NewsBits for August 27, 2003 sponsored by, Southeast Cybercrime Institute - ************************************************************ Internet Attacks Hit U.S. Attorneys' Offices Justice Department officials said yesterday that a worm or virus has dramatically slowed 15,000 computers at 300 U.S. attorneys' offices around the country since Friday evening. Many of the computers remained sluggish yesterday afternoon as Justice's technology staff continued efforts to get the offices back online. - - - - - - - - - - Worm claims Sussex Police computers The Sussex Police force's IT system has been brought to its knees by W32/Nachi - the 'good' worm that was supposed to eradicate MSBlast. The Sussex Police force has been hit by a worm that has knocked out their office computers and forced workers to switch to back-up systems. Emergency calls are not being affected. The organisation confirmed to ZDNet UK that it has been hit by the W32/Nachi worm, which is a variant of the MSBlast worm that started spreading around the globe early last week.,39020345,39115936,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - FBI tracks worm writers The FBI says it will hunt down the perpetrators of the Sobig virus and the MSBlast worm. The FBI is "confident" that it will capture those who are responsible for creating and spreading the MSBlast worm and the Sobig.F virus, the bureau said on Tuesday. Companies and home computer users have had to deal with the MSBlast worm -- also known as W32/Blaster and W32.Lovsan -- which started spreading on 11 August; a worm that attempted to plug the hole exploited by the MSBlast worm; and the Sobig.F virus, which spread through email attachments opened by unsuspecting people.,39020330,39115922,00.htm Secure gateway email servers key to virus blocking Gateway email security is key to stopping the spread of virus outbreaks such as Sobig.F, according to analyst group Gartner. Sobig.F used spoofed email addresses to spread itself from infected computers - and the problem was compounded by a deluge of spam caused by anti-virus systems, which sent an alert notifying the spoofed sender that the message they had supposedly sent was infected. ISPs Add Filters to Anti-Virus Arsenal Why Sobig is bad for privacy and AV vendors Worming into my inbox Barbarians at the digital gates Microsoft fires up security Update beta project Microsoft Using Linux-Based Network in Wake of Attacks Companies Brace for SoBig's Next Punch Worms a plague -- or nuisance - - - - - - - - - - MIT Web site hacked An MIT Web site was hacked this morning by a group calling itself TechTeam. The site, which is still inaccessible, is part of the MIT Laboratory for Energy and the Environments Alliance for Global Sustainability project. A webmaster at the university said he received an e-mail from someone who noticed that the Web site was down after it went off-line at 9:27 a.m. EDT. According to the webmaster, all of the Web sites files had been overwritten.,10801,84427,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Aussie antispammer shuttered by DoS attacks Osirusoft, one of the largest antispam blacklist, has been shut down by its operator following a barrage of massive Distributed Denial of Service (DoS) attacks that have crippled the service. At this stage no statement has been made from the operator of the service, but the industry speculates the service may come back in a different form when DDoS attacks from spammers have subsided. - - - - - - - - - - Virginia Beach Men Sentenced in Online Sex Cases Two Virginia Beach men were sentenced to jail Tuesday after officials say they used the Internet to lure children for prostitution and sodomy. Twenty-three year old Shenandoah O'Connell and 38-year old Michael Turner were both sentenced to ten years in prison, but with five years suspended. Police say O'Connell was in an online chat room when he solicited an 'underage' girl for sex. That 'underage' girl was actually an undercover police officer. - - - - - - - - - - Punishment hearing starts in child pornography case A co-worker said she initially gave James Andrew Smith the benefit of the doubt when he claimed a computer virus caused child pornography to be displayed during a PowerPoint computer presentation Sept. 4. But the co-worker quickly became alarmed once she asked to inspect his laptop computer, Tracy Clifford with the human resources department of Fort Worth logistics company Excel testified Tuesday afternoon. - - - - - - - - - - Two men facing child pornography charges Prosecutors say two employees of the College of DuPage face child pornography charges in two unrelated cases. One of the employees was an officer of the college police. Authorities say 23-year-old College of DuPage officer Michael Batt of Lombard allegedly had hundreds of images of child pornography on a home computer seized by police. Batt was charged with four counts of possession with intent to disseminate child pornography -- a felony with a minimum four-year prison sentence. Prosecutors say 19-year-old