NewsBits for March 25, 2003 sponsored by, Southeast Cybercrime Institute - ************************************************************ Alleged virus creator detained in Sweden Swedish police said Tuesday they detained the creator of a computer virus that had tried to trick recipients into opening and spreading it by offering war-related messages. Police said the virus, dubbed Ganda, clogged thousands of computers worldwide last week, reproducing itself by sending out e-mail messages offering screen savers with names like "Spy pics" and "Go USA." A message hidden in the virus helped Swedish investigators trace the suspect to Haernoesand, 250 miles north of the capital, Stockholm, police spokesman Torbjoern Ull said. - - - - - - - - - - Al-Jazeera Web Site Enduring Hack Attack Hackers attacked the Web site of Arab satellite television network Al-Jazeera on Tuesday, rendering it intermittently unavailable, the site's host said. The newly launched English-language page, which went live Monday and posted images of the corpses of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, was hardest hit in a bombardment of data packets known as a denial-of-service attack. Ayman Arrashid, Internet system administrator at the Horizons Media and Information Services, the site's Web host, said the attack began Tuesday morning local time. - - - - - - - - - - BSO says Davie man, 34, arrested at rendezvous with 16-year-old girl A 34-year-old Davie man was arrested in Manatee County over the weekend on a child porn charge after he arrived for a sexual rendezvous with a 16-year-old girl he'd met over the Internet, the Broward Sheriff's Office said on Monday. David Charles Budina remains in custody in Bradenton in lieu of $126,000 bond after his arrest on three counts of sexual activity with a minor, two counts of transmission of harmful material to a minor by electronic device, and one count of computer pornography. BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said Budina met his 16-year-old victim in an AOL online chat room using the screen name "Flyfedave.",0,4118870.story - - - - - - - - - - Former Police Chief Convicted On Porn Charges A former Radcliff police chief has been found guilty of receiving child pornography by a federal jury in Louisville. The U.S. attorney's office said today that 59-year-old John Patrick Farrelly was found guilty after a three-day trial in U.S. District Court. Farrelly was the former police chief at Radcliff and coordinator of the Hardin County 911 Center. Federal agents seized Farrelly's work computer from the Hardin County 911 Center and conducted a review of the history and memory of the computer. The investigation revealed that Farrelly had received images of child pornography and accessed child pornography Web sites as far back as 1999. - - - - - - - - - - Former Iowa State Coach Pleads Innocent To Porn Charges A former Iowa State assistant basketball coach pleaded innocent Monday to child pornography charges. Randall Brown made his plea in U.S. District Court and remains free on his own recognizance. His trial was tentatively set for mid-May. According to an affidavit, U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigators seized computers from Brown's home and office Jan. 24. On the computers were pictures of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Brown also is accused of destroying disks containing additional images, even though he had been warned not to destroy evidence, the affidavit said. Linda Jensen, a U.S. Postal Inspection Service spokeswoman, declined to say what led authorities to Brown. - - - - - - - - - - Program targets Windows 2000 flaw A Venezuelan security consultant has released a small program designed to compromise Microsoft Internet Information Service servers that haven't had a recent security hole patched. Monday's public release of the program's source code--known in security parlance as an exploit--will allow less technically knowledgeable system administrators to test for the existence of the vulnerability or allow less skillful miscreants to attack servers. "I released (the code) to enlighten the public and to promote system security for administrators unfamiliar with these exploits," said Rafael Nunez, information security consultant for Scientech de Venezuela and a former hacker who used the handle "RaFa.",10801,79701,00.html Experts: Windows flaw is serious - - - - - - - - - - Writers of Viruses Get Politics Bug The war hasn't spawned new viruses. Instead, the same old viruses are being sent with new subject lines in the e-mail, said Roger Thompson, director of malicious code for Herndon, Va.