NewsBits for May 26, 2004 ************************************************************ Six Students Suspended, Charged In Web Site Threats Six eighth-graders suspended for posting threatening statements against fellow middle school students on a Web site now face criminal charges, authorities said Tuesday. The students, all from Warren Middle School, have been charged with making terroristic threats and harassment in complaints filed by the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office in Superior Court Tuesday. - - - - - - - - - - Nordic blitz on child porn nets 350 suspects CD-ROMs, videotapes and computers are seized by police conducting raids in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Nordic police staged their biggest regional crackdown on suspected child pornography on Tuesday, rounding up about 350 porn suspects in coordinated raids across four nations. Norwegian police said they questioned 153 suspects after conducting 184 raids across the country. Swedish police said they interviewed more than 100 suspects, while Danish police detained 40. Numbers for Finland were not immediately available. Swedish police, who traced the suspects with credit card numbers they had used to buy child porn material online, said there was nothing to indicate so far that the suspects had produced child pornography themselves.,4386,253060,00.html - - - - - - - - - - 'Spanky' the clown arrested on child porn A clown who goes by the name of "Spanky" has been arrested on child pornography charges while traveling with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, federal agents said. Thomas Riccio, 23, of Jacksonville, Fla., was arrested Friday by Fayetteville police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to face 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, the federal agency said Tuesday. Leads from a federal investigation in New Jersey linked Riccio to a company in Belarus that provided credit card billing services for more than 50 child pornography Web sites internationally, said Immigrations and Customs Enforcement spokesman Dean Boyd. - - - - - - - - - - Treasury issues phishing schemes alert, advice The Treasury Department today warned against schemes in which identity thieves spoof government agencies and financial firms to gain sensitive and financial information from unsuspecting consumers in a report that also offers some tips on how to prevent phishing. In phishing schemes, an e-mail is sent to a consumer, directing him or her to a fraudulent Web site, which closely resembles the site for a legitimate organization, which may have wide name recognition or typically inspires trust. Phishing - phish for some fish - - - - - - - - - - 'Pirate Act' raises civil rights concerns File swappers concerned about getting in trouble with record labels over illegal downloads may soon have a major new worry: the U.S. Department of Justice. A proposal that the Senate may vote on as early as next week would let federal prosecutors file civil lawsuits against suspected copyright infringers, with fines reaching tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. The so-called Pirate Act is raising alarms among copyright lawyers and lobbyists for peer-to-peer firms, who have been eyeing the recording industry's lawsuits against thousands of peer-to-peer users with trepidation. The Justice Department, they say, could be far more ambitious. - - - - - - - - - - Calif. Senate passes e-mail privacy bill The California Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that would require employers to notify workers if they plan to read their e-mail, track Internet usage or use any electronic devices to track them. The bill requires companies to give a one-time written notice to employees that explains what will be monitored. - - - - - - - - - - Bush signs bills targeting spam, offensive names The subject line says it's "re: our meeting." But you open the email and it's an offer to sell you prescription drugs or to enhance parts of your body. Under legislation signed Tuesday by Gov. Jeb Bush, the attorney general could go after anyone in Florida who sends such email with a deceptive subject line. - - - - - - - - - - Porn spammers ignore new rule Spammers flooding the Internet with pornographic solicitations apparently are not abiding by a new federal rule that took effect last week. Not only did illegal sexually-explicit spam fail to slow down after the regulations took effect May 19, but pornographic e-mail measured by one antispam company jumped from around 2 million messages in a 40-hour period last week to around 2.5 million during the same period this week. Regulator fines Net sex firm - - - - - - - - - - Singapore to make spammers pay - literally Singapore yesterday floated plans to fine spammers a small amount for each item of junk mail they send. Officials in the tightly controlled city state reckon fine of between ten cents and one Singapore Dollar ($0.06 to $0.58) for each spam email would deter marketing transgressions. ISPs would be able to sue bulk mailers if they flouted the country's forthcoming anti-spam laws. - - - - - - - - - - Mac OS fix fails to plug security hole A security hole still threatens Mac OS X users after a patch issued by Apple Computer last week failed to fix the underlying problem, security experts say. The security issue could allow an attacker to transfer and then run a malicious program on a Mac, if the Mac's user can be enticed to go to a fake Web page on which the program has been placed. - - - - - - - - - - Back to school for cybercops Police are heading back to the classroom as a new breed of criminals turns to the Internet to prey on unsuspecting victims. Across Europe and beyond, cyberinvestigators are being trained in computer forensics--a crime-fighting technique that is part