Jack Stefanowicz of Melrose Park, a student employee of the college, allegedly had child pornography on a home computer he brought in for repairs. He has been charged with three counts of possession of child pornography, which carries a possible two- to-five-year prison term. - - - - - - - - - - Lacey man arrested on child porn charges Arrested on a sexual-assault charge two weeks ago, Jonathan B. Segal, of Lacey Township, was again arrested Monday, this time on charges of distributing child pornography over the Internet in March. The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, which brought the 15- count charges, arrested Segal after investigators discovered the crime. Segal made $50,000 bail with no 10 percent following his latest arrest. Lacey police first arrested the 22-year-old Forked River man Aug. 11 accusing him of using the Internet to find and have sexual relations with two 15-year- old girls. - - - - - - - - - - Alleged Internet predators get a big surprise Attorney General Abbott's Internet Bureau has tracked down and arrested three more suspected child predators in Hays County. The men had allegedly made contact with the"13-year-old girls" in online teen chat rooms and had made arrangements to take a road trip to meet the girls for sex. The "13-year-olds" turned out to be Internet Bureau Investigators. All three suspects have telecommunications or computer industry backgrounds and training. Investigators said Phillip Joel Ramos, 30, a Verizon Wireless employee from Austin, was arrested August 25; Michael Edward Kilpatrick, 46, a technical engineer for Hewlett-Packard from Houston, was arrested August 16; and Michael A. McDaniel, 43, a former Dell Computer employee from Pflugerville, was arrested August 14. - - - - - - - - - - Naperville man charged with possessing child porn A Naperville real estate agent is facing child pornography charges after police said they found dozens of graphic images on his home computer. Authorities arrested Roy A. Stavenger, 62, at his office Tuesday following a yearlong investigation that began when an acquaintance reported the allegations after using his computer. The woman called DuPage County CrimeStoppers last August with her suspicions. After getting a warrant, police searched Stavenger's home at 1569 Swallow Drive on May 15 and confiscated the computer. - - - - - - - - - - Convicted Internet Sex Predator James Comfort Speaks He has been branded the "Internet Predator". James Comfort tells News 8 it is a term he loathes. The convicted rapist spoke to a reporter for the first time Tuesday morning, in an exclusive jailhouse interview with News 8 Now's Dave McKinley. James Comfort is in protective custody behind bars in the Onondaga County Justice Center in Syracuse. He is allowed out of his cell for one hour a day. Tuesday he spent that hour with News 8. He began by claiming that, like the jail fatigues he wears, the handle "Internet Predator" just doesn't fit him. - - - - - - - - - - Police officer fired after being charged in Vikings identity theft The Eden Prairie Police Department fired an officer Wednesday, one day after he was charged with fraudulently obtaining credit cards in the name of Minnesota Vikings running back Michael Bennett. Department spokeswoman Stephanie Grant said an internal investigation confirmed allegations of "misconduct relating to theft and fraud" against Brent D. Griffith, 37, of Benson, who also worked part-time as a security guard for the Vikings. - - - - - - - - - - Verizon wins fight over privacy rules A federal judge has blocked the state from enforcing new telephone privacy rules, granting a victory to Verizon, which had argued that the rules encroached on its free-speech rights. The rules, which took effect Jan. 1 but were suspended by court order in February, barred telephone companies from selling customers' calling records or using them to market anything but telecommunications services without customers' permission. - - - - - - - - - - Game accessories company settles anti-piracy suit filed by Sony A Hong Kong video game accessories company has settled an anti-piracy lawsuit with Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp. over a device that allows users of Sony's PlayStation to play illegally copied games, a company director said Wednesday. Lik Sang International Ltd. made a compensation payment to Sony and agreed to stop selling so-called ``mod'' chips, company director Alex Kampl told The Associated Press. - - - - - - - - - - EarthLink files lawsuit against 100 alleged spammers EarthLink Inc. filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against 100 people, mostly in Alabama and Canada, blaming them for millions of unwanted commercial e-mail messages, otherwise known as spam. EarthLink, the third-largest Internet service provider, accuses the Alabama individuals of using stolen credit cards, identity theft and banking fraud to fund Internet accounts and send out more than 250 million pieces of junk e-mail. - - - - - - - - - - Australian bank