NewsBits for August 2, 2004 ************************************************************ Video game 'sparked hammer murder' Should the video game Manhunt -- being blamed for the murder of a 14-year-old in Britain -- be: Campaigners are stepping up pressure for a violent video game to be banned after it was blamed for the horrific murder of a 14-year-old British boy by an older friend. The game, Manhunt, is described by its promoters as a "sado-masochistic" game in which players gain extra points depending on the viciousness of their killings. - - - - - - - - - - Murderous texts send pastor to jail A Swedish pastor has been jailed for life for faking text messages from God to get his nanny-lover to murder his wife and try to kill the husband of a second mistress. The case has fascinated Sweden with its intoxicating mix of sex, death and the workings of an obscure religious sect.,39020348,39162366,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - China terminates 700 sites in porn crackdown China's crackdown on pornograhy is gathering pace following reports that 700 Web sites have been shut down and 220 people arrested as authorities try to censor XXX sites. Earlier this month China announced plans to crack down on adult websites with officials claiming that the "rampant" increase in online porn is damaging the moral fabric of the nation - and young people in particular. - - - - - - - - - - Smugglers send Net phone accounts to Panama Technology rebels in Latin America are finding a way around government crackdowns on Net telephony with a little help from friends and relatives from the north, says Jose Otero, a Latin American telephone consultant. The United States doesn't regulate Net phone calls, but broadband customers in Panama pay a 12 percent tax on calls made using voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP. Further, the government fines Internet cafes between $10,000 and $50,000 for letting customers make Net phone calls, says the director of InfoAmericas. - - - - - - - - - - Attorney scolded for phony Net posting A district attorney candidate claims to have been just joking when he impersonated a high school teacher on the Web site and "confessed" to having sex with his female students. In February 2001, Jim Carpenter created a account in the name of a man with whom he went to high school years earlier. - - - - - - - - - - Anti-spam spamvertisers agree to quit A Californian company last week promised to stop promoting its ad-blocking software using Internet pop-up ads. San Diego-based D Squared Solutions reportedly used the Messenger function built into Windows to spamvertise its "anti-spam" services. Its cynical marketing tactics caught the attention of regulators the Federal Trade Commission, which instigated a civil case against the two person start-up last year. - - - - - - - - - - Microsoft closes another hole A patch for three critical flaws in Internet Explorer blocks the hole used by the Download.Ject Trojan horse. Microsoft on Friday released a patch for Internet Explorer designed to close three critical holes in the browser, including one that paved the way for the Download.Ject Trojan horse.,39020375,39162362,00.htm Microsoft warns of three critical IE flaws IE Patch Arrives Early - - - - - - - - - - 'Harmless' DNS data can mask attacks A security researcher has warned that data transferred by domain name service servers can hide additional malicious information. The same technology that allows Web surfers to locate and connect to computers on the Internet can be used to create covert communications channels, bypass security measures and store distributed content, a security researcher said on Saturday.,39020375,39162361,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Real slams Apple's iPod 'hacker' attack RealNetworks has hit back at Apple's accusation that it resorted to "hacker tactics" by developing software to allow iPod customers to download music from the RealPlayer site. The company insisted that consumers should be allowed to make up their own minds about what they play on their iPod devices. - - - - - - - - - - Linux keeps dodging hackers and viruses Survey: Fewer than one in four Linux developers say they have been hacked and even fewer have been infected by viruses. A survey of 500 Linux developers carried out by Evans Data, a research company, and published last week, found that 78 percent of them claimed never to have been hacked. Of the 22 percent that had fallen victim to hacking, nearly a quarter said they had been attacked by internal users with valid login IDs.,39020390,39162399,00.htm Linux Scare Tactics LinuxWorld's San Francisco shindig - - - - - - - - - - Mozilla puts bounty on bugs A string of high-profile flaws in browser software prompted the Mozilla Foundation to announce on Monday that it would offer $500 for every serious bug found by security researchers. The announcement comes a week after the Mozilla Foundation, which directs development of the Mozilla and Firefox browsers and the Thunderbird e-mail client, confirmed that the group's browsers had two serious issues in dealing with digital certificates, the identity cards of the Internet. - - - - - - - - - - German banks experience a sudden upsurge of computer crime German banking sphere experiences a sudden upsurge of computer crime. According to the Federal