a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl. Gregory James Schneider of Garden Grove, Calif., was taken into custody without incident after agents spotted him in the parking lot of an Oklahoma City store, where they said he was supposed to meet the girl. Schneider, 38, was arrested on federal complaints of crossing a state line to engage in sex with a minor and using an interstate facility to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, the FBI reported. http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/5000019.htm - - - - - - - - Child-porn viewers: 10,000 more names British police will soon receive a second list of people who used credit cards to view and download child-porn pictures on the Internet. The names and addresses of 10,000 more Britons who used their credit cards to view and often download child-pornography pictures from the Internet will soon be passed on to the British police by the US authorities. The new dossier is bigger than an earlier one that had the names of 7,000 people, who are being investigated under Operation Ore, the biggest ever British operation to smash paedophile rings. Millionaire rock guitarist Pete Townshend of The Who, whose name was on the first list, was arrested last Tuesday on suspicion of child pornography offences. http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/world/story/0,4386,167108,00.html - - - - - - - - Organisation admits sending virus to subscribers A Scandinavian data security organisation has admitted unwittingly sending the FunLove virus to subscribers. Norway's Data Inspectorate says the virus was sent under the guise of an advisory on computer security. According to the government agency, the virus infected its external email server and immediately started sending itself to all 1700 people on its mailing list. http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_742036.html http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/editorial/4998039.htm - - - - - - - - Net Providers Must Help in Piracy Fight Internet providers must abide by music industry requests to track down computer users who illegally download music, a federal judge ruled Tuesday in a case that could dramatically increase online pirates' risk of being caught. The decision by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates upheld the recording industry's powers under a 1998 law to compel Verizon Communications Inc. to identify one of its Internet subscribers who was suspected of illegally trading music or movies online. The music industry knew only a numerical Internet address this person was using. http://www.latimes.com/technology/ats-ap_technology10jan21,0,4038152.story http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,57330,00.html http://www.msnbc.com/news/862375.asp http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/editorial/4998036.htm http://news.com.com/2100-1023-981449.html - - - - - - - - Prosecution appeals acquittal in closely watched DVD case Norway's economic crime police on Tuesday appealed the acquittal of a teenager charged with digital burglary for creating and circulating online a program that cracks the security codes on DVDs. Prosecutors had two weeks to decide whether to appeal after Jon Lech Johansen was found innocent Jan. 7 of violating Norway's data break-in laws. The case was seen as a test of how far copyright holders can go in preventing duplication of their intellectual property. http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/editorial/4998044.htm http://online.securityfocus.com/news/2102 http://zdnet.com.com/2110-1106-981324.html - - - - - - - - Appeals court to decide merits of Internet solicitation law A 2001 law that prohibits people from soliciting sex with minors over the Internet is under scrutiny by the Utah Court of Appeals. A lawyer for Raymond Silvaz, convicted of soliciting sex from an undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old boy, argued Tuesday that the statute is unconstitutional and that it conflicts with hundreds of years of legal precedent. http://www.trib.com/AP/wire_detail.php?wire_num=67268 - - - - - - - - Courts Split on Internet Bans If a person goes to prison for using a computer and the Internet to commit a crime, can he be barred from using the Internet after the sentence is served? Courts are increasingly facing the question as the Internet age gives rise to an explosion of cybercrime. But appellate courts in different parts of the country are coming up with different answers. And in the process, they are showing how an emerging technology can cause rifts in the legal landscape and pose difficulties in monitoring offenders. (NY Times article, free registration required) http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/21/technology/21MONI.html - - - - - - - - Bill would set infosec standards Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) introduced a bill Jan. 16 that is designed to better position the federal government to serve as a model in information security. The Cyber Security Leadership Act (S. 187) would direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish higher standards for federal information security. NIST would develop the standards after agencies performed comprehensive analyses of their networks and systems to discover where weaknesses lie. http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2003/0120/web-cyber-01-21-03.asp - - - - - - - - US unveils chip-zapping 'lightning bomb' to tackle Saddam Remember the neutron bomb, the radiation-rich atomic weapon of the 1980s designed to kill people while leaving buildings intact? Well now we have a weapon suited for 21st century war - designed to fry electronics while leaving people, mostly, unharmed. Allegedly. High-Power microwave bombs are "man-made lightning bolts crammed into cruise missiles", Time (somewhat breathlessly describing the bomb as potentially the next "wonder weapon") reports. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/54/28942.html - - - - - - - - Possible FBI-Pentagon project raises new privacy questions Possible FBI involvement in a high-tech Pentagon project that sifts through Americans' personal information raises new concerns about privacy and civil liberties, Sen. Charles Grassley said Tuesday. The Defense Department's inspector general, Joseph Schmitz, told Grassley, R-Iowa, in a letter that the FBI was working on a memorandum of understanding with the Pentagon "for possible experimentation" with the data- mining project. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techpolicy/2003-01-21-fbi-pentagon_x.htm http://www.msnbc.com/news/862489.asp - - - - - - - - PAEDOPHILE SHOCK OF STOLEN CREDIT CARDS MANY suspected paedophiles caught in the child internet porn scandal are innocent victims who have had their credit cards stolen. Some do not even realise their cards have been taken until police come knocking on their doors. Fourteen people picked up in swoops on homes in Sussex were released because their credit cards, which were used to buy child porn, had been stolen. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/page.cfm?objectid=12551573&method=full&_siteid=50143 - - - - - - - - GPS Jammers Raise Concern Government officials and communications experts are assessing the public safety and security implications of a newly posted online article that provides directions for making cheap devices to jam Global Positioning System signals. Information in the article, in the current issue of an online hacker magazine called Phrack, potentially puts at risk GPS devices used for commercial navigation and military operations purposes, authorities said. http://www.computerworld.com/securitytopics/security/story/0,10801,77723,00.html - - - - - - - - Robbie Williams: Music piracy 'great' British pop star Robbie Williams shocked attendees Sunday at music industry confab Midem by declaring piracy a good idea. "I think it's great, really I do," Williams, who recently signed a reported $120 million deal with EMI/Capitol, said at a press conference. "There's nothing anyone can do about it. I'm sure my record label would hate me saying it, and my management and accountants." http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/internet/01/21/music.williams.reut/index.html - - - - - - - - Wherehouse files for Chapter 11, cites competition, piracy Wherehouse Entertainment Inc., which sells new and used music and DVDs in 23 states, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company said increasing competition from discount retailers, the rising popularity of CD burning and illegal downloading of music contributed to sagging sales at its 370 stores. The company, which emerged from bankruptcy in 1998, said Tuesday that the move was necessary to streamline its operations, including the closing of 120 stores within the next few months. http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/editorial/5000242.htm - - - - - - - - WS-I second round spec homes in on security A Microsoft Corp-backed industry group is preparing its second set of web services specifications to ensure interoperability of emerging XML security standards, writes Gavin Clarke. The Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) organization has created a working group whose task is to map out potential deliverables for a proposed security specification, called a profile, that will be based on security standards from other organizations. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/28946.html - - - - - - - - PeopleSoft vulnerability threatens data ISS has found a flaw that could allow an attacker to get access to confidential data through PeopleSoft's Application Messaging Gateway servlet. http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2129044,00.html - - - - - - - - Online gambling: Where it stops, nobody knows After her husband died the day before Christmas in 1997, June L. found herself living alone in her apartment in northern New Jersey. Cruising the Internet one day, the senior citizen discovered Web sites where she could play casino games such as blackjack and poker right from her home. At first, she won some of the time. In fact, on four occasions she won $10,000, and it was indeed sent to her. http://www.nandotimes.com/technology/story/727138p-5316450c.html - - - - - - - - Probation ends for convicted hacker Mitnick No longer on probation, convicted computer hacker Kevin Mitnick can log on to the Internet for the first time in eight years. Mitnick, 39, had been under strict probation since he was released from federal prison three years ago after serving a five-year sentence. He had been barred from contact with computers until last year and was not allowed to use the Internet until this week, after his probation ended Monday. http://www.nandotimes.com/technology/story/728052p-5321180c.html http://www.computerworld.com/securitytopics/security/hacking/story/0,10801,77756,00.html - - - - - - - - Digital memory threatened as file formats evolve You may have recently discovered priceless photographs of your childhood, yellowing but still tangible. Your grandkids probably won't fare as well with your digital photos. The computer files may survive but the equipment to make sense of them might not. This era could become a "digital dark age" a part of its collective memories forever lost. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2003-01-17-digital_x.htm - - - - - - - - AMD Boosts Wireless Security with New Memory Chip The low-powered chip will draw less battery power from mobile devices, increasing users' phone or application time. In an effort to step up wireless security in mobile devices, chipmaker AMD has released new flash memory technology designed to frustrate signal thieves and prevent fraudulent call billing. http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/20524.html - - - - - - - - Via puts "Padlock" on PC data Via Technologies is promising to put a padlock on PC data. The chipmaker, best known in the United States for its Apollo chipsets, will announce on Tuesday a new C3 processor that includes a data security feature, dubbed Padlock. According to Via, the C3 will ship by month's end. The 1GHz processor incorporates a random number generator, a tool used in file encryption. Software makers can use a programming tool from Via to write applications that, in turn, use the generator to encrypt their files. http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1103-981394.html http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2129100,00.html - - - - - - - - VPN Software Is Not Created Equal In addition to firewalls and virus scanning, vendors are including security elements such as intrusion detection and content filtering. "You want to embed as many of these security features as possible in the client," Yankee Group analyst Zeus Kerravala says. http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/20514.html - - - - - - - - The Turkey that Bites With last week's RIAA worm hoax, the scallywags at Gobbles raised security advisories to subversive performance art. Reading Bugtraq is a lot like reading Nietzsche: there's a difference between what the words on the page mean literally and what the author expects the enlightened reader to understand. A hoax pulled off by the security group Gobbles last week illustrates precisely this distinction between exoteric and esoteric meaning: while many readers panicked, most security professionals laughed. When the hoax was revealed, the trade press reported the incident in the same humorless voice as the latest recycled press release. http://online.securityfocus.com/columnists/137 - - - - - - - - California installs wireless surveillance The announcement last month that the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is putting wireless technology on several San Francisco bridges and tunnels for video surveillance may be just the beginning of a nationwide trend for such security measures. http://www.fcw.com/geb/articles/2003/0120/web-bay-01-21-03.asp - - - - - - - - Uzbeks stirred by online allegations against government A series of stories posted on the Internet before access was cut off have alleged high-level corruption and the president's imminent resignation, stirring rare public debate in this tightly controlled Central Asian nation. http://www.nandotimes.com/technology/story/728274p-5322271c.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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