NewsBits for March 27, 2003 sponsored by, Southeast Cybercrime Institute - ************************************************************ Hackers Put U.S. Flag on Al-Jazeera Site Hackers wreaked electronic havoc. Thursday on Internet sites operated by the Arab television network Al-Jazeera, diverting Web surfers to pornography and to a page with a U.S. flag and the message "Let Freedom Ring." Hackers impersonating an Al-Jazeera employee tricked one of the Internet's most popular Web addressing companies, Network Solutions Inc., into making technical changes that effectively turned over temporary control of the network's Arabic and English Web sites.,1377,58238,00.html - - - - - - - - - - House votes on Net porn The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to ban pornographic Internet sites with misleading addresses and computer-generated child pornography. During a debate over a bill to create a notification network for child kidnapping cases, House members added two technology-related amendments to the legislation. The first measure, which was approved by voice vote, says anyone who knowingly uses an innocent-sounding domain name to drive traffic to a sex site could be fined and imprisoned for two to four years. - - - - - - - - - - FBI seeks Internet telephony surveillance The Justice Department and the FBI ask regulators for expanded technical capabilities to intercept Voice Over IP communications... and anything else that uses broadband. The FBI and Justice Department are worried that Voice Over IP (VoIP) applications may become safe havens for criminals to communicate with one another, unless U.S. regulators make broadband services more vulnerable to lawful electronic eavesdropping, according to comments filed with the FCC this month. - - - - - - - - - - California spam bill passes Senate A California antispam bill passed the Senate on Wednesday, a first step toward the passage of a law that would give people the right to sue spammers. The bill, introduced by Sen. Debra Bowen, a Democrat, allows any Californian who receives an unsolicited ad via e-mail to sue the sender in court for $500 per violation; and judges can triple the fine if they find that the sender willfully and knowingly violated the California ban. - - - - - - - - - - Wartime Internet Security Is 'Business as Usual' Federal officials last week warned that the Iraq war may prompt hackers to attack data systems and critical networks. But for the most part, Internet security firms aren't changing their standard procedures to accommodate the higher threat level -- because for them, vigilance is par for the course. - - - - - - - - - - Agencies are making progress in security, OMB says The Office of Management and Budget gave a sneak preview today of its second annual report to Congress on the state of agencies IT security. "We made progress across the government, said Kamela White, a senior policy analyst in OMBs Information Policy and Technology Branch. But in some cases, although the numbers are heading in the right direction, they are still low. There are hundreds of millions of dollars in IT investments that OMB considers at-risk if [their security] problems are not corrected by the end of the fiscal year. - - - - - - - - - - ID theft costs banks $1 billion a year Theres no way to positively identify new customers Banks lost at least $1 billion to identity thieves last year, according to a report issued Tuesday by TowerGroup Inc. While only an estimate, it is one of the first attempts to put a detailed price tag on what has been called the nations fastest growing crime. Whats more, the report asserts, banks have no way of telling whether new customers applying for a loan or credit card are actually who they say they are. - - - - - - - - - - Poor training causes security holes Poorly trained staff and human error are the main causes of network security breaches, according to a recent survey. Human error in the workplace still poses the single biggest threat to corporate networks, with a lack of training being blamed for problems businesses should have overcome long ago. A survey commissioned by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) revealed that 31 percent of companies have experienced between one and three "major security breaches" in the past six months -- characterised as a security breach which causes real and serious harm to a network.,,t269-s2132609,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Antipiracy pamphlets head to college The music industry has begun dropping pamphlets on universities across the globe in its latest blitz against online piracy. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), a global trade group representing major and independent music labels and publishers, said Thursday it has begun issuing brochures to universities in 29 countries in Europe, South America, Asia and Australia spelling out the legal and technological snares of online file- sharing networks. - - - - - - - - - - Fairfax County Police Combat Sexual Abuse In this era of financial shortfalls and budget cuts, when state universities are feeling the pinch, the Fairfax County Police Department has become involved with a new way to combat an increasingly prevalent crime. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved the National Protecting Children Against Sex Offenders (PCASO) Alliance Project. The Fairfax County Police Department and Child Safe Net, a non- profit organization established to protect children from sexual abuse both on the Internet and in the community, presented the plan, which was approved by the board Oct. 13. The plan proposed that Child Safe Net provide nearly $10 million over five years to the Police Department to hire 16 new detectives and administrators to battle Internet child sexual abuse and abduction. - - - - - - - - - - Malaysia Commercial Crime Dept Requests For More Personnel The Commercial Crime Department in the police force have asked the Civil Service Department for 300 to 2,000 more personnel to tackle white-collar crimes in the country. On crimes involving information technology (IT), Maizan said the department had set up a cyber-crime unit which had effectively tackled IT-related crimes. "There are not many cyber-crime cases, with only three or four cases last year, probably because IT is just developing in the country. However, we have already made preparations," he said. - - - - - - - - - - Regional info-sharing network takes hold in Oregon A public/private partnership in Oregon focused on homeland security information-sharing this month became one of the first grassroots efforts to move from concept to reality -- and is already planning for an expansion to other states. Oregon's Regional Alliance for Information and Network Security (RAINS), a partnership of more than 60 technology companies and government agencies, on March 14 officially launched a secure data-sharing network called RAINS-Net. The network is the first by-product of an effort to accelerate the adoption of cutting- edge homeland security information technologies.,10801,79777,00.html - - - - - - - - - - NT4.0 too flawed to fix - official There's a nasty rider with Microsoft's latest security problem for NT users. Although a denial of service risk exists in an "important" security vulnerability, publicised yesterday affecting NT 4.0, Redmond tells users not to expect a patch for that operating system anytime soon. Windows 2000 and XP users do have access to a fix, designed to address a flaw involving Endpoint Mapper, but the best on offer for Win NT users is advice to shelter vulnerable servers behind a firewall.,10801,79766,00.html - - - - - - - - - - New Wireless Security Means Costly Upgrade "Wi-Fi protected access came into existence because the 802.1x and 802.1i standards are taking too long to come online," said WatchGuard vice president Mark Stevens. "Now compatibility fears could slow reliable security down still further." Wireless local area network (LAN) users will face a hefty bill if they want to take advantage of a new encryption standard currently being developed. The forthcoming 802.11i standard will not be backwards compatible with existing 802.11b architecture, although it can be built into new hardware. - - - - - - - - - - How Antispam Software Works 5 killer ways to eradicate junk mail If it seems like you're getting more spam than ever, take comfort - the junk email tide may be about to turn. Until recently, antispam forces thought there was no way to catch enough unwanted mail to make a difference. As quickly as programmers added filters, spammers came up with new ways to spell v!agra, $ex, and f*ck. But now a raft of smarter filtering techniques - from rules-based analysis to artificial intelligence - promises to better shield your inbox. Here's how the most effective software works. - - - - - - - - - - How You Can Help Fight Crimes Against Kids Tools exist to monitor illicit communications, but more companies need to use them. Are businesses doing everything possible to crack down on people who threaten our children? Last week's rescue of 15-year-old Elizabeth Smart in Utah after a nine- month abduction was an all-too-rare victory in the category of crimes against children, which includes kidnappings, sexual abuse, and child pornography. Increasingly, technology is being brought to bear on the problem, helping child-protection organizations and law-enforcement agencies respond faster and with greater success. But more can be done to root out offenders, and businesses have a role in the process. - - - - - - - - - - Putting the Blinders Back on Big Brother In wartime, privacy and civil liberties are usually among the casualties. During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, the right of prisoners to petition their case before a judge. Woodrow Wilson approved the arrest of pacifists during World War I. And Franklin D. Roosevelt interned thousands of Japanese Americans in World War II. All three arguably made the wrong decision. But all three also reversed those excesses when the conflicts ended. - - - - - - - - - - Incident Response Tools For Unix, Part One: System Tools This article is the first in a three-part series on tools that are useful during incident response and investigation after a compromise has occurred on a OpenBSD, Linux, or Solaris system. This installment will focus on system tools, the second part will discuss file-system tools, and the concluding article will look at network tools. The information used in these articles is based on OpenBSD 3.2, Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (woody), RedHat 8.0 (psyche), and Solaris 9 (aka Solaris 2.9 or SunOS 5.9). - - - - - - - - - - Email traffic patterns can reveal By looking for patterns in email traffic, a new technique can quickly identify online communities and the key people in them. The approach could mean terrorists or criminal gangs give themselves away, even if they are communicating in code or only discussing the weather. "If the CIA or another intelligence agency has a lot of intercepted email from people suspected of being part of a criminal network, they could use the technique to figure out who the leaders of the network might be," says Joshua Tyler of Hewlett-Packard's labs in Palo Alto, California. At the very least, it would help them prioritise investigations, he says. - - - - - - - - - - Activists meet high-tech war with digital-age protests As bombs blasted Baghdad last week, dozens of cell phones in China buzzed with messages about where to stage a war protest. In Cairo, activists tapped out text messages to summon 5,000 demonstrators to a central square. And in San Francisco, technophiles beamed live footage from protests to anti-war Web sites. Throughout the world, technology is allowing activists to stage spontaneous rallies in reaction to the war. Prohibitively expensive only a few years ago, gadgets ranging from the cell phone to the mini digital video camera simplify protests from Brussels to Manila. *********************************************************** 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. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however copies may not be sold, and NewsBits ( should be cited as the source of the information. Copyright 2000-2003,, Campbell, CA.