-based anti-virus specialist TruSecure. Computer viruses that a couple of weeks ago promised photos of naked women as an enticement may now claim to have a satellite photo of the war scene in Iraq. If you get an e-mail that mentions Iraq in the subject line, be doubly cautious. It may contain a computer virus. - - - - - - - - - - Scam casts doubt on eBay's anti-fraud software Robert Beck suspended his distrust of online auctions last month and went for a top-of-the-line speaker system. He cast a winning bid of $1,900, paid by credit card and waited for his first eBay purchase. The speakers never arrived. Last week, detectives confirmed to the 25-year- old engineer that the sellers, an Arizona couple, had cashed out their bank account and fled town. The couple allegedly stole more than $100,000 from more than 500 bidders. The case has cast suspicion on eBay Inc.'s anti-fraud software, which the San Jose-based company installed nearly a year ago to counter complaints about fly-by-night sellers. - - - - - - - - - - Huawei admits to a little copying Huawei Technologies said in court papers filed this week that it used some of Cisco Systems' source code in its routers. But the Chinese manufacturer said the copying was inadvertent and involved far less code than Cisco claims. Huawei also said the offending code has since been removed. Even so, Cisco said in a statement, the admission is "further evidence that Huawei has unlawfully acquired and used Cisco's intellectual property." - - - - - - - - - - House hearing offers clash over use of data mining A coalition of privacy groups wants the U.S. Congress to halt the creation of a federal database of airline- passenger profiles until more details about who would be included and how it would be operated are available. Meanwhile, the White House's CIO questioned today at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing whether that data mining program would be effective. At that hearing, a law professor and congressman disagreed over whether Congress should regulate government data mining efforts, while most witnesses praised the use of data analysis for everything from reducing credit card abuse in government to catching terrorists.,10801,79702,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Expert wary about information misuse As the government gears up its domestic security program, the chief executive of a venture capital firm founded by the CIA warns of the danger of amassing a large, unified database that would be available to government investigators--as some technology executives have advocated. "I think it's very dangerous to give the government total access," said Gilman Louie, chief executive of In-Q-Tel, a venture fund established by the CIA in 1999.,1367,58191,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Two appointed to cybersecurity panel The governor of Maryland and the CEO of Stanford Hospital have been selected to join a national advisory panel on cybersecurity. The White House on Monday announced that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Martha Marsh will be appointed to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council. President George W. Bush created the council by executive order a month after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It is charged with providing advice on "the security of information systems for critical infrastructure" in areas such as banking, finance, transportation, energy, manufacturing and emergency government services. - - - - - - - - - - States Seen As Lax on Database Security An overwhelming majority of states have failed to require insurance companies to protect their computerized data from hacking and other attacks, according to a study that raises questions about how aggressively states are tackling cybersecurity overall. Only 14 states, including Virginia, comply with federal mandates to help ensure the protection of computer systems that hold confidential information about millions of people, the study found. - - - - - - - - - - War on Warez Managers of websites offering illegal business software could face criminal proceedings under new laws due to come into effect from the end of this month, the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) warned yesterday. The new law, precipitated by the EU's Information Society Directive, makes it an offence to "communicate to the public" copyright works, such as software, if the person knew or had reason to believe that this would infringe copyright. - - - - - - - - - - UK workers succumb to email paranoia UK workers are becoming increasingly paranoid about who exactly is reading their e-mail and also accidentally forwarding personal mails. Findings from a survey of office workers by Yahoo! Mail showed that close to half believe that their colleagues are sifting through their in-boxes for scandalous details, while nearly a third are concerned about e-mails with private and/or embarrassing content finding their way into the wrong hands. - - - - - - - - - - University course to tackle hacking UK's first undergraduate IT security module will teach the finer points of writing secure code Microsoft and the University of Leeds are to develop what they say will be the UK's first undergraduate computer security module. The course aims to provide developers with the knowledge they need to identify potential weaknesses that could be exploited by hackers or virus writers. The final course, provisionally entitled Secure Computing, is about one year from completion. - - - - - - - - - - Malicious impostors sow seeds of disinformation Security testing outfit NTA Monitor has warned of the increased likelihood of attacks against news sites and corporate Web sites during the current war in Iraq. News sites are especially at risk, because attackers could use weaknesses in sites or domain registration tricks to 'rewrite' breaking news to try to create confusion and panic, according to NTA. - - - - - - - - - - Scanning the future of privacy Engineers who design biometric technologies and Internet