NewsBits for January 5, 2005 ************************************************************ Four charged over $1.5m Wal-Mart price switch scam Two US couples have been arrested on suspicion of masterminding a price switching scam involving counterfeit bar codes estimated to have cost Wal- Mart stores across 19 US states a total of $1.5m over the last decade. Sisters Julie Marie Simmons (AKA Julie Poore), 35, and Laura Simmons Howerton, 39, and their husbands Michael Poore, 29, and Dewey Howerton, 39 were arrested in Nashville, Tennessee and charged with the theft of $60,000 in connection with the scam, AP reports. - - - - - - - - - - Arrests made in Taiwanese re-marking raid, AMD says Taiwanese police arrested several suspects and seized an unspecified number of re-marked Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) processors in a Dec. 30 raid on four businesses at several locations in Taiwan, an AMD spokeswoman said Wednesday. Re-marked processors are chips that have been illegally re-labelled as a more valuable chip, such as one offering more on-chip cache or a higher clock speed. - - - - - - - - - - Court: No warrant needed to search your work PC Police do not need a search warrant to examine an employee's computer for incriminating files, a Washington state appeals court has ruled. All that is necessary is the permission of the business that owns the computer, the appeals court said in a 3-0 decision last week. - - - - - - - - - - Spyware bill reintroduced in Congress Spyware legislation that would allow fines of up to $3 million for makers of software that steals personal information from a user's computer or hijacks its browser will get a second look after the U.S. Congress failed to pass the legislation in 2004.,10801,98725,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Philippines cybercrime bill to cover cell phones The latest draft version of a cybercrime bill that will be filed to The Philippines' Congress next year will cover not only computers and computer networks but mobile devices as well. The proposed bill, entitled the "Cybercrime Prevention Act," is now on its tenth revision after undergoing public hearings during the previous Congress. The bill, however, failed to make the public hearings - - - - - - - - - - Germany slaps piracy tax on PCs The new year has started badly for PC manufacturer Fujitsu Siemens after the firm lost a controversial case that will see at least 12 added to the cost of its computers. The judgement by a Munich district court found that PCs fall under the same classification as blank videos in that they can be used by pirates to copy media. - - - - - - - - - - Domain slammer promises to turn over new leaf A Swansea-based businessman has agreed not to use dodgy sales tactics to try and flog domain names to businesses. Adam Ripley - who was behind a number of domain name registration businesses including Solus Online Ltd, ISIS Online Ltd, Select Registrations and European Domain Bureau - gave the assurance after court action by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). - - - - - - - - - - SouthTrust Bank customers targeted by scam e-mails Contrary to information in some of the e-mails landing in the in-boxes of SouthTrust Bank customers, the institution didn't suffer server problems converting from the year 2004 to 2005. Instead, according to the bank, the authors of the scam e-mails are phishing for customers' personal information, including names and account numbers.,10801,98719,00.html - - - - - - - - - - New advance fee scam UK consumers looking for loans are being stung for thousands of pounds by a new advance fee scam. Interestingly this scam, which originates from Canada has so far avoided the internet and is using advertisements in local newspapers. With people wanting to offset the costs of Christmas the newspaper adverts, which offer fast loans regardless of credit history, appear safer following the growing problem of internet scares. - - - - - - - - - - Tenn. town becoming a cybersex trap Jewel is 15, 5-foot-5, has auburn hair and is bored. So she visits Internet chat rooms. In reality, Jewel does not exist. She was the creation of Officer David Posey, a middle-age, chain-smoking bulldog of a man who engineered the arrests of three Alabama men who await trial on charges they came to this small town to have sex with the teen after meeting her in a chat room. - - - - - - - - - - Hackers step up search for unpatched servers Organisations that have not patched their Microsoft servers against the WINS flaw need to act fast, says SANS. Network administrators who have failed to patch their systems against the Microsoft Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS) vulnerability are now at much greater risk of attack.,39020369,39183102,00.htm Attacks on Microsoft WINS hole raise alarms Internet security monitoring groups are warning Microsoft Windows users about new Internet attacks