NewsBits for February 13, 2003 sponsored by, Southeast Cybercrime Institute - ************************************************************ Appeals court overturns dismissal of child porn charges A state appeals court Wednesday overturned a Collier County Circuit judge's dismissal of child pornography possession charges against an East Naples woman. The Second District Court of Appeal, based in Lakeland, issued a ruling reinstating the criminal case against Dalia Fernandez. The appeals court decision follows an identical decision in a similar case, in which the court overturned another Collier judge's dismissal of 77 counts of possession of photos depicting sexual conduct of a minor. - - - - - - - - - - Tenn. Mayor Faces Child Porn Charges A small-town mayor is accused of receiving child pornography on his computer, a charge he says stems from a political feud. A one-count indictment filed Tuesday accuses Copperhill Mayor Robert Thomas, 63, of receiving child pornography on his home computer in April 2000. "I know who is behind it," he said, declining to identify anyone. A statement from U.S. Attorney Harry Mattice Jr. said the charge stems from an FBI investigation. - - - - - - - - - - FBI arrests man, 45, on child porn charges The U.S. attorney will ask Federal Magistrate John Froeschner to hold a Friendswood man without bond when the defendant appears in court Friday on child pornography charges. Timothy Bourgeois, 45, was arrested about 5 p.m. on Tuesday and was charged with two counts of possession of child pornography, two counts of receiving child pornography and one count of transporting child pornography. In this case, the investigation started after authorities received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. - - - - - - - - - - Local Man Tried To Meet Teen At Mall Roger Gross, a 60-year-old retired enginner from Monroe, was arrested at a local mall Wednesday, WLWT Eyewitness News 5's John London reported. According to investigators, Gross was waiting to meet whom he thought was going to be a 15- year-old girl he thought he met in an Internet chat room. Investigators said it was the 16th such local arrest in a year. - - - - - - - - - - Westmoreland man admits filming sex with 6-year-old on Internet John T. Litavic, who called himself "dadanddaughteryung" on the Internet, admitted to a federal judge this week that he had sex with his girlfriend's 6-year old daughter and transmitted the images live online. Litavic, 36, of North Huntingdon, pleaded guilty to charges of exploiting a child to produce a visual depiction, possession of child pornography and receipt of obscene materials. According to Allegheny County police and federal agents, Litavic had sex with the girl live on the Internet at her Glassport home using a Web camera on Feb. 8, 2002. He got caught when a woman in Indianapolis who saw the images during an Internet conversation called police. - - - - - - - - - - Judge prohibits man from using Internet One of Eugene Hardesty's favorite activities used to be surfing the Internet. But under terms of a sentence imposed on Hardesty Wednesday for using cyberspace to arrange to have sex with what he thought was a 15-year-old, he's forbidden to go online ever again or even to live in a home with Internet access. - - - - - - - - - - P2P virus fakes nude Zeta Jones pics A virus posing as racy pictures of Oscar-nominee Catherine Zeta Jones, or other well-known celebs, is doing the rounds on the Net. Users of file sharing networks are been lured into opening a file that promises compromising pictures of Catherine Zeta Jones and other celebrities such as Britney Spears, Sandra_Bullock and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Instead of cheap thrills, these files offer a poisoned payload. Users who open the infectious file activate Igloo, a backdoor Trojan horse and Internet worm which spreads via file sharing on KaZaA networks and via IRC channels. Igloo is the latest in a line of worms to target file-sharing networks.,,t269-s2130450,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Piracy indictments to test DMCA's clout Invoking the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a federal grand jury has indicted six people on charges of developing software and hardware designed to hack into paid TV satellite transmissions. The defendants allegedly created software and hardware designed to unscramble transmission signals sent by satellite TV operators, such as DirecTV and Dish Networks, said James Spertus, an assistant U.S. attorney with the computer crimes section of the U.S. Attorney General's Office for the Central District of California. - - - - - - - - - - Internet Luring Legislation Using the Internet to lure minors for sexual encounters would be a felony under a bill introduced by Assembly Republicans. "Current law is not sufficient to protect our children from vile predators who tempt young victims into isolated areas for the sole purpose of committing sex acts," said one of the bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Charles Nesbitt, an Orleans County Republican. The bill announced Tuesday would create the crime of "computer luring," a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. The crime is classified as a misdemeanor under current state law, which carries a sentence of up to a year in jail. - - - - - - - - - - Johnson reintroduces act Congresswoman Nancy Johnson reintroduced her Child Sex Crimes Wiretapping Act of 2003 in the House today, teaming up with U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to give federal law enforcement agencies greater wiretapping authority to catch online predators before they strike. Rep. Johnson's legislation passed the House last year by a 396-11 vote but was never taken up in the Senate. - - - - - - - - - - More U.S. trade secrets walk out door with foreign spies As the nation braces for global terrorism and war with Iraq, corporate espionage on the home front by foreign spies may be intensifying, security and law enforcement officials warn. In the post-Cold War era, the most dangerous threats come from all corners of the globe, including China, South Korea, France, Israel and Japan, espionage experts say. Whether enemies or allies, all are intent on swiping U.S. trade secrets for commercial and military use. - - - - - - - - - - 'Annoying' script kiddies no real threat Amateurs on the rise but serious hacking remains stable. Security companies have observed a huge increase in the number of hacking attempts, most of them carried out with limited effect by 'script kiddies' with little experience. The number of serious hacking attacks remains stable, according to security experts. Most script kiddies, meanwhile, lack the ability to undertake complex attacks and instead use automated hacking tools. warns script kiddies to stay out of cyberwar - - - - - - - - - - E-terrorism threat calls for vigilance Essential UK computer systems are under threat of attack from hostile governments and terrorists, senior government sources have warned. The so-called Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) is thought to be at risk from hostile countries and anti-British terrorists exploiting less well protected systems to gain access to the CNI. - - - - - - - - - - City firms ignore network security threat Third of wireless networks vulnerable to hackers Businesses in the City are failing to take basic precautions to secure wireless networks, despite the high-profile threat of drive-by hacking. The second annual Wireless Security Survey of London shows an increase in wireless local area networks (Lans), but previous security warnings have not been heeded. - - - - - - - - - - Arizona's cyberslueths In the information age, crime has gone high-tech, including crimes against children. But law enforcement agencies are responding by going high-tech, too, and recently made an important bust in the Valley. The suspect in the bust is Samuel Lawson, who investigators say tried to lure a 12-year-old girl for sex using the Internet. Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies in the computer crimes division stepped in. - - - - - - - - - - Tracking Cyber Criminals As computers have gotten more sophisticated, following the trail of cybercrimes has become more complex. Charlotte is one of only five cities in the country to have a police officer trained by the secret service to find and analyze computer evidence. On the second floor of the police department, Walt Suarez walks along a narrow hallway and unlocks the door to what could be the future of criminal investigations. - - - - - - - - - - Computer Worms Turn, But Business Slow To Insure Against Risk Economist Bob Hartwig once predicted that cyber insurance would grow to $2.5 billion in sales by 2002. Industry officials doubt that actual sales have topped $100 million yet. Companies are not racing to buy insurance against computer hackers, despite the latest computer worm that brought chaos to servers across the United States, Asia and Europe, rendering some systems useless. Insurance professionals argue that the continuing risk to corporations is real and should not be ignored. - - - - - - - - - - Infosec among R&D priorities The federal research and development budget is slated to increase in the Bush administration's fiscal 2004 request, but members of Congress are keeping a close eye on it to make sure it grows in the right way. While appropriators are hammering out the final details of the fiscal 2003 budget now almost six months late the House Science Committee held its first meeting on where the administration wants to spend its R&D money next year. The committee chairman, Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.), declared information security one of the top priorities. - - - - - - - - - - Stop! Laptop Thief! Portable PCs have never been so easy to steal. Here's how to get yours back. Think for a minute like a white-collar kleptomaniac. What's worth more than you're ever likely to lift from a wallet, owned by an increasing number of your co-workers and often left sitting on their desks at lunchtime? That's right: a laptop computer. Laptops are getting smaller, lighter and easier to conceal. Many electronics stores will buy them for their used and refurbished sections. Heck, even the irs has lost 2,332 laptops in the past three years. Who is going to miss one more?,9565,411505,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Mitnick Banned From Security Group By all accounts ex-hacker Kevin Mitnick created only a modest stir when he sauntered into the December meeting of the Los Angeles chapter of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA). He sat quietly, paid attention, and at the conclusion of the meeting joined with some of the other 60-odd attendees swapping business cards, chatting with fellow computer security workers and discussing his plans for his new consulting business, Defensive Thinking. "He wasn't flashy at all," recalls one chapter member, who didn't recognize Mitnick until the conclusion of the meeting. "He introduced himself as 'Kevin.'" - - - - - - - - - - Microsoft issues Internet Explorer patch to fix previous patch Microsoft is issuing a new patch for its popular Web-browsing software because an earlier one broke a function that let users enter Web sites where they had previously registered. A patch for Internet Explorer versions 5.01, 5.5 and 6.0 was initially posted Feb. 5 to fix security flaws that could allow an attacker to access users' information or otherwise take control of their computers. - - - - - - - - - - MS takes a stab at security bulletin for the masses Microsoft has several problems with security, in addition to the obvious. The company has a lot of security alerts, yes, and if it's serious about security it has to keep people informed. But security bulletins in their unvarnished form are desperately techie, and will only serve to confuse/scare most users. - - - - - - - - - - Are You Infected? Detecting Malware Infection The day starts normally. You wake up, drive to work, go to your desk, turn on your computer, take a sip from your coffee, and proceed to check your email. Reminders here, spam there, pictures here, stories there, a couple of games, and some animation. Classify your mail: work related here, from friends, families and acquaintances there. Then you take your morning break. Break is over so you get back to your computer and suddenly notice that it is busy with something you are not aware of. So you decide to close all applications, one at a time, and try to figure out what is going on. Then you notice that closing applications is slower than usual. - - - - - - - - - - ID card proposal 'falls short of data laws' UK's Data Watchdog is concerned that the governments proposals for a national ID card need to be focused so they don't breach privacy laws. The UK's Information Commissioner believes the government's proposals for a national entitlement card are so widely drawn that "it is impossible to conclude that the necessary privacy and data protection safeguards will be in place.",,t269-s2130438,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Voice recognition software picks up on what words can't express They can say they want to live. But for Kim Cates, founder of a Boston-based suicide hotline, the question of whether her callers are a danger to themselves really comes down to how they say it. "Because stuff comes out that they don't even know themselves," she says. When they're too upset to be lucid, their tone "gives them away." Though the stakes are rarely this high, we all make such judgments about strangers based on their voices. Every conversation we have carries a subtext that would be invisible to someone reading its script: the uptilt to a question, the long sneer of sarcasm, the quaver of uncertainty. *********************************************************** 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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