authentication mechanisms should take more aggressive steps to preserve privacy, a new government report says. The 177-page report released Tuesday afternoon by the National Research Council suggests specific guidelines for authentication technologies, such as passwords, identification cards and key cards, and the use of biometrics to verify physical characteristics like the shape of a retina or fingerprint. - - - - - - - - - - Face recognition gets lift, says U.S. Spurred by two federal antiterrorism statutes, the Commerce Department this month released a study showing that face-recognition technology is hitting its stride. The Face Recognition Vendor Test 2002 (FRVT 2002) looked at 10 companies' work on face recognition and said they had made "significant advances" on the state of the art. "The performance an improvement in the capabilities of the face-recognition systems over the last two years," concludes the report. "On comparable experiments in...2000, there has been a 50 percent reduction in error rates." - - - - - - - - - - Wi-Fi firewall gets U.S. approval Cranite Systems, a 3-year-old start-up based in San Jose, Calif., said its WirelessWall Software Suite, a firewall for wireless networks, had earned the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2 certification from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The certification, granted March 21, makes Cranite eligible to sell its wares to the U.S. government. Computer giant Hewlett-Packard plans to resell Cranite's software to government agencies. - - - - - - - - - - Companies review their IT security as war breaks out Tom King, chief information security officer at investment banking firm Lehman Bros., last week was taking a hard second look at his company's IT security and business continuity plans. As the countdown to war neared its end, King said he remained fairly optimistic that the conflict wouldn't provoke major cyberattacks against U.S. corporate targets. The review, he said, was a precautionary move to ensure that the company's "high-value production systems," network entry points and remote access processes are adequately shielded against random attacks. - - - - - - - - - - Virus Hoaxes and the Real Dangers They Pose Jerry Bryan immediately knew there was something wrong at his church. He knew it the second he opened up the email from the pastor. As a highly respected member of his church and a known technophile, Jerry was often consulted by the pastor concerning technical matters. In this case, however, the pastor was passing along a serious warning. A secretary at his church had received an email from a friend that scared her. - - - - - - - - - - How to prepare for the coming virus onslaught At one time, virus writers were considered by fellow hackers to be near the bottom of the heap. Not anymore. With increased security in Microsoft Outlook 2002, and better heuristics in today's antivirus software, viruses must be more sophisticated in order to spread --and those who can write them are gaining standing among their peers. As a result, experienced hackers who really know how to program are trying their hand at viral code.,10738,2912994,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Are Wireless Networks Secure Yet? Once vendors and standard-setters solve the encryption and authentication problems facing WLANs, they will be able to attack new areas of network management, such as quality of service and network health. It is no secret that wireless local area networks, or WLANs, can be probed by anyone within range of their radio signal, leaving them vulnerable to eavesdropping, unauthorized access and even viruses. In short, most WLANs have security loopholes large enough to drive a truck through. Wipe out your wireless worries,10801,79699,00.html - - - - - - - - - - The Trouble With E-Mail ISPs and Webmasters don't want to admit it, but some of the most basic e-mail protocols and server software tools are highly vulnerable to spam, worms, and other malicious activity. The rise of spam and e-mail-borne worms and viruses has shown that SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is wide open to malicious use. A few weeks ago, Sendmail was in the news because of a critical vulnerability. - - - - - - - - - - Ultrawideband of Brothers A mobile network of high-powered radio transmitters will track Marines in the field. Next up: firefighters and schoolkids. Forget Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G. There's already a form of wireless that offers blazing-fast data rates, supports high-definition TV feeds, and - if given the chance, say its most ardent supporters - could replace the billion-dollar networks used by Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. It's the controversial, decades-old technology known as ultrawideband. *********************************************************** 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. For more information see; *********************************************************** Search the Archive at: *********************************************************** The source material may be copyrighted and all rights are retained by the original author/publisher. The information is provided to you for non-profit research and educational purposes. 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