NewsBits for February 5, 2003 sponsored by, Southeast Cybercrime Institute - ************************************************************ 19 Charged in Identity Theft That Netted $7 Million Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged 19 people with being part of an identity theft ring in the Bronx that obtained at least $7 million in federal tax refunds by filing thousands of fraudulent income tax returns. The scheme relied in part on a corrupt tax preparer in the Bronx who used stolen Social Security numbers to create the fake returns, the office of United States Attorney James B. Comey said yesterday. (NY Times article, free registration required) - - - - - - - - - - Online child porn arrests total 1,600 Operation Ore is investigating 6,500 men. More than 1,600 men have so far been arrested in Operation Ore, the huge UK police investigation into child porn on the internet. Of those, 46 were suspected of being directly involved in child abuse, the officer in charge of the inquiry has told BBC News. Another four have committed suicide, Assistant Chief Constable Jim Gamble of the National Crime Squad said. - - - - - - - - - - Feds pull suspicious .gov site In a move that raises questions about the security of governmental domains, the Bush administration has pulled the plug on a .gov Web site pending an investigation into the authenticity of the organization that controlled it. Until recently, visitors to the Web site were treated to a smorgasbord of information about an agency calling itself the Access One Network Northwest (AONN), a self-described cyberwarfare unit claiming to employ more than 2,000 people and had the support of the U.S. Department of Defense. - - - - - - - - - - Cyber-Security Plan Counts on Private Sector's Input This most recent draft of the national strategy is considered to be very similar to the final document that President Bush approved and signed recently, according to sources familiar with the process. The strategy is due for release within the next couple of weeks, although no exact date has been announced. The final version of the plan differs greatly from the preliminary draft released for comment by the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board in September under the direction of out-going PCIPB director Richard Clarke.,3959,861897,00.asp - - - - - - - - - - Foes of data-mining plan reiterate their criticisms Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on Wednesday joined a conference call designed to pressure House and Senate negotiators to preserve the moratorium on funding a controversial data-mining project known as Total Information Awareness (TIA). - - - - - - - - - - Copyright Legislation Unlikely, Both Sides Say Tech and media leaders say possibility of war and lack of consensus will stall efforts this year. Leaders of major entertainment and technology trade groups, often at odds over piracy and copyright issues, have found something to agree on: Chances are slim that Congress will jump into their controversies with significant legislation this year. (LA Times article, free registration required),0,2467332.story - - - - - - - - - - Email filters stop MPs talking dirty MPs are unable to discuss the Sexual Offences Bill because of their new email filtering software. The system, introduced last month after MPs complained of being inundated with pornographic and rude spam, blocked more than 900 emails in its first week, according to the BBC. - - - - - - - - - - Anti-Pirates slam EUCD proposals A group that calls itself "Europe's creative sector" has slammed the EU's crackdown on piracy, calling the measures "inadequate". The detractors include the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) and six other concerned software, music and film organisations. - - - - - - - - - - NHS patient data 'insecure', says group A think tank accuses the NHS of allowing thousands of unauthorised requests for patient data to slip through the net each year An information policy think tank has called for the NHS to improve its safeguards on patient privacy, charging that the current system allows thousands of unauthorised people to gain access to patient information every year.,,t269-s2129900,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Who is at risk from cyberattack? It may come as no surprise that utility firms often come under assault from hackers, but some of Symantec's findings are not as predictable Banking and utilities are two of the most at- risk sectors when it comes to the threat of attack by malicious code, such as hacks, worms and viruses. However, many may be surprised to hear that charities and not-for-profit organisations also feature prominently on the risk list.,,t269-s2129944,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Dud queries swamp US Internet Root servers Broken queries are swamping US Internet servers with unnecessary traffic. A detailed analysis of 152 million messages received on Oct. 4, 2002 by one of the root servers in California showed that only 2 per cent of the queries were legitimate. The Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) which conducted the research is trying to understand why the roots get so many broken queries from Internet service providers. - - - - - - - - - - IM creates 'rampant security risk' Some IT managers are concerned that IM can send files that are not virus-checked past corporate firewalls, creating a threat to network security. Instant messaging (IM) is taking off in companies but self-installed consumer versions of software that allows this type of communication are posing a "rampant security risk" on networks.,,t269-s2129928,00.html - - - - - - - - - - RFI aims at security info sharing The Federal Computer Incident Response Center today released a call for industry participation in an effort to develop common standards for exchanging security incident information. The request for information (RFI) stresses that compliance with such standards likely will become a requirement to qualify for future federal security purchases. - - - - - - - - - - A Teen Dies: Who Is Responsible? On a January afternoon in 2002, a 17-year-old boy from Lawrence, Kansas, posted the following message on several Internet newsgroups: From: unresistance ( Subject: goodbye. Newsgroups:, alt.suicide.methods, alt.drugs.psychedelics. I just took step one of my suicide plan thing. Should be dead in about 40 minutes. Bye everyone. (Part 3 or a 3 part story),1284,57548,00.html Part 1: Suicide 101: Lessons Before Dying,1284,57444,00.html Part 2: No One Asked Why He Wanted to Die,1284,57480,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Lessons From the Slammer January's Slammer infection held valuable lessons for all security stakeholders. The rapid spread of W32.SQLExp.Worm, more commonly known as Slammer, demonstrates yet again several glaring problems with the state of Internet security today. In so doing, it again raises the question of when, if ever, we will see positive improvements to our collective security posture. This is particularly evident as the mass media is focused on the Slammer exploit itself but it refuses to ask the tough questions needed to address the issues. Slammer: Why security benefits from proof of concept code Sapphire signals a new type of threat, experts say Researchers: Worm was fastest-spreading PC infection ever I can't help it if my code's read, says researcher,,t269-s2129946,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Networks suffer from wireless insecurity If you want to know how insecure today's wireless networks are, just ask the people who make it their mission to locate the access points designated by companies and consumers around the world. Armed with laptops, special software and some makeshift hardware, these wireless explorers drive through cities, suburbs and business parks in search of the signals that connect computers to wired networks and the Internet. The practice is called "wardriving," a term derived from the "wardialing" tactic of the movie "War Games," where a hacker dialsevery number in an area to find a modem. Open networks' safety dilemma,,t269-s2129880,00.html - - - - - - - - - - The Great IDS Debate: Signature Analysis Versus Protocol Analysis Intrusion detection systems (IDS) have rapidly become a crucial component of any network defense strategy. Over the past few years, their popularity has soared as vendors have refined their results and increased performance capabilities. At the heart of intrusion detection systems lies the analysis engine. - - - - - - - - - - E-Clearance success will let OPM clear Defense personnel The Office of Personnel Management Friday will announce it has completed the link between its Security/Sustainability Investigations Index and the Defense Departments Joint Personnel Adjudication System to make personnel data more easily accessible. This is the second milestone for the E-Clearance Quicksilver projectone of five OPM is leading. The linkage also will pave the way for the Defense Department to turn over all of its clearance investigations to OPM. Senior government officials today announced OPMs new task, which will bring about 80 percent of all federal clearances under the agencys management. - - - - - - - - - - ELFS keeps track of case files Finding case files floating among the 800 or so attorneys, paralegals and other staff members within San Diego County's Department of Child Support Services used to be so difficult that workers sometimes joked that elves were involved. After an attorney would check out a file from a central repository, or bank, it would pass from one individual to another without any real way of tracking it. E-mail messages among workers even offered rewards for locating certain files. *********************************************************** Computer Forensics Training - Online. An intense, 150 hour, instructor lead program that teaches you computer forensics and helps prepare you for the Certified Computer Examiner exam. 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