NewsBits for July 21, 2004 ************************************************************ Cybercops seize Russian extortion masterminds Three men suspected of masterminding a cyber- extortion racket targeting online bookies were arrested yesterday in a joint operation between the UKs National Hi-Tech Crime Unit and its counterparts in the Russian Federation. The trio, who investigators reckon netted hundreds of thousands of pounds from the cyber shakedowns, were picked up in a series of raids both in St Petersburg, and in the Saratov and Stavropol regions in southwest Russia.,aid,116975,00.asp - - - - - - - - - - Three held in connection with East Bay cargo thefts Authorities have arrested three San Leandro residents who they say are responsible for stealing 11 cargo containers from storage lots near the Port of Oakland and from East Bay warehouses during the past six months. Lt. Rob Patrick of the California Highway Patrol, which heads a multi-agency law enforcement task force charged with catching cargo thieves, said that investigators have recovered more than half a million dollars in merchandise including stolen furniture, DVDs, satellite TVs, Coca-Cola products and dry goods. The items were destined for Bay Area stores or were about to be shipped to other western states. - - - - - - - - - - Prominent database company hacked again A Florida man has been charged with stealing large amounts of consumer information from Acxiom Corp., one of the world's largest database companies. The new indictment comes on the heels of a separate case last year in which an Ohio man pleaded guilty to hacking into an Acxiom server. Acxiom manages personal information on millions of consumers, along with financial and other internal data for companies. - - - - - - - - - - Odessa carders are still under investigation Plastic cards market grows ever-increasingly. Average pace of increase is 20-22% annually. The boom appeared after banks launched so-called salary projects that facilitated the process of getting salaries and companies applied it. At the same time the level of plastic crimes also increased. - - - - - - - - - - Is another MSBlast attack on its way? In July of 2003, Microsoft released a patch for a flaw within Windows' RPC DCOM, a flaw that by August of 2003 gave rise to the MSBlast worm. Well, history repeats itself. Last Tuesday, Microsoft released seven new Windows patches, two of which are deemed critical by the software giant. I'm willing to bet that it will be from one of these seven that a major new worm or virus will be born sometime in August. - - - - - - - - - - FTC wants to encourage e-mail authentication standards The Federal Trade Commission is responsible for policing the Internet for online fraud such as phishing, but keeping up with the onslaught of new schemes is a major challenge. Weve had three phishing cases, Sana Coleman, counsel to FTCs Bureau of Consumer Protection, said during a panel discussion about phishing on Capitol Hill today. All of the cases were settled. Settlements included forfeiture of $125,000 in illegal profits. - - - - - - - - - - Antiphishing group gets help from Microsoft Microsoft on Wednesday announced that it will donate $46,000 worth of software to an agency fighting phishing and will make a full-time analyst available to the group. The recipient of these contributions is the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance, an organization set up jointly by the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center, Carnegie Mellon University and West Virginia University. Fighting back against online crime - - - - - - - - - - Experts: Cybersecurity needs education, standards, partnerships Partnerships, education and standards are important to strengthening the information technology workforce's ability to protect the nation's infrastructure, experts and lawmakers said today at a hearing of the House Science Committee. Annual economic losses are estimated to be $13 billion to worms and viruses and $226 billion to all forms of overt attacks, according to documents prepared for the committee's hearing on cybersecurity. - - - - - - - - - - Parents clueless about kids online Parents haven't a clue what their kids get up to online. That's just one of the findings of a report out today by the London School of Economics which reveals a gulf between what children do online - and what parents think their children get up to. Of course, any parent knows they will never really know what their children get up to - either online or offline. Nonetheless, the research found that parents need to be more "Web wise" about their kids' activities online. - - - - - - - - - - CipherTrust adds email encryption to help fight spam Brief: Email security firm CipherTrust has updated its IronMail security appliances to provide secure transportation for emails and documents. CipherTrust added an encryption framework to its email security platform on Wednesday that helps enterprises keep their email messages and documents away from prying eyes.,39020375,39161210,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Feeling secure? Not John Thompson CEO John Thompson has succeeded in transforming Symantec from a seller of PC utilities for the consumer market into a major player in enterprise security software. But for all his accomplishment, the preternaturally upbeat executive says he's not feeling too secure these days. - - - - - - - - - - What went wrong at Wright State when Napster arrived Opinion When the Napster music service arrives at Wright State University this fall, it will bring with it higher IT costs for everyone while delivering almost no gains to half of the student population. Wright State is one of the six universities that agreed this week to test out the Napster service as a way of curbing illegal music downloads and avoiding lawsuits from the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). But behind the enchanting prospect of free music rentals for all is some fine print that Wright State students might find less appealing. P2P net iMesh falls in line with RIAA - - - - - - - - - - How to Stop a Laptop Thief Your data is more at risk than ever as easily stolen laptops become more and more prevalent. Daniel Robinson looked like just another job candidate. With his dark gray suit, wingtips, no-nonsense red tie and neatly trimmed hair, he was so utterly unremarkable that, when he asked the receptionist if he might slip into a restricted area of the building to use the bathroom, she let him in without thinking twice. Only minutes later, a brand-new laptopand not coincidentally, Robinsonhad vanished. - - - - - - - - - - New passport database will tie in with ID cards System will be phased in over next five years to meet 'new demands'. The UK Passport Service (UKPS) is to implement a new database to contribute to the government's proposed identity card programme. UKPS has conducted a long-term review of its IT strategy and concluded that to cope with 'new demands' it will have to replace the existing passport application processing system (PASS). - - - - - - - - - - Teen driver, meet Big Brother Trust is a great thing, but little black boxes in cars now let parents find out where kids really go -- and how fast. Back in the 1960s, teenagers could keep their parents in the dark about where they were driving by temporarily disconnecting the odometer cable on the family car. All they had to do was reach up under the dashboard and unscrew a nut that held the cable to the speedometer housing. By doing that, the teenagers could drive all the way down to Tijuana and their parents would think they just went to the local drive-in. (LA Times article, free registration required),1,7226279.story - - - - - - - - - - Software program helps track terrorists In the age before computers, detectives investigating a crime might pin a collection of facts and photos to a wall and study the clues to find a pattern. Sunnyvale's Inxight has created a software version of that wall to help government agencies track terrorists. Inxight's TimeWall is a 3-D virtual wall that appears on a computer screen. TimeWall stretches into the past and the future to track people, places, relationships and events. Inxight, a spinoff of a Xerox Palo Alto Research Center project, unveiled TimeWall last month. - - - - - - - - - - Funding boost for criminal justice IT Plans include GPS tracking of habitual criminals The Home Office has confirmed an extra PS800m funding for the Criminal Justice IT (CJIT) programme, on top of the PS1.2bn already pledged. The additional money will be used to ensure that all criminal justice staff can communicate through a single, linked IT infrastructure. *********************************************************** 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.