NewsBits for May 27, 2004 ************************************************************ California eBay scam artist sent to federal prison A scam artist who portrayed rummage sale art as masterpieces in online auctions was sentenced Tuesday to nearly four years in federal prison. Kenneth Fetterman, 36, a former pizza deliveryman and soldier who tried to deal art dating from the Renaissance to abstract expressionism, was ordered to repay more than $94,000 in restitution to the people he defrauded. - - - - - - - - - - Spammer sentenced to seven years in prison A man who sent 850 million junk e-mails through accounts he opened with stolen identities was sentenced to up to seven years in prison on Thursday. Atlanta-based Internet service provider Earthlink Inc. said it hoped the sentence and an earlier $16.4 million civil judgment against Howard Carmack will deter other spammers.,10801,93478,00.html Maryland governor signs tough anti-spam law - - - - - - - - - - Canadian, 16, on Randex worm rap Canadian police have charged a 16 year-old youth with writing and distributing the damaging computer worm Randex. The teenager from Mississauga, near Toronto, faces "mischief and fraudulent use of a computer" charges. Canadian authorities have withheld the suspect's name because he is a juvenile. Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigators reckon Randex infected more than 9,000 computers shortly after the first versions of the worm appeared last November.,10801,93476,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Taiwanese engineer arrested for creating Trojan A Taiwanese computer engineer was arrested on charges he had designed a virus-like Trojan horse that Chinese hackers found and used to attack the island's business and government systems, police said Thursday. Wang Ping-an, 30, designed ` `Peep,'' which earlier this year allowed the attackers to steal information and retain control of infected computer systems, police said. - - - - - - - - - - Man accused of impersonating trooper online A Mingo County man has been charged with impersonating a State Police trooper. Bert Russell Gibson, 21, of Varney used the name of Senior Trooper S.T. Harper to talk to several women from Virginia in an online chat room starting last fall, State Police Sgt. Joe White said Wednesday. During the Internet chats, Gibson made some threats and one of the women contacted the State Police's Internal Affairs division last month to report him, White said. - - - - - - - - - - Drug discount site a scam, FTC says A Web site that promised prescription drug discounts tried to drain $10 million out of checking accounts belonging to 90,000 consumers, and move that money to a private bank account in Cyprus, the Federal Trade Commission alleged Thursday. In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Nevada, the FTC alleges regularly withdrew the funds from consumers' bank accounts without their knowledge, $139 at a time. - - - - - - - - - - First 64-bit virus identified Symantec Canada has just analyzed the first known 64-bit malicious threat. The virus, called W64.Rugrat.3344, is a "proof-of-concept" virus and is not spreading in the wild, although it is the first known threat to attack 64-bit Windows executables successfully. The threat does not infect 32-bit executables and will not run on 32-bit Windows platforms. It only targets Win64-bit systems. Will code check tools yield worm-proof software? Windows worms tax ISPs - - - - - - - - - - Stealth searches scan personal data A Congressional report reveals that US government computers continue to sift through a vast array of databases for hints of terrorist activity, despite the closure of a controversial Pentagon programme. Nine months after US Congress shut down a controversial Pentagon computer-surveillance programme, the US government continues to comb private records to sniff out suspicious activity, according to a congressional report obtained by Reuters.,39020375,39155962,00.htm Database Nation -- The upside of "zero privacy" Government computer surveillance rings alarm bells,10801,93463,00.html Survey finds U.S. agencies engaged in data mining,1848,63623,00.html - - - - - - - - - - State Senate Expected to OK E-Mail Bill E-mail service providers would not be allowed to glean details from people's electronic messages to compile dossiers useful for marketing under a bill expected to pass the state Senate today. A modified version of the legislation, authored by state Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont), would no longer require providers to get the consent from authors of e-mail before searching through messages. (LA Times article, free registration required),1,7885195.story - - - - - - - - - - Ehrlich Signs Tough Impaired Driver Law Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. signed legislation yesterday that will give Maryland some of the nation's toughest laws against drivers under the influence of drugs and computer hackers who send unsolicited e-mail. The pile of 125 bills -- signed on Ehrlich's final day for endorsing measures approved by the General Assembly -- also included a set of proposals to revamp the state's juvenile justice system by developing smaller, community-based detention centers and by tracking young offenders after their release. - - - - - - - - - - Attacks on banks, insurance firms rise Cyberattacks on IT systems of banks and insurance companies are on the rise worldwide, according to a survey released Thursday. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu's study showed that nearly 83 percent of respondents said their systems had been compromised in the past year, compared with 39 percent in 2003. Nearly 40 percent of the respondents whose systems were attacked reported financial losses. - - - - - - - - - - Yahoo Joins Battle Against Spyware Yahoo has launched new anti-spyware software, becoming the latest Internet service provider to combat a problem plaguing virtually every computer user with an Internet connection. Anti-Spy, available in a beta version, resides on the toolbar, making it easier for customers to scan for and remove malicious software, including spyware. Provided by anti-spyware specialist Pest Patrol, it is currently available for download to a limited audience. - - - - - - - - - - China's Pirates Spoil the Game for Console Makers Electronics salesman Min Shushan can talk for hours about the merits of Sony's PlayStation 2 (PS2) versus Microsoft's Xbox, having taken apart hundreds of consoles over the years to rig them for pirated games. Customers at his glass-and-chrome specialty store in the heart of old Beijing can buy consoles made at Sony or Microsoft's factories in southern China and prep them to play hundreds of copied games from "Tomb Raider" to "Final Fantasy." China Finds Freedom Behind Great Firewall Report: 'Tweens' Less Likely to Pirate - - - - - - - - - - Feed the Worms Who Write Worms to the Worms If we execute murderers, why don't we execute the people who write computer worms? It would probably be a better investment. Let's do the math. What do we get out of executing a murderer? Deterrence. A high-end estimate is that each execution deters about 10 murders. (The highest estimate I've ever seen is 24 murders deterred per execution, but the closest thing to a consensus estimate in the econometric literature is about eight.) That's 10 lives saved, with a valueagain a high-end estimateof about $10 million apiece. - - - - - - - - - - Defense for Saudi computer student abruptly rests Attorneys for a Saudi man accused of using his Web sites to foster terrorism rested their case Wednesday after presenting a single witness: an expert who testified the computer student never condoned terrorism. Former CIA agent Frank Anderson testified that two Internet sites administered by Sami Omar Al-Hussayen did not foster terrorist activities. - - - - - - - - - - Simulation Software vs. the Terrorists Cutting-edge programs can both help train rescue workers and help security officials pinpoint weak spots before the bad guys can. A year ago, the Homeland Security Dept., the FBI, and other agencies conducted five-day drills near Seattle and Chicago. As part of this first-ever, national counterterrorism exercise, 8,500 people from some 100 organizations responded to simulated car bombs and biological attacks. Hundreds of "patients" -- mostly drama students -- showed up at the local hospitals faking flu-like symptoms or cuts and burns. All told, the exercise was a success, but it cost upwards of $16 million and stole precious time from doctors who could have been treating real patients. *********************************************************** 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.