NewsBits for March 6, 2003 sponsored by, Southeast Cybercrime Institute - ************************************************************ Two suspects arrested in Web bank theft Two men were arrested for allegedly hacking into bank accounts through the Internet and stealing $136,000, police said Thursday. Police suspect 35-year-old Ko Hakata, a former computer software developer who is now unemployed, and Goro Nakahashi, a 27-year-old businessman, robbed the unidentified bank's accounts from a computer at a Tokyo cafe September 18. - - - - - - - - - - Hackers steal thousands of Social Security numbers Hackers broke into a database and stole the names, Social Security numbers and e-mail addresses of more than 55,000 students, former students and employees at the University of Texas at Austin, university officials said. It wasn't immediately clear if the information was used to illegally obtain credit cards or withdraw money from bank accounts. School officials said they were notifying the people victimized. - - - - - - - - - - Key Internet registry weathers serious DDoS assault Internet registry RIPE (Reseaux IP Europeens) yesterday reported its services were back to normal, after it became the victim of a serious DDoS at the end of last month. All but a tenth of traffic sent to RIPE failed to reach the registry during the two and a half hour duration of the attack on February 27. The distributed ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) echo attack left RIPE's DNS, Whois and FTP services unavailable during the duration of the attack, between 14:00 and 16:30 GMT on February 27. RIPE's Web site was also affected. - - - - - - - - - - ISP searched in music piracy probe Australian police have executed search warrants on Telstra, the country's largest phone company, as part of one of the nation's biggest investigations of online music piracy. A representative for Telstra, which is also an Internet service provider, said Thursday that federal police visited one of its Melbourne offices last week in connection with alleged piracy that involved downloads of music potentially worth up to $36 million (60 million Australian dollars). - - - - - - - - - - Email scam aims to swipe PayPal users' credit card details PayPal scam artists are getting more ambitious, and less subtle, in their attempts to hoodwink gullible punters. A bogus email doing the rounds this week asks punter not only for their PayPal login but their bank account and credit card details. The email, which might appear authentic at first sight, tries to hoodwink punters that they need to send this data as part of a supposed security check. Yeah, right. - - - - - - - - - - Two Osan airmen receive federal convictions Senior Airman Dennis J. Scholz Jr. from the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of child pornography and elected to have his case tried by military judge alone at a general court-martial. While using Scholz's personal computer to locate a file of wb-cam photographs, his roommate discovered images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit acts. The airman informed his unit's first sergeant who notified the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Investigators found numerous sexually explicit images and movie files involving minors. - - - - - - - - - - Alleged Net-planned suicide claims three more in Japan Police were investigating an apparent Internet- planned suicide Wednesday after finding the bodies of three Japanese in a car with taped windows, a charcoal stove, a computer and a memo detailing suicide plans. If an online connection is proven, it would be the second Internet-planned group suicide in Japan since an unidentified 26-year- old man and two women, believed to have met through a Web site, were found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in a vacant apartment in Tokyo's outskirts last month. - - - - - - - - - - Mad antipiracy bot sics BSA on OpenOffice FTP site The Business Software Alliance has pulled off an astonishing anti-piracy coup, identifying a major European university as a distribution hub for... Oops. The University of Munster last week received a "Notice of Claimed Infringement" concerning the unauthorised distribution of Microsoft Office from one Corinna Beck, of the BSA in Washington. Ms Beck must be a very busy person, because she appears not to read her own emails before sending them. - - - - - - - - - - Games' copy protection cracked in days, says newsletter Russian copy protection specialist StarForce Technology has stepped into the gap left by the DoJ's repurposing of ISONews. Not, we presume, deliberately, but it's a funny coincidence all the same. Prior to becoming an antipiracy propaganda site, and indeed prior to getting involved in Xbox mod chips, ISONews produced lists of software that had been cracked, and names of the teams that had produced the cracks. We have no idea why anyone would find such information useful, nor why ISONews did this, but you can always take your pick from one of these. - - - - - - - - - - Library Software Filters Debated Solicitor general argues for restoration of a law that requires computers to block pornography. Most justices sound supportive of statute. A Bush administration official urged the Supreme Court on Wednesday to revive a law that would require the nation's public libraries to install software filters on their computers to screen out pornography. (LA Times article, free registration required),1,4754339.story Sex, the Constitution and the Net - - - - - - - - - - Disorder in the court A controversial case before a federal appeals court could significantly restrict legal protections that have long absolved Internet companies from responsibility for their customers' actions. The issue stems from a libel lawsuit filed by actress Christianne Carafano over postings that appeared on the dating site Her suit was filed against the company that operates the site, Metrosplash, which was acquired by Lycos in June 2000 for about $44 million in cash. - - - - - - - - - - Filling the cybersecurity void Bush administration officials are considering the creation of a special coordinating committee to replace the now-defunct Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, which was eliminated in a recent executive order. Meanwhile, the House Select Committee on Homeland Security created a subcommittee to examine cybersecurity issues. - - - - - - - - - - Personal storage sites are the latest 'security risk' Internet filtering outfit Websense has set its sights at stamping out uncontrolled use of personal storage sites in the workplace, describing data backup sites as the latest security risk. So if Websense has its way personal storage sites will join the list of prescribed workplace Internet activities alongside surfing for porn, swapping MP3 files and instant messaging as unacceptable security and liability risks. What is an employee supposed to do - work? - - - - - - - - - - Nigerian scam continues to thrive Two new flavors of the age-old Nigerian e-mail scam are making the rounds, and at least one of them appears to be gaining traction. Hundreds of victims have recently fallen for a variation that plays upon peoples misunderstanding about how bank cashiers checks work. Meanwhile, other scammers