science, part sleuthing. Investigators comb through seized computer hard drives, looking amid countless disguised files for evidence that the machine was used in a crime. The clues could be elaborate computer programs designed to hijack a victim's PC, or e-mail and Web browsing logs that reveal the identity of conspirators. - - - - - - - - - - CIOs Gear Up for Changing Security Climate "Security and business continuity have been pushed to the top of my list post-9/11," says Lockheed Martin CIO Joseph R. Cleveland. "We've always been focused on information security, but now we've had to think differently about the combination of information and physical security." While the Boy Scout motto "be prepared" can be applied to many aspects of life, it is especially relevant to the role of the CIO in a post-9/11 world. - - - - - - - - - - Will code check tools yield worm-proof software? When Microsoft needed help in taming the large number of flaws that had crept into its Windows operating system, it looked to technology known as "static source code checkers" and a company called Intrinsa. - - - - - - - - - - Cheswick: Viruses primed to be more complex, vicious Viruses and worms are primed to become more complex, vicious and dangerous as the days of quick and easy exploits come to an end thanks to Microsoft Corp.'s efforts to finally lift its game. Speaking at the Auscert conference in Queensland on Monday, former Bell Laboratories researcher, IT security author and founder of IT security company Lumeta Corp. Bill Cheswick said improved security will force malicious code writers to construct more complex wares that will either circumvent or push conventional defenses such as antivirus software and firewalls to their limits.,10801,93444,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Microsoft security spend greater than the Star Wars missile system Microsoft has spent more on securing its software than was spent on the Star Wars missile project, the company's head of security has told conference guests. An unfortunate analogy for Iain Mulholland to use since the project was a complete failure and little more than the private obsession of a few top American ego-maniacs. - - - - - - - - - - Pass the Chocolate For the 70% of the population that will trade their computer password for a bar of chocolate, this one's for you. OK, security pros, let's talk just amongst ourselves for just a minute. You might have seen that recent news item that reported that 70% of people would willingly trade their computer password for a bar of chocolate. - - - - - - - - - - Viruses nip Russia after the Cold War For all its disadvantages, the former Soviet Union had one hugely overlooked advantage: it kept hackers, crackers and virus writers confined inside the country by restricting their access to the Internet. A decade later, Internet penetration is booming in the region, particularly in Russia, and viruses are epidemic. In fact, Russians are linked to some of the nastiest viruses the IT world has ever experienced: Bagel, MyDoom and NetSky, to name just a few. - - - - - - - - - - Lessons from Sasser 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 Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, warns that budding virus writers must be made aware of the implications of abusing their programming knowledge. - - - - - - - - - - Net Dissident Ends Hunger Strike A Vietnamese dissident sentenced to seven years in prison for criticizing the communist regime on the Internet ended a three-week hunger strike Tuesday after authorities announced they would reconsider his verdict. Hanoi's Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Nguyen Vu Binh, 35, who was charged with espionage for communicating with pro-democracy websites, publishing online essays urging political reform and e-mailing written testimony to the U.S. Congress detailing human rights abuses in the Asian country, according to Reporters Without Borders.,1283,63599,00.html - - - - - - - - - - FBI apology for Madrid bomb fingerprint fiasco Over reliance on digital images of fingerprints led the FBI to wrongly suspect an Oregon lawyer of involvement in Madrid train bombings. Muslim-convert Brandon Mayfield spent 17 days in detention after an FBI Lab wrongly linked him to prints recovered by Spanish police investigating the 11 March terrorist outrage. US authorities matched digital images of partial latent fingerprints obtained from plastic bags that contained detonator caps to Mayfield, leading to his arrest. - - - - - - - - - - Building surveillance state in the name of security Maybe the surveillance state is like a glacier in anIce Age. We can see it coming. It moves slowly. But in the end, it covers just about everything. The government is reportedly getting ready to spend up to $15 billion of our money on a computer-based system to track foreign visitors to the United States -- in the name of fighting terrorism. On Monday, the New York Times reported that three big companies, including one headquartered in Southern California, are among the finalists for a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) mega-contract. - - - - - - - - - - Hardcore Web porn banned down under It was five years ago today... From time to time we dredge up a bit of Reg archive which puts us in mind of legendary historical characters. In this case, it's King Canute: Hardcore Web porn banned down under Asia-Pacific could be the focus of a tsunami of moral righteousness in the wake of Australia's decision to outlaw hardcore porn on the Internet. Politicians in Australia's Senate have piggy-backed existing legislation covering film classification to outlaw sexually explicit and violent content on the Net. *********************************************************** 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.