NewsBits for May 24, 2004 ************************************************************ L.A. Sites Raided in Piracy Cases In one of the largest bootleg-movie raids to date, Los Angeles police said Friday that they had shut down two operations that together could illegally copy 2.7 million DVDs a year. The raids were part of a push by Hollywood studios and law enforcement authorities to close down a burgeoning black market for movies. The films are typically recorded in movie theaters on a digital camcorder, copied with DVD burners and then sold by street vendors or distributed over the Internet. (LA Times article, free registration required),1,3565445.story - - - - - - - - - - Music industry sues 493 more people over file sharing The recording industry on Monday sued 493 more people it said were illegally sharing music across the Internet. The latest round of lawsuits raised to nearly 3,000 the number of people who have been sued nationwide by recording companies.,1412,63579,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Child-porn probe used first live Internet wiretap Every time Jason Heath Morgan sat down in his Chico apartment and tapped a key on his computer, the law was watching. For more than three weeks, every Web site, every e-mail, every photo image, every chat room conversation he viewed or took part in was scrutinized, as the 26-year-old Morgan unwittingly became the first person in the United States to have his Internet usage monitored live by federal agents probing child pornography under a new law. - - - - - - - - - - Former Sick Kids nurse faces child porn charges Toronto's renowned Hospital for Sick Children said it was "horrified" today after one of its male nurses was arrested on child pornography charges following a search of a Toronto home. Police said they turned up photographs that were child pornography and seized a laptop computer, a personal digital assistant and computer discs. - - - - - - - - - - Beware of 'IBM laptop order' email Hackers tried to trick users into visiting a maliciously- constructed website using a blizzard of spam emails last week. The assault attempted to exploit a previously unknown vulnerability with Internet Explorer to seize control of the maximum number of Windows PCs. The malicious emails - normally a fake order confirmation for an IBM Laptop PC - told the recipient that their bank account has been debited for PS1,099.99 and provides a link to check or cancel the order. Following the link lead to a Web server that exploits an as yet unpatched IE vulnerability to deposit a Trojan on a user's PC. - - - - - - - - - - eBay scammer gets stung An eBay user, assisted by dozens of fellow surfers, has turned the tables on a scammer who tried to rip him off in an online auction. The saga began last month when Jeff Harris ran an auction on eBay auction to sell a new G4 Powerbook for a friend. He was approached by a UK resident, calling himself Gianluca Sessarego, who offered to pay the $2,100 requested for the machine as well as shipping costs through an escrow service. - - - - - - - - - - Text scammers fined PS450,000 ICSTIS, the premium rate watchdog, has dished out fines totalling PS450,000 after getting tough on text spammers and scammers. Six overseas companies - Vertical Media Ltd, Fast Way Holdings Ltd, Litmus Ltd, Indiano Communications, Greenbay Ltd and Quartel Ltd - have each been slapped with fines of PS75,000. - - - - - - - - - - Law to be updated in anti-fraud offensive Fraud laws are set for a major overhaul to bring them in line with the capabilities of modern technology. In a move described as "long overdue" by the channel, the government is proposing to "overhaul the law to simplify it, cast its net wider and make it easier to secure just convictions", according to Home Office minister Baroness Scotland. - - - - - - - - - - Group issues privacy tips Defense officials should hire a privacy officer, create data acquisition requirements and back data mining research, a military advisory committee said recently. The Technology and Privacy Advisory Committee last week issued a report entitled, "Safeguarding Privacy in the Fight Against Terrorism." - - - - - - - - - - Phishing rocks the e-commerce boat The number of phishing attempts grew almost 180 per cent last month, and the attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, according to a report from the Anti Phishing Working Group (APWG). Phishing is an email scam using fake websites to steal or exploit a user's banking or credit card details. - - - - - - - - - - Spammers get fussy as zombie army grows Is your Internet connection actually worth infecting? The Bobax worm tests PCs first to see if they'll be good spam zombies. The Bobax worm, which is less than a week old but has already spawned four variants, is one of the first worms to conduct a bandwidth test on its infected host to see if it is worthy of being used as a spam zombie.,39020330,39155483,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Computer virus researcher looks to biology for clues A man sneezes. Flu viruses are released. People close by catch it. They go to work, go shopping. More people are infected. Then more and -- Whoosh! -- it's an epidemic. Computer viruses can spread like that, too. The sometimes-striking similarities between biological viruses and their binary namesakes are a focus of a National Science Foundation-funded study. - - - - - - - - - - Lawsuit seeks touchscreen voting printouts dismissed A federal judge Monday threw out a Democratic congressman's lawsuit demanding that Florida's new touchscreen voting machines issue a paper receipt. It was the second time Rep. Robert Wexler was turned back in his legal challenge of the machines. A lawsuit filed in state court was dismissed in February, and