NewsBits for June 25, 2003 sponsored by, Southeast Cybercrime Institute - ************************************************************ Virus turns PCs into spam machines Two tempting e-mails trick recipients into aiding spammers. Another version of the SoBig virus, the fifth in recent weeks, hit Internet users Wednesday. Antivirus firms quickly raised the risk to medium as the worm started spreading rapidly during U.S. business hours. The latest SoBig outbreak, plus another malicious effort also unleashed Wednesday, show the line between viruses and spam continues to blur. Whats worse, virus writers are refining techniques to hijack innocent victims computers, turning them into an army of spam machines. - - - - - - - - - - RIAA to sue thousands of file swappers In its most serious crackdown yet on file swapping, the Recording Industry Association of America said it will gather evidence against individuals who trade songs online and slap thousands of them with copyright- infringement lawsuits. Bolstered by recent court rulings that make it easier to unmask individual file swappers, the music industry trade group said it will launch a massive campaign Thursday to target individuals who offer "substantial amounts" of music through peerto-peer networks.,1412,59391,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Copyright infringement bad; Hulk smash! Don't make a U.S. attorney angry--you wouldn't like him when he's angry. A New Jersey man learned that the hard way Wednesday, and faces up to three years in prison and $250,000 in fine after pleading guilty to distributing a pirated copy of "The Hulk," the tale of wayward scientist who turns into a machinery- smashing monster whenever he gets mad. Kerry Gonzalez of Hamilton, N.J., pled guilty to felony copyright infringement charges in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office. - - - - - - - - - - Retired Army Officer, 76, Sentenced On Child Porn Charges In Florida A 76-year-old retired Army officer was sentenced to 33 months in prison for transporting child pornography over the Internet. Rodney G. Parrish, of Cape Coral, used a walker as he was led to jail Monday. He has diabetes, heart trouble and brain damage from several strokes, his attorney said. Attorney Ward Meythaler urged U.S. District Judge John E. Steele to sentence Parrish to house arrest and probation because of his age, illnesses and military history. Parrish served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. But Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Molloy asked that Parrish be put behind bars, saying his "horrific judgment deserves punishment." - - - - - - - - - - School Janitor Pleads Guilty in Child Porn Case A former Syracuse Elementary night janitor accused of stealing pictures and records of pupils and downloading child porn has pleaded guilty in a plea bargain. Twenty-one-year-old Cody John Hammer of Sunset pleaded guilty in second District Court yesterday to third-degree felony attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and class A misdemeanor stealing, destroying or altering public records. Hammer was accused of stealing pictures of female pupils from teachers' desks and taking printouts of students' names of addresses. Authorities said Hammer had downloaded child porn using school computers at night. He was caught when one downloaded image was sent to a different printer and was discovered the next day by school personnel. - - - - - - - - - - Child-sex images were 'like a new toy' A Westbank elementary school teacher on trial for possessing child pornography confessed to police the illegal computer images were "like a new toy," a court heard yesterday. David Riddell, 44, who taught Grades 4 to 6 at Glenrosa Elementary, was arrested in 2001 after the FBI said his VISA card had been used to obtain passwords to a kiddie-porn website. Police found more than 7,000 images of child pornography on his hard drive. "To me, it was like a new toy, but it was absolutely the wrong thing," Riddell told police. "I actually e-mailed the company and said I wanted my money back." - - - - - - - - - - Wayne deputies nab 3 men in computer sting Wayne County Sheriff's deputies have arrested three men in the last seven days for computer-related crimes, making it the busiest week this year for the Sheriff's Internet crimes unit. A 54-year-old Roseville man was to be arraigned today on illegal use of the Internet and child sex abuse charges after he was arrested Monday at a Harper Woods fast food restaurant. The man -- whose name won't be released until he's arraigned -- thought he was meeting a 13-year-old girl he'd earlier met online when he was arrested by deputies. Police found condoms and a camera in the man's car, which he allegedly planned to use. The man's arrest comes just days after deputies arrested and arraigned two other men for computer related crimes Bootleg Investigation Uncovers Child Porn - - - - - - - - - - NJ Councilman Resigns Amid Child Porn Case A township councilman accused of possessing and transporting child pornography has resigned and will not seek re-election in November. Steven Cucci announced his decision during the council's meeting on Tuesday night. He said the federal charges against him were baseless and false, but he felt they could overshadow the election campaign. He was first elected to the council in 1999 and served as its president in 2002. In the charges filed June 10, federal authorities said Cucci had images of child pornography on his home computer and transmitted them through his America Online account to another computer user in Toms River in February 2002. The charges came several months after a state grand jury declined to return an indictment in the case. - - - - - - - - - - NJ 'Rape by Phone' Case Upheld TA man who called a 10-year-old girl and persuaded her to touch herself sexually can be charged with sexual assault, even though he never met the girl, a state appellate court has ruled. The ruling issued Tuesday rejected an appeal by James Maxwell, 52, of North Haledon, who received a 12-year state prison term after he pleaded guilty in April 2001 to aggravated sexual assault and multiple counts of child endangerment. He admitted making obscene phone calls to several young girls between the fall of 1998 and June 1999. - - - - - - - - - - Japanese hacker attempts to crack NASA REPORTS SAID that a Japanese hacker attempted to get control of the servers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) earlier this week. According to the Japan Times, the hacker used a server at Kobe University and installed a program that would have attempted to break NASA's security. But the university got wind of the attempt and shut down the bulletin board system that the hacker was using for his or her attempts. - - - - - - - - - - Senator questions Pentagon data mining A key U.S. senator expressed renewed concern about the Pentagon's data-mining project and asked the Defense Department to give more detail about how the system will collect information on Americans. Sen. Ron Wyden, the Oregon Democrat who wrote legislation requiring