Union of German Banks, customers that use online operations more often become the victims of computer offenders. Scammers use usual hoax e-mails allegedly from their banks linking to the spoofed banks' websites in order to con out the needed information on thoughtless users' accounts. It is a well-known phishing. - - - - - - - - - - Ukraine: losses from viruses surge According to the Ukrainian Antivirus Center, losses from virus attacks added up to 45m EURO for the first six months of 2004. As compared to the previous year, losses are up 30 per cent over the first half of 2003. The biggest damage per one PC falls to the share of the average business, where companies have numbers of computers and minimum information security budgets. Most of huge Ukrainian companies began to pay more attention to the antivirus protection after the last year's epidemics. These efforts helped them out to minimize their losses this year. - - - - - - - - - - Defense Dept. hopes to enlist AI in war against terrorism The world's most popular search engine, Google, uses artificial intelligence to respond to millions of queries a day. Banks now depend on artificial intelligence to alert customers to odd patterns of credit card use. And many video game developers rely on AI to develop life-like characters. - - - - - - - - - - Ohio to track prisoners with radio tags One state prison system reckons it's cracked how to keep track of all of its 44,000 inmates: radio frequency identification technology, or RFID. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has approved a $415,000 contract to try out the tracking technology with Alanco Technologies. The Ross Correctional Facility in Chillicothe, Ohio, will be the site of the pilot project. If all goes well, the technology could eventually be used in all of the state's 33 facilities. - - - - - - - - - - RFID to help fight drug counterfeiting Tagging technology recommended for use in pharmaceutical supply chain. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded that radio frequency ID-based wireless technologies should form a key weapon in the fight against the manufacture and importation of counterfeit drugs. - - - - - - - - - - Data Driven Attacks Using HTTP Tunneling As more traffic across the Internet is coming under scrutiny and network administrators are making efforts to limit the traffic in and out of their networks, the one port that no one is willing to block en-masse is port 80. Users (and administrators) browse the web constantly, whether it is for work purposes or not. The lifeblood of a company's existence on the Internet requires a web presence in one fashion or another and this requires a web server, whether it is hosted by a service provider or located on a company's network. - - - - - - - - - - Survey paints different portrait of online abuser Contrary to popular view, child molesters who look for their victims online typically aren't after young children to abduct and rape. These adults flatter teenagers, most of them girls ages 13 to 15, who willingly meet them and usually agree to sex, according to a national survey, the first of its type. It was reported Sunday at the American Psychological Association meeting. - - - - - - - - - - Software piracy: Hype versus reality If you don't know what the Business Software Alliance is, consider yourself lucky. A nonprofit trade group formed by more than a dozen major software makers--including Microsoft, Adobe Systems and Autodesk--the BSA is charged with enforcing licensing and copyright protections. Personal contact with the software group usually comes in the form of a "software audit," in which the BSA, often acting on a tip from an angry current or former employee, combs through a company's PC stock, matching installed programs with licenses. Companies that come up short can be forced to pay big fines and buy tons of new licenses. - - - - - - - - - - Credit Chicanery How Fraudsters Steal Using Your Own Credit Cards And What You Can Do About It. For Hayley Sumner, the last 12 months have been credit card hell. The 39-year-old entrepreneur from Los Angeles was hit twice by credit card fraud. About eight months ago, someone stole her Visa card from her car and charged hundreds of dollars at gas stations and movie theaters. - - - - - - - - - - Hacker Philosopher Richard Thieme, author of the new book Islands in the Clickstream: Reflections on Life in a Virtual World, is greeted by Stanford law professor and cybercriminal defense attorney Jennifer Granick. Thieme, a former priest and regular Blackhat attendee, "teaches hackers to think like philosophers," according to Sol Tzvi, a Microsoft security expert. - - - - - - - - - - Net vigilantes target 419 sites Artists Against 419 (AA419) has organised a 48-hour online protest against advanced fee fraud, otherwise known as the 419 scam. The protest is an organised version of the SlashDot effect whereby a huge number of visitors turn up at a site, overwhelming its bandwidth allocation. The virtual flash mob began at midnight on 1 August and has already taken down three of its targets. The organisers describe the event as the nightmare of all fake lotteries: Basically our aim is to shut down 4 fake lottery web sites in less than 48 hours! *********************************************************** 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.