NewsBits for January 6, 2005 ************************************************************ Criminal gangs target orphans to sell on as slaves CONCERNS that children orphaned or separated from their parents by the tsunami may be falling prey to criminal gangs intent on selling them into slavery were raised by the United Nations yesterday. The UN said it had received reports of adults posing as foster parents and children being shipped from Indonesia to Malaysia for sale, adding to worries about a "tsunami generation" of children also under threat of disease and hunger. Officers at the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, were alarmed when a colleague in Kuala Lumpur received an unsolicited mobile phone text message offering children to order. - - - - - - - - - - FBI warns of tsunami email scams The FBI is warning that fraudsters are using internet scams in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami disaster. The agency is warning of phishing websites claiming to be for relief charities, and emails offering to find victims for a fee or requesting that money be deposited in overseas accounts.,10801,98756,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Cliff Stanford trial date set The trial of Cliff Stanford, founder of Demon Internet and Redbus, on charges of blackmail and "email poaching" is due to begin next Monday (10 January) at London's Southwark Crown Court. Stanford along with co-defendant George Liddell are accused of conspiring to intercept emails sent to Redbus chairman John Porter during a boardroom battle at the London-based hosting firm. Both men deny conspiracy to blackmail and interception of communications contrary to the RIPA Act 2000. - - - - - - - - - - Aussie crooks recruit teen phishing mules Phishing fraudsters have sunk to a new low in seeking to recruit Australian school and college students as "money mules". These hi-tech Fagins - Australia-based crooks with links to Russian and Malay crime gangs - have established a network of students able to funnel money from compromised accounts overseas. To date, 61 victims of the gang with combined illicit earnings of $600,000 have been identified, Australia's Daily Telegraph reports. - - - - - - - - - - Bath man sentenced in child porn case A man who amassed 25,000 pornographic images of children on his computer will spend the next six months in the Steuben County Jail and the next decade on probation. Gerald D. Makin Jr., 34, of Bath, was sentenced Wednesday before Steuben County Court Judge Joseph W. Latham. When Makin was arrested in June at his apartment in Corning, police said he possessed 80 compact discs filled with child pornography. Makin lost his apartment because of the case and moved to Bath after his family posted bond, family members in the courtroom said. - - - - - - - - - - Man gets eight years probation for child porn A Bentonville man was placed on eight years' probation Wednesday after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography. Blake Raland Johnson, 19, pleaded guilty to pandering or possessing visual or print medium depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a class C felony. Jennifer Torpie with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children contacted Benton County Sheriff's Office investigator Richard Pound because of information she received from a watch group. The group, Citizen of Charter Towers Australia, had flagged a possible violation dealing with child pornography, according to a press release from the Benton County Sheriff's Office. - - - - - - - - - - Child porn man dodges jail A PERVERT whose lawyer claimed child pornography was a "victimless" crime today escaped a jail sentence. Media graduate Richard Trehearn, 49, was caught with hundreds of sick images on his computer. He was snared by police as part of the Operation Ore crackdown. Trehearn, of Whitehead Terrace, Cambuslang, near Glasgow, was today put on three years' probation and ordered to do 240 hours' community service. - - - - - - - - - - Police Homes Targeted in Child Porn Raids The homes of three police officers have been raided in a child porn swoop, it was confirmed today. Northumbria Police said one of its officers a 41-year-old constable had been arrested and later bailed over material found on his home computer. In total three officers had their homes searched and computer equipment examined by force colleagues. - - - - - - - - - - Hooker turns in john after seeing child porn on computer A hooker turned in a john after she saw disturbing child pornography on the man's home computer, police said Thursday. Detective Carlos Negron, police spokesman, said police were contacted by the prostitute on two days ago. She told police she went to the suspect's apartment on the 1800 block of Jefferson Street house to service the man and while inside saw numerous pictures of children between the ages of 3 and 16 performing sex. Negron also said the woman reported seeing a video of a child, approximately 1 to 2 years of age, being raped. The sight of the latter so upset disturbed that she called police after leaving the apartment. Investigating officers asked the suspect for a consent search, which the man OK'd, Negron said. Officers found children's books and a pair of young female sneakers inside a bedroom closet and