NewsBits for September 2, 2003 sponsored by, Southeast Cybercrime Institute - ************************************************************ E-mail from slain girl gives police a lead An e-mail that 16-year-old Ashley Parks sent to a friend has led detectives to a suspect in her slaying, officials said Wednesday. Investigators think Parks met a man over the Internet and agreed to meet him in Thurston County. She might have stayed with the suspect prior to her death, Thurston County sheriff's Capt. Dan Kimball said. Parks' body was found Aug. 28 by hikers along the Chehalis Western Trail. Her decomposed remains were found partially obscured by brush in a wooded area. - - - - - - - - - - Blaster-F suspect charged with cybercrime A 24-year-old man suspected of releasing a relatively tame variant of the Blaster worm has been charged with cybercrime offences by Romanian police. If found guilty, Dan Dumitru Ciobanu could face a maximum of 15 years in prison under Romania's strict new computer crime laws. According to police, Ciobanu has admitted spreading Blaster-F, but claims that its release was accidental. Unlike the original worm, AV vendors describe Blaster-F as "low spreading and low risk". - - - - - - - - - - Lamo denies $300,000 database hack Days before going public with his penetration of the New York Times internal network last year, hacker Adrian Lamo created five new user accounts with the LexisNexis database service under the Times corporate account, which he used to rack up $300,000 in charges over the following three months, a federal complaint in New York charges. Lamo said the dollar amount has "no factual basis," and other sources expressed scepticism over the figure Wednesday. - - - - - - - - - - Cops charge two Brits in hacking ring Authorities have charged two British men believed to be members of an international hacking ring with using a computer program to assume control of unsuspecting computer users' machines. Police said Wednesday that Jordan Bradley, 20, and Andrew Harvey, 22, were the authors of the "TK" computer worm, a so-called "Trojan" program that surfaced on the Internet some time before February. - - - - - - - - - - Rude Awakening for File Sharers The tales of woe are featured on front pages of newspapers everywhere -- the unemployed woman from Chicago, the Manhattan single mother, the 71-year-old grandfather in Texas, the Yale University photography professor. All have at least one thing in common: They have been sued for song swapping by the Recording Industry Association of America. And the vast majority insist they did nothing wrong. Some said they assumed they were downloading music legitimately because they had paid a fee to file-sharing application providers.,1412,60386,00.html - - - - - - - - - - New Worm Headed Our Way? Administrators and security specialists hoping for a breather now that Blaster has faded and SoBig.F has expired may be in for a long weekend. The nature of the new vulnerabilities revealed yesterday in the RPC DCOM implementation in Windows is so similar to the one that Blaster exploits that security experts believe it's only a matter of days, if not hours, before someone releases a worm to attack the new weaknesses.,4149,1264676,00.asp,39020375,39116267,00.htm (series of stories) Windows faces fresh web worm woe New Blaster Warnings Shake Businesses Could Another SoBig Attack Be Coming This Week?,4149,1264197,00.asp Does the Killer Worm Really Exist? - - - - - - - - - - New batch of bugs marks Sept. 11 Internet virus writers marked the 2-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks in their own inimitable style, releasing Internet contagions that prey on people's sentimentality and fears. Two Internet infections have surfaced in the past week--"Neroma" and "Vote.K"--that carry September 11 references, computer experts said. The programs are not considered to be high-risk threats, but security experts were warning computer users Thursday to avoid opening suspicious 9/11-themed e-mails.,1282,60397,00.html,10801,84822,00.html - - - - - - - - - - LaGrange man possessed child porn LaGrange resident Louis Gleicher was sentenced to 10 years probation on Aug. 28 for downloading child pornography on his home computer. Gleicher, 49, of Ryandale Avenue had entered a guilty plea in July to possession of a sexual performance by a child, which is a felony. Marjorie Smith, chief of the Special Victims Unit of the Dutchess County DA, said that there "was no evidence Gleicher created or distributed child pornography." Smith said the Gleicher case was the product of a joint investigation with a federal law enforcement agency. The investigation took place over "the better part of a year," said Smith. - - - - - - - - - - Ex-Sheriff Answers To Child Porn Charges Former Pierce County Sheriff Mark French appeared in court for the first time Wednesday on charges of possession of child pornography. French had no comment as he arrived at court to face charges of seven counts of possessing child pornography. French said he's not guilty of accessing pornographic images of young girls on the Internet. Prosecutors asked the judge to hold the former sheriff on $25,000 bail, saying they consider him a flight risk. - - - - - - - - - - S.D. MAN CHARGED WITH POSSESSING CHILD PORN Richard Seaborg, a Brown County man, is facing 20 counts of possessing child pornography, making this the fourth case in the county in the last year. It's all part of a sting called "Operation Avalanche" that cracks down on child pornography. It identifies individuals all over the United States and around the world who use credit cards to buy child porn on the Internet. It's also allowing police to track down the suspects in South Dakota. - - - - - - - - - - UC instructor faces child porn charges An adjunct instructor at the University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music was indicted Tuesday and charged with having hundreds of images of kiddie porn