are trying to take advantage of heightened interest in Iraq, posing as frightened Iraqis trying to move money out of that country before hostilities begin. The scam also took a deadly turn last month, when a victim in the Czech Republic allegedly shot and killed a Nigerian diplomat after losing his life savings to the scam. Lazy guide to net culture: Nigerian Scam Baiting - - - - - - - - - - Better Records Make Alexandria Tops in Identity Theft For the second consecutive year, the number of identity-theft cases assigned to Alexandria police officers grew significantly -- from 78 in 2001 to 114 last year -- and the city continues to have the most documented victims of that category of crime in Virginia. - - - - - - - - - - Singapore: Hub for bootleggers? Singapore has been a success story in fighting pirated movies, but an industry association warns the city-state could just be shipping the problem out of the country. Singapore is the third lowest in terms of losses due to piracy in Asia-Pacific, ahead of only Vietnam and New Zealand, said Michael Ellis, vice president and regional director of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), a U.S.-based film rights advocate. But he warned that Singapore acts as a transshipment center for pirated DVDs produced in Indonesia and Malaysia. About 13 percent of counterfeit seizures made in the United Kingdom last year were shipped from the republic, he said. - - - - - - - - - - Face off over digital television copy protection Hollywood and Silicon Valley carried their battle over Internet piracy to Capitol Hill on Thursday, debating the need for technology to prevent the illegal trading of movies and television shows online. The entertainment industry told lawmakers that without copy protection the threat of extensive piracy will force the industry to move its best programming to pay services such as cable and satellite TV. - - - - - - - - - - Aussies chew over enforced Net filters Lawmakers down under are considering making it compulsory for ISPs to filter out unwanted XXX content. The measure is just one proposal currently being tossed around following the publication of a report by the Australia Institute research group, which claimed that Australia's anti-porn legislation simply wasn't working. - - - - - - - - - - Standards group to put spam on a diet An influential Internet standards-setting body has begun a close scrutiny of the mounting problem of e-mail spam, in an effort that could have broad- ranging implications for future e-mail use and security. An official Anti-Spam Research Group has been convened under the auspices of the Internet Research Task Force, a loose organization affiliated with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The IETF has traditionally been responsible for standardizing basic Net technologies such as e-mail, data transfer protocols and Internet addresses, among a host of other issues. - - - - - - - - - - Government surveillance slows Internet access In China China's Internet users are suffering sharp slowdowns in access because of the communist government's heightened efforts to police online content, industry experts say. Some experts say problems have worsened this week, suggesting Beijing is tightening surveillance during the annual meeting of China's parliament. China is trying to reap the Internet's benefits while also controlling what its people read and hear. Authorities have invested both in spreading Internet access and in installing technology to scan Web sites and e-mail for content deemed subversive or obscene. - - - - - - - - - - Playboy wins major domain name case Playboy Enterprises International ("Playboy"), is a pioneer when it comes to developing the law of the Internet. Indeed, from the outset of the commercialization of the Internet, Playboy has been aggressive in protecting trademarks in cyberspace. As part of this campaign, Playboy just scored a major victory in terms of winning the transfer of more than 70 domain names containing the Playboy trademarks from Domain Active Pty Limited ("Respondent") in an arbitration before the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center. - - - - - - - - - - Scan your browser's security for free Surfers are being offered a check on the security of their browser with a free security tool. The Browser Security Test, from Belgian security outfit ScanIT, tests for system vulnerability against a range of 22 simulated attacks. Browser insecurity is, of course, a significant source of Net security problems. - - - - - - - - - - Start-ups tapping into network security Stopping nosy neighbors from getting a free ride on your wireless network has been a thorny issue, as highlighted recently at two venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. Consider the incident at 2480 Sand Hill Road, home of two well-known venture capital firms, August Capital on the ground floor, and Benchmark Capital upstairs. About a year ago, a guest sitting in August Capital's conference room innocently sought a wireless connection for his computer, and connected to a network. August's partners were surprised; they knew they didn't have such a network themselves. The visitor, they realized, had tapped into Benchmark upstairs - - - - - - - - - - E-Punishment: How Much Is Too Much? You don't have to be F. Lee Bailey to worry about cybercrime. Stories in the trades and the general press sound the alarm loud and clear, seemingly every day. But a trio of legal defense groups including the influential Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)is questioning what happens after a hacker gets nabbed. They say the punishment meted out to the few cybercrooks who actually get caught has been too harsh. A paper they prepared for the government says those convicted are receiving sentences based on the fear of the worst-case scenario, rather than what the case may really be about. - - - - - - - - - - Make the Desktop a More Secure Place The most significant issue is that Integrity supports Windows only. If you have a heterogeneous enterprise, you'll require something else to address personal- firewall needs. The hardware firewall that stands between the enterprise and the savaging hordes on the Internet fulfills an obvious need. But companies need internal firewalls, both to protect against the accidentally induced virus or worm and against the depredations of rogue or disgruntled employees. - - - - - - - - - - Data mining software digs up buzzwords Computer scientist Jon Kleinberg is taking a virtual stroll down the information superhighway, surfing cyberspace for verbal megatrends. Did you wince? Those hopelessly passe terms were passably hip just a few years back. Then, due to overuse or a feckless public, they fell out of fashion. (Linguists suspect Al Gore of wearing out the superhighway quip.) - - - - - - - - - - Windows Forensics - A Case Study: Part Two This article is the second in a two-part series that will offer a case study of forensics in a Windows environment. In Part One, we discussed host-based forensics techniques that first responders can use to detect attacks in relatively unprotected environments, and how to begin collecting information to determine the appropriate response. 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