numerous floppy disks.,0,1736632.story - - - - - - - - - - Microsoft UK fires seven over staff purchase abuse Exclusive Microsoft UK has sacked seven employees and called in police following the "alleged abuse of [its] employee purchase programme". The giant software company declined to go into details about incident citing legal reasons but confirmed that seven people had been dismissed. - - - - - - - - - - Mobile Trojan launches Skulls attack Mobile users should avoid downloading Skulls.D, a Trojan that will wreck their handset. A new variant of the Skulls Trojan horse that affects Symbian mobile phones has been discovered. F-Secure reported on Monday that this new version, called Skulls.D, kills off all system applications in the same manner as previous variants. But rather than turning individual application icons into skulls, Skulls.D tells users they have been infected by displaying a full-screen flashing skull.,39020330,39183213,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Sims 2 hacks spread like viruses Players of Electronic Arts' enormously popular simulated life game are complaining that their artfully-crafted homes and mansions are beginning to resemble the Twilight Zone, thanks to an artifact of the game's design that causes hacks to spread like viruses from user to unwitting user. Entire neighborhoods of Sims are being mysteriously graced with eternal youth, while some characters are finding all their needs fulfilled by a single shot of magic espresso. - - - - - - - - - - House homeland security panel expects to win cybersecurity turf battle The newly permanent House Homeland Security Committee is likely to win the first turf battle over cybersecurity issues in the 109th Congress. Texas Republican Mac Thornberry and California Democrat Zoe Lofgren on Thursday re-introduced in the 109th Congress a bill on the issue from last year. House aides on the Homeland Security Committee believe that they will get a referral for the legislation from the House parliamentarian's office and House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Last year, the Homeland Security and Science committees snagged referrals. - - - - - - - - - - Kids get lesson on Internet predators To the casual eye, they looked like nothing more than eager sixth-graders tackling a computer course. Officer Tim Dickerson of the Camas Police Department knows better. "We know for a fact that you are prime targets for this kind of activity," he told the young students. That is, ready prey: for kidnapping, sex abuse, child pornography, or worse. - - - - - - - - - - Cybercrime targeted The attorney generals office is helping researchers from Dartmouth College and the University of New Hampshire study ways to fight cybercrime. Thanks to a $400,000 grant from the attorney generals office, three experts from Dartmouth recently transferred to Justiceworks, a research and development group at UNH. The goal is to examine the states ability to prevent, investigate and prosecute cybercrimes - - - - - - - - - - From Russia with malice Organised online crime has risen dramatically in the former Soviet Union - and it's still growing. Virus writing is no longer the exclusive domain of teenage geeks designing malicious code in their bedroom. Criminals are earning millions by dropping viruses and trojans onto computers of unsuspecting home users, siphoning money from online bank accounts, trading stolen identities, distributing porn and blackmailing firms. - - - - - - - - - - Advancing the fight against online kiddie porn The convenience of online payment solutions has allowed porn purveyors to hawk their wares on the Internet, and one credit card company intends to wipe this blemish off the face of the Web. Since February 2002, Visa International has been actively searching the Internet for purveyors of child pornography around the world, and has been working with its members to withdraw payment facilities from these illicit merchants. - - - - - - - - - - eBay aims to thwart phishing eBay is rolling out a private messaging service to customers to make it easier to distinguish official announcements from fraudulent 'phishing' emails. The service - dubbed My Messages - offers a read-only inbox for logged-in users. Sending trading and account information to this location rather than via conventional email should give users greater confidence that messages are genuine rather than attempts to trick them into divulging sensitive information to fraudulent sites. Three ways to fight back against phishing,,98701,00.html Phishers migrating to Trojan horse attacks,10801,98760,00.html - - - - - - - - - - NIST issues recommendations for secure VOIP The National Institute of Standards and Technology has offered some cautionary advice for offices considering moving their telephone systems to voice over IP. VOIP introduces both security risks and opportunities, NIST said in a recently released report. Lower cost and greater flexibility are among the promises of VOIP for the enterprise, but VOIP should not be installed without careful consideration of the security problems introduced. - - - - - - - - - - Microsoft offers free virus-removal, anti-spyware programs Microsoft Corp., whose popular Windows software is a frequent target for Internet viruses, is offering a free security program to remove