aimed at Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 machines running WINS, the Windows Internet Naming Service.,10801,98726,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Worms turn as Trojans take over Worms have fallen out of favour with virus writers to be superseded by Trojans as the most virulent malicious code, according to antivirus firm Panda Software. The Downloader.GK Trojan has topped the company's 2004 problem chart, accounting for 14 per cent of reported incidents. The next most common infection, the Netsky worm, managed less than half this level. - - - - - - - - - - VXers creating 150 zombie programs a week Malicious programs capable of turning home PCs into zombies controlled by hackers are growing at between 150 to 200 per week. McAfee's Anti- virus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team (AVERT) reports that bots (now numbering over 7,000) and mass mailing viruses are the greatest threat to enterprises. Meanwhile exploits and adware account for over 60 per cent of the malicious threats impacting consumers. - - - - - - - - - - Fort Hood gets spyware Officials at Intrusion announced earlier this week that Army officials at Fort Hood, Texas, chose the company's SecureNet and SpySnare products to better protect computer systems at the service's largest base in the world. Army officials hope the $800,000 deal detects and blocks hackings, spyware infections and unauthorized peer-to-peer communications. A story published last April by the service's Network Enterprise Technology Command cites the downloading of music and peer-to-peer applications (p2p) by soldiers on Army computers as serious threats to network security. - - - - - - - - - - Microsoft To Unveil Anti-Spyware Beta Microsoft Corp. is getting ready to release a beta version of antispyware technology it purchased last month to the public, but it will delay promised antispam and antivirus improvements to the Exchange e-mail server.,10801,98730,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Phishing, VoIP and spam top 2005 messaging agenda Phishing, regulatory compliance, voice over IP, and spam will be major themes for the messaging industry in 2005, according to analysts' predictions offered today. A report by Ferris Research suggests that 90 per cent of all mailboxes experiencing a spam problem will be protected by commercial anti-spam offerings by the end of 2005. - - - - - - - - - - New year resolutions Each week asks a different expert to give their views on recent security issues, with advice, warnings and information on the latest threats. This week Calum Macleod, senior IT consultant at Cyber-Ark, highlights some of last year's mishaps and offers a few tips for a safer 2005. - - - - - - - - - - Y2K: Hoax, Or Averted Disaster? Allnighterking writes "Y2K -- remember the fear it generated? Cartoons were written about it. The dried food industry saw a boom. Doomsayers abounded. But in the end, no planes fell, no one died and the electric grid stayed up for three more years. Was it all a hoax? Or was it the result of careful and complete planning and upgrading. - - - - - - - - - - Thousands of security webcams wide open Thousands of security webcams, many supposedly private and confidential, are accessible via a simple Google search, has learnt. Search engine expert Duncan Parry, creative director at search consultancy firm Position Driver, explained that all that is needed to access these webcams is a well-crafted Google search. - - - - - - - - - - Security highlights from around the Web FBI project shelved: A draft report from the Inspector Generals office for the Justice Department concludes that the FBIs Virtual Case File project will not succeed, Government Computer News reports. The FBI has already spent $170 million on the VCF project, which was intended to enable agents to conduct rapid, paperless information sharing.,10801,80400,00.html - - - - - - - - - - The Business of Fighting Terror Since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001, the news has been filled with stories on proposed surveillance and data-mining programs, ranging from the Total Information Awareness system and the MATRIX to CAPPS II and journalist Steven Brill's drive for a private, biometric identification card.,1848,66177,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Armed robber's prison suit escapes onto eBay An armed blagger's high-visibility boiler suit was reportedly offered for sale on eBay earlier this week after successfully escaping from Blundeston Prison in Suffolk, the Telegraph reports. The green and yellow outfit - issued to "e-list" lags deemed likely to make a bolt for it - was described as "extremely rare and collectable" by the unnamed seller who claimed a prisoner on parole had smuggled out the item. *********************************************************** 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 2000-2005,, Campbell, CA.