NewsBits for October 1, 2004 ************************************************************ U.S. cybersecurity chief abruptly resigns, cites frustration The government's cybersecurity chief has abruptly resigned from the Homeland Security Department amid a concerted campaign by the technology industry and some lawmakers to persuade the Bush administration to give him more authority and money for protection programs. Amit Yoran, a former software executive from Symantec Corp., made his resignation effective Thursday as director of the National Cyber Security Division, giving a single's day notice of his intention to leave. He kept the job one year.,1283,65189,00.html,10801,96369,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Laptops stolen from Bush campaign office Three laptop computers containing campaign plans were stolen overnight from the Bush-Cheney state headquarters office, Republican officials said Friday. Between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m., after the last campaign worker had gone home from the office in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, someone threw a rock through the office window of Jon Seaton, executive director for President Bush's state campaign, said Chris Vance, state GOP chairman. - - - - - - - - - - Internet check scam The local office of the FBI is warning consumers about an Internet scam. At least three people in the Tri-Cities area are out thousands of dollars. How much did they lose? According to the Bay City FBI, one person in the tri cities has lost $9,000. Someone else lost $24,000, and a third person is out $54,000. Joel Feick explained how the scam works. - - - - - - - - - - Australian High-Tech Crime Centre in child-porn sweep In the largest operation of its kind in Australia, police have seized hundreds of computers and look set to charge 200 people with over 2,000 child-porn offences. Hundreds of people across Australia will be prosecuted for child sex offences following the nation's largest ever crackdown on online child pornography.,39020369,39168668,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Zombie armies behind cyberscrime sprees According to communications firm Energis, online crime appears to be occurring in cyclical patterns related to the creation of botnets--zombie armies of PCs that have been taken control of without the owners' knowledge. - - - - - - - - - - 419 spammers use Holocaust to boost credibility Experts say a 419 email scam from the Czech Republic uses legitimate organisations and Holocaust victims to strengthen its case. A spammer has bombarded at least 75,000 inboxes with an email scam that offers recipients a share of $35m (PS19.5m) from a World War II Holocaust victim's bank account, experts say.,39020375,39168766,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - California Goes After Spyware California's pioneering law aimed at cracking down on spyware -- signed this week to curb the software that hides on computers and secretly follows users around the web -- is only a partial step toward protecting consumers, critics said on Friday. Spyware, which some technology experts see as the web's next scourge, is often unknowingly installed by computer users when they download games or other programs or accept deceptive pop-up ads.,1283,65203,00.html - - - - - - - - - - RIAA hunts down more file-trading scum The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) knows how to kick off the back-to-school season with a splash, sending out another load of lawsuits to collegians everywhere. The music-labels' front man sued 762 more file-trading evil-doers, pushing its grand lawsuit total well over 5,000. The focus of the latest batch of lawsuits is once again college students - with the RIAA highlighting 26 schools harboring copyright terrorists. - - - - - - - - - - Judge rules e-voting vendor misrepresented law A manufacturer of electronic voting equipment knowingly misrepresented its claims when it sent threatening letters to the Internet providers of people who had posted the company's internal documents online, a federal judge has ruled. Diebold Inc.'s letters claimed the leaked documents violated its copyrights under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and demanded that they be removed immediately. - - - - - - - - - - Hacking away at Energy Even after almost 200 hacks of its systems in 2003, the Energy Department still has some holes in its cyberdefense, according to an inspector general's report released this week. In response to cybersecurity weaknesses that resulted in 199 intrusions last year, Energy officials say they're taking several measures to protect the department's systems. But they continue to have difficulty finding, tracking and fixing previously reported cybersecurity weaknesses quickly, the inspector said in a report, " The Department's Unclassified Cyber Security Program -- 2004." - - - - - - - - - - 'Cybernapping' danger of unprotected systems Hackers stealing company data and holding it to ransom is a growing trend, warn security experts. 'Cybernappers' take confidential data such as customer lists from backend systems unprotected by the necessary security systems. - - - - - - - - - - Viral movies possible with RealPlayer flaw A software slipup in RealNetworks' music player means that Windows, Mac and Linux computers could be compromised by a fake movie file, a security company said Friday. The problem means that fake movie files could be created that, when played by vulnerable Real software, would run a program instead. The flaw appears in RealPlayer 10 for Windows and Mac OS X, the RealOne Player for Windows and Mac OS X and the Real Helix Player for Linux. - - - - - - - - - - New Windows Patch Proves Tricky The emergence of a new Internet virus targeting a Microsoft Windows security flaw could cause more damage than usual because the company's system for fixing the problem is so complex that many people will not bother to download it, security experts warned. Week in review: A snapshot of the new virus - - - - - - - - - - Gates: Microsoft to offer anti-spyware Microsoft plans to offer its own anti-spyware software, Chairman Bill Gates said Friday. Gates said Microsoft will offer software to detect malicious applications and that the company will keep it up-to-date on an ongoing basis. He did not say when the software would be available or whether Microsoft would charge for it. - - - - - - - - - - McAfee in BitDefender virus slur spat McAfee has distanced itself from slurs against rival AV firm BitDefender contained in sponsored ad links on The Romanian firm was unsurprisingly upset at having its products referred to as a "virus" in ads that linked to a page offering McAfee anti-virus software. - - - - - - - - - - UK banks launch anti-phishing website The use of malicious code and phishing scams to extract confidential account details from consumers have cost British banks more than PS4.5m over the last 12 months. This is a tiny fraction of the PS402.4m lost through credit card fraud in 2003, but banks today stepped up efforts to help consumers protect themselves from online scams and threats with the launch of a new website - - - - - - - - - - Computer crimes in Russia In Russia these are the following sentences on computer crime related cases: Article 272. Unauthorized access to computer information 1. Unauthorized access to law protected computer information in the electronic computers, their systems or networks or on the machine carriers resulted in erasing, blocking or copying computer information, disturbing the work of electronic computers, their systems or networks is punished with fine from two hundred to five hundred minimum wages, condemned persons wages or another income within the term from two to five months, refinery works within the term from six months to one year, or imprisonment within up to two years. - - - - - - - - - - India mulls tough ID rules for cybercafes Internet cafes in parts of India face closure if new regulations forcing them to provide police with names and addresses of all their customers are introduced. Under the new rules, visitors to Internet cafes will have to show their ID cards or be photographed. The governor of Karnataka State in southern India is reported to be close to passing the new law, which is desinge to fight cybercrime. Similar measures are also being mulled for Mumbai and Maharashtra State. - - - - - - - - - - Why I dumped Internet Explorer After months waiting for Microsoft to give me a reason to remain loyal, I finally dumped Internet Explorer for the Firefox Web browser last week. At the office, my cubicle colleague--a Firefox aficionado of long standing--smugly greeted the news by asking me what took so long. But rest assured this is no small concession. - - - - - - - - - - Robbery suspect caught on cell phone camera Thanks to a quick-thinking robbery victim and his camera phone, police had a photo of the suspect and tracked him down in 10 minutes, police said. James Robert Barker was in custody on charges of aggravated robbery after allegedly holding up limousine driver Ismael Miranda early Friday at a car wash, police said. *********************************************************** 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.