a report on the Total Information Awareness project, asked on Tuesday for the Pentagon to respond to 11 pointed questions about the project's scope, its implications for privacy and civil liberties, and which private-sector and government databases would be linked into the system.,,t269-s2136574,00.html DoD Logging Unverified Tips,1283,59365,00.html - - - - - - - - - - AT&T lets phone fraud victims off the hook AT&T said Wednesday that it would forgive all of the outstanding long distance charges that the company had been trying to collect from victims of the notorious "Yes-Yes" voicemail subversion fraud. The announcement follows months of fierce criticism of AT&T by consumer advocates, and the filing of two class-action lawsuits charging the company with unfair business practices. "It's good news for these consumers who have been scared blind by these charges and have developed health problems and stress problems dealing with these things," says Linda Sherry of Consumer Action, a non-profit group that championed the fraud victims. "AT&T dug in their heels for so long." - - - - - - - - - - Warning center for cyber attacks is online, official says A national early-warning network and analysis center for cyber attacks is operating in 30 locations, a senior White House official said on Wednesday. Paul Kurtz, a special assistant to President Bush and senior director for critical infrastructure protection in the Homeland Security Council, said the Cyber Warning and Information Network (CWIN) has begun operating, and administration officials are working to add state and local officials to the network. - - - - - - - - - - IT Execs Share Security Concerns "This new open system (based on Web services) is starting to make our infrastructure very porous," says Bob Offutt, chief architect for the American Airlines business division that operates the Sabre travel-information network. Insider threats from employees and trading partners, interconnected networks with no clear boundaries, and the potential for terrorist cyberattacks against corporate networks are among the top worries for technology managers, according to those attending the Gartner IT Security Summit last week. - - - - - - - - - - Survey: New privacy laws needed to protect Internet consumers American consumers fundamentally misunderstand how Internet companies use their personal information, according to a new survey that concludes tougher federal privacy laws are needed. Surfers have no clue how they are tracked,10801,82486,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Techno cops needed to catch cyber criminals - Blunkett Police must embrace cutting edge technology to stay ahead of criminals in the fight against crime, the Home Secretary will tell an audience of senior policemen tonight. David Blunkett is due to tell members of the Police Foundation that they need to make effective use of technology long before it gets into criminals hands if there is to be any hope of keeping a lid on serious and organised crime. - - - - - - - - - - Australians make Xbox hack freely available The design for a 'mod chip' that bypasses Xbox security features has been released under an open-source licence. An Australian company that manufactures and sells a "mod chip" for Microsoft's Xbox video-game console has released the design for the hacking tool under an open-source license. Hibana, which makes the DualMod chip and sells it via the AussieChip Web site, began offering a downloadable version of the chip design last week to anyone who agrees to a licence that incorporates standard open-source provisions.,,t269-s2136583,00.html - - - - - - - - - - IE flaw could unearth worm A vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer could result in the creation of a serious Internet worm, security experts have warned. Although there is no proof that the vulnerability foretells the execution of arbitrary code, which would allow an attacker or worm to take control of a person's system, there's a strong possibility that the vulnerability is critical. Freelance security consultant Dave Matthews says that if the bug is fully exploitable, then someone has undoubtedly figured it out by now. Microsoft patches two media flaws - - - - - - - - - - Lindows tackles spam, pop-up ads Software maker Lindows released a new version of the Linux operating system Wednesday, touting new features that block unwanted e-mail and Web advertising. Version 4.0 of Lindows also promises dramatically improved support for PC hardware. The company said the average user is able to install the software, complete with supporting files for common PC hardware, in less than 10 minutes. - - - - - - - - - - 'Cajun king of spam' stirs pot of controversy Ronnie Scelson has a gun by his computer, a mean crawfish stew recipe and a bone to pick with those lawmakers and e-mail cops clamoring to can spam. "I hate spam as much as the next guy. What I do is not illegal," the bulk e-mailer says. "It's the people who spam sex, Viagra and get-rich-quick schemes that give commercial e-mailers a bad name." - - - - - - - - - - Mandated library filters could affect Internet access gap A pregnant teenager dependent on her library's Internet terminals is apt to find some sites that discuss abortion blocked now that the Supreme Court has endorsed software filters for computers at public libraries. Or perhaps a student is researching gay rights for a high school assignment. He has no computer at home, and the ones at his school and library block many sites on the topic. He turns in an incomplete report. - - - - - - - - - - IT myths: Who writes the viruses? An age old myth put to rest once and for all? Ask anybody - as we have been doing - what the biggest IT myths are and one answer crops up time and time again: Anti-virus companies write viruses. The argument is that they do it to keep themselves in business and to keep their products on top of the IT director's wish-list. By writing viruses themselves they can have a ready-made antidote available in seconds, which can be deployed in exchange for cash and the occasional pat on the back. - - - - - - - - - - College president donates to student who tried to cancel classes A Miami University student who sent a hoax e-mail to students and staff saying classes were canceled for a day has received some unexpected support. Senior Ben Field, a computer science major, said he has to reimburse his parents about $9,000 in legal fees related to the e-mail that carried the fake signature of university president James Garland. - - - - - - - - - - Finally, an internet saint Deliver us from computer hackers, save us from internet viruses and let junk e-mail and internet pornography pass us by. The Vatican is apparently ready to name Saint Isidore of Seville as patron saint of the internet. The Pope alone may name a patron saint, but St Isidore is receiving stiff opposition from Archangel Gabriel and Saint Alfonso Maa de Liguori, an 18th century poet.,,2-13-1443_1355345,00.html,00030010.htm *********************************************************** 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.