embarks on scam education Westpac is attempting to convince customers that they should never provide personal data in response to an email, no matter who appears to be the sender. Westpac has begun a public education campaign designed to alert users to the risks associated with email Internet banking scams.,39020375,39115942,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - China to form anti-spam task force China may soon cease to be a haven for spammers or rogue Internet pharmacies. The China Internet Association has said it is going to set up a special anti-spam task force to deal with such email abusers. The Association warned that an explosion of "reactionary spam" forms a threat to political and social stability and that "illegal elements" use spam to spread all kinds of deceitful advertisements or promote sales that are clearly prohibited by Chinese laws. - - - - - - - - - - FBI taps Lockheed for $140 million security project The FBI awarded Lockheed Martin Information Technology Inc. a five-year, $140-million contract to overhaul security on the bureaus systems and networks, the company said. The contract will support the FBIs new Technology Infusion Program, aimed at mitigating risk and reducing vulnerabilities, Lockheed said. GAO: Better data sharing needed - - - - - - - - - - Symantec Launches Anti-Piracy Technology "I think that there will be some consumer backlash," says Forrester Research analyst Michael Rasmussen, "but, for the most part, Symantec is on the right track. The main question is will the company's competitors also follow suit?" The technology is based on a unique alphanumeric code that is automatically stored on each end-user's PC as part of the download and installation process. Symantec uses this electronic key to ensure that its software releases are not used more times than are permitted under each product's licensing agreement. - - - - - - - - - - Security firm aims to ease RFID concerns Researchers at a major security firm have developed a blocking technique to ease privacy concerns surrounding controversial radio frequency identification technology. The labs at RSA Security on Wednesday outlined plans for a technology they call blocker tags, which are similar in size and cost to radio frequency identification (RFID) tags but disrupt the transmission of information to scanning devices and thwart the collection of data. - - - - - - - - - - Why Sobig is bad for privacy and AV vendors Eight years ago when I first used the Internet, while doing support work in a Manchester cyber cafe, email was a joy. I could contact my friends, even when they were on the other side of the world, on the click of a mouse. It was so much easier and cheaper than the alternatives - snail mail or the phone. Email is still an enormously useful as a journalist (not least as an important source of news leads) and but this is being undermined the increased prevalence of spam and viral messages. - - - - - - - - - - Learning to Play the Prying Game Heading off to college is a rite of passage for many teens thrust into the adult world of opening bank accounts, managing a budget and shopping for their own groceries. But as a hip Flash game released Wednesday by Privacy Activism points out, newly matriculated students are also entering a world where daily decisions have consequences for their privacy.,1283,60193,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Viruses, blackouts could be just the beginning of our tech disasters In 1962, Ideal Toys came out with Odd Ogg "half turtle and half frog," as the TV jingle said. It had a motor inside, and when you rolled a ball into its mouth, it lurched toward you. Anti-virus software is especially hot right now as viruses attack through e-mail. Odd Ogg was the latest in toy technology. I got one for Christmas. I was terrified of it. It might be the only time I hated technology as much as I do now. - - - - - - - - - - Passport biometric trials point way for ID cards A trial of technology underpinning the next generation of biometric passports could also be used to lay the groundwork for the introduction of identity cards in the UK. Today's Guardian reports that the Home Office wants to complete a six-month trial of fingerprint and iris-scanning technology by next April. The pilot will also test public reaction. Want to visit Britain? Join the fingerprint queue - - - - - - - - - - Smart cameras to watch Mexican border The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection is expanding its use of intelligent video cameras to include the Mexican border in addition to the Canadian border. In May, the Homeland Security Department began installing the state-of-the-art surveillance technology by ObjectVideo along the Canadian border. Now the company's Video Early Warning (VEW) software will be installed at critical points in California and Arizona. *********************************************************** 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. 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