Wexler has appealed. - - - - - - - - - - Apple patches vulnerability in Safari Apple Computer Inc. issued an update yesterday to fix a reported security hole in its Safari Web Browser. The venerability, which was classified as "extremely critical" by security firm Secunia, allowed the execution of malicious code on the users computer. "Apple takes security very seriously and works quickly to address potential threats as we learn of them -- in this case, before there was any actual risk to our customers," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, in a statement. "While no operating system can be completely immune from all security issues, Mac OS X's UNIX-based architecture has so far turned out to be much better than most.",10801,93371,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Zone Labs arms virus alarm The most recent desktop firewall from the security software firm includes antivirus measures. Security software maker Zone Labs updated its desktop firewall on Monday, adding new features that aim to put the kibosh on viruses, the company said. The antivirus features will be offered in a commercial version of its basic free product, Zone Alarm, and as part of a comprehensive security suite, said Fred Felman, vice president of marketing of Zone Labs, an independent division of security technology company Check Point Software Technologies.,39020375,39155559,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Secure coding attracts interest, investment A new product from computer security firm @stake Inc. is aimed at helping developers search computer code for errors, security holes and other flaws that malicious hackers can use to break applications -- and break into computers. Cambridge, Mass.-based @stake today plans to unveil SmartRisk Analyzer, an application security modeling and analysis tool that scans computer code written in the C, C++ and Java languages for flaws like buffer overflows that could pose security risks for customers using finished software products.,10801,93398,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Can Spam Be Canned? Senders of mass junk e-mail have proved to be a resilient bunch, exacting revenge on the software makers that want to put them out of business. The president of Matterform Media, in the Santa Fe, N.M., suburb of Espanola, had devised a software program to disable the so-called Web beacons that spammers insert into their messages to alert them when one of their e-mails is actually opened. Giving junk e-mailers a taste of their own medicine, the program dispatched streams of data back to the senders, inscribed with personal messages. (LA Times article, free registration required),1,7267568.story Junk email: No relief in sight for the spam,39020375,39155638,00.htm Microsoft proposes joint anti-spam fight,39020375,39155568,00.htm The biggest spammer on the Net? Comcast? - - - - - - - - - - Putting Wi-Fi Behind the Corporate Firewall "For years, company employees have had dial-up access to the corporate network over a virtual private network," says Wi-Fi Alliance managing director Frank Hanzlik. "Today, the security is still provided with a VPN -- they just connect with Wi-Fi." Many enterprise managers already view Wi-Fi as an attractive option for telecommuting workers or for members of their traveling sales staff who occasionally visit the home office. Wi-Fi 'carpet' far cry from wall to wall - - - - - - - - - - Theft of Cisco Source Code Stirs Fears of Security Threat The theft of proprietary operating system source code from Cisco Systems Inc. poses a potentially serious security threat to corporate networks that use the company's technology, users and analysts said. And the paucity of information released by the networking giant in the wake of last week's disclosure that the code had been stolen is raising troubling questions about what exactly happened and the real extent of the compromise, they added.,10801,93352,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Free Speech Crux of Terrorism Case In the Justice Department's war on terrorism, the case of Sami Omar Al-Hussayen opens a new frontier. Unlike other alleged terrorists the department has prosecuted since the Sept. 11 attacks, Al-Hussayen is not accused of training at an Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan or assembling a cache of firearms. He did not attempt to explode a bomb on an airplane. His weapon, the government alleges, was the Internet. (LA Times article, free registration required),1,2734122.story - - - - - - - - - - Alaskans Sue to Stop CAPPS II Four Alaskans are filing a legal challenge to the federal government's proposed new airline passenger- profiling plan, charging the program could prevent ordinary Alaskans from being able to travel to their state capital. The complaint asks the court to prohibit the U.S. government from issuing a secret order compelling airlines to turn over passenger data to the Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening System, or CAPPS II. They said the order essentially would impose secret laws on Americans without giving them the right to challenge them in court.,1283,63563,00.html TSA boosts screener staffing at key airports - - - - - - - - - - Wireless Garland to grace police The Garland, Texas, police department will be the first users of a new wireless network for first responders that is able to transmit voice and data at least 20 times faster than the city's old network. NexGen City LP developed the systems and network. The deployment of the NexLink solution will start with the city's 290 police officers, including the mobile data terminals in 80 squad cars. *********************************************************** 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 2000-2004,, Campbell, CA.