on his computer. Michael Luebbe, also known as Michael Webbe, of the 300 block of Ludlow Avenue, Clifton, was indicted by a Hamilton County grand jury on 28 counts of pandering sexual matter involving a minor, charges carrying a maximum sentence of 224 years in prison if he is convicted. - - - - - - - - - - Computer-heavy electrical grid vulnerable to hackers, viruses Since last month's Northeast Blackout, utilities have accelerated plans to automate the electric grid, replacing aging monitoring systems with digital switches and other high-tech gear. But those very improvements are making the electricity supply vulnerable to a different kind of peril: computer viruses and hackers who could black out substations, cities or entire states. Researchers working for the U.S., Canadian and British governments have already sniffed out "back doors" in the digital relays and control room technology that increasingly direct electricity flow in North America. - - - - - - - - - - Hidden malware in offshore products raises concerns The extreme difficulty in discovering a back door hidden deep within a complex application, buried among numerous modules developed offshore in a global software marketplace, is forcing those assigned to protect sensitive national security information to take defensive actions. The threat of hidden Trojan horses and back doors surfaced this summer when the governments of the U.S. and China announced plans to strengthen national security policies covering information processed by applications written in the global software marketplace.,10801,84723,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Anti-P2P software 'spies' on user data A far-reaching project for stopping copyrighted song- swapping could raise serious privacy objections, not least from the ISPs who will be expected to implement it. An ambitious software project for blocking copyrighted song-swapping over peer-to-peer (P2P) networks is nearly ready, though technical problems have forced its developers to limit their plans.,39020651,39116266,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Just Say No to Viruses and Worms Members of the computing industry and law enforcement testified before the technology subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Reform Wednesday about how to protect the nation's computing systems from viruses and worms. Their remarks came as computer security professionals were poised to tackle a new version of the Sobig worm that may attack computers soon and as Microsoft announced new vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system.,1377,60391,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Security no longer the biggest concern IT security is becoming less of a priority for companies worldwide, despite the growing threat from hackers and viruses. For the third consecutive year, information security has declined as a major business issue, according to the 2003 Global Information Security Survey conducted by Computing and its worldwide sister papers. - - - - - - - - - - New spam technique exploits news events E-mail marketers increasingly are sending unsolicited e-mail with subject headers disguised as news alerts to fool consumers into opening them. The tactic surfaced during the U.S. war against Iraq this year. Now it is gaining steam as Californians near an Oct. 7 gubernatorial recall election and could become an online nuisance during the 2004 presidential election. - - - - - - - - - - New Ideas In the Fight Against Spam Since e-mail spam began crashing into our computers and ruining our information-age party, we've been told that new technology, not new laws, would be the most critical component of a lasting solution. - - - - - - - - - - Spam blacklist to introduce fees One of Australia's leading spam blacklists will soon move to a subscription-only model. The list, operated by Reynolds Technology, hosts several "zones", or lists, that are maintained by other anti-spam groups such as Spam Prevention Early Warning System (SPEWS), as well as its own lists of "open-relay" servers, but will soon only be available to subscribers because of the increasing costs associated with maintaining the service.,39020375,39116273,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - University stages contest to find the best hackers A university in Vietnam has launched a competition to find the best hackers in the country so they can be marketed to companies to combat cyber-criminals. The National University in Hanoi organised the competition together with a group of IT experts who call themselves BugSearch. Participants will be asked to break into the server of a mock website in the university's computer network as quickly as they can, reported the Lao Dong newspaper. - - - - - - - - - - 30 unpatched holes in IE, says security researcher Microsoft may be releasing details of vulnerabilities every week but it is yet to tackle the 30 unpatched holes in Internet Explorer which have been documented by well-known security researcher Thor Larholm. Larholm, a former black hat and now a senior security researcher with PivX Solutuions, said today that seven more vulnerabilities had been added to the list he maintains, all of them having been discovered by Chinese researcher Liu Die Yu. Microsoft to Issue Security-Fix Rollup,4149,1263910,00.asp Three New Critical RPC Flaws Found,4149,1261400,00.asp Another Day, Another Windows Patch Latest Microsoft Flaw Erodes Credibility Security experts: New attacks likely to exploit latest Windows flaws,10801,84805,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Microsoft in reasonable Net action shocker! Its not something you often hear but Microsoft seems to be taking an entirely reasonable approach to the Internet when it comes to domain names. Somewhat ironically this has only become apparent after the Beast of Redmonds lawyers send a letter to the Mike Chatha - owner of and - demanding he agree to hand over the domains within four days or face the consequences. - - - - - - - - - - How to minimize the threat If organizations want to stop the constantly evolving types of attacks, they must continue to rely on multitiered defense strategies consisting of network security components layered at the perimeter and internal network machines and devices. Such network security components not only include network- and host-based IDSs, but antivirus software, patch management, firewalls, scanners and intrusion- prevention systems (IPS).,10801,84724,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Companies, Net exposure, and insurance protection Practically all businesses today depend on computer networks and the Internet to function. As a consequence, they face a growing array of online risks. Yet, the vast majority of companies don't have insurance for these risks, creating serious potential financial exposure. The online risks. Internet risks are many and varied. Such risks include hacker intrusion and disruption, distributed denial of service attacks, viruses and worms, identity theft, privacy violations, unauthorized use, loss and misuse of date, computer crashes, and a variety of computer crimes. - - - - - - - - - - Litigation frenzy driving IT contractors under A spiralling cycle of litigation against independent IT contractors is forcing many firms out of business as they try to cope with the costs of fighting lengthy legal battles. Even where the consultant is not at fault, the cost of specialist legal representation and expert evidence can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds to defend a legal action arising out of a mistakes such as the accidental erasure of a client's hard drive. - - - - - - - - - - Grand Theft Auto in the dock over US road killing Videogames are on trial yet again in the US, as the family of a man killed by teenagers who shot at passing cars on a freeway file a lawsuit against Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two. The two teenagers - William and Joshua Buckner, 16 and 14 years old, respectively - opened fire on vehicles on the Interstate 40 highway in Tennessee with a .22 calibre rifle, killing one person and injuring another severely. - - - - - - - - - - Should Net users need a license to go online? A virus fouls your computer and you haplessly pass it on. Advertising software loads stealthily on your machine. Your password gets stolen because your neglect. Or the music industry sues you because of something your kids or grandkids did on your computer. Barely a day goes by without someone, somewhere getting stung or stinging others through careless Internet use. Though many of these threats are preventable, relatively few of us take the necessary precautions. - - - - - - - - - - The perils of online data entry Each week asks a different expert to give their views on recent virus and security issues, with advice, warnings and information on the latest threats. This week Fraser Thomas, chief executive at Swivel Technologies, advises on how to minimise the risks posed by criminals looking to obtain other people's authentication details. - - - - - - - - - - Beyond Biometrics: New Strategies for Security Biometrics technology, despite its sluggish acceptance, might be on the edge of newfound popularity. Consumer fears for online identity theft and Internet merchants' demands for customer verification are starting to create a comfort zone for security devices that link access permissions to things like retinal scans and palm measurements. - - - - - - - - - - Demonstrating ROI for Penetration Testing (Part Three) Part one of this series provided a general discussion of ROSI (Return on Security Investment) and likened performing penetration testing to having a health physical. The key idea was to teach security professionals to think like business managers in regards to justifying expenditures for security initiatives and security investments. Part two focused on defining penetration testing as a subset of a security assessment, by introducing information asset valuation and risk management concepts. Demonstrating ROI for Penetration Testing (Part One) Demonstrating ROI for Penetration Testing (Part Two) - - - - - - - - - - UK firms tout camera phone blinding tech A pair of British companies today teamed up to market a technology that allows camera phones or digital cameras to be disabled in a localised environment. Iceberg Systems, a developer of Internet and mobile systems, claims its Safe Haven technology effectively prevents the misuse of camera phones. The company has appointed audio technology licensing firm Sensaura to promote Safe Haven. - - - - - - - - - - Cybersex blamed for half of divorces There's further evidence that cybersex is increasingly being blamed for the break-up of marriages. According to online divorce service divorce-online, half of all divorce petitions it processed are due to Internet adultery and cybersex behaviour. Of the 500 divorce petitions surveyed, half contained allegations concerning cybersex, inappropriate online relationships and pornography. - - - - - - - - - - Military Racing to Fix Radio Mess Callan got a few confirmations, but there were hundreds of firefighters in the north tower. He repeated the call again, but it become increasingly clear that, once again, New York City firefighters' radios weren't working. he fire department's radios didn't work inside the twin towers during the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, and they rarely worked in any of New York's thousands of high-rise buildings. According to a recent review of New York City emergency communication systems during the August blackout, fire and police department radios still don't perform reliably during emergency situations or in tall buildings.,1282,60320,00.html *********************************************************** Computer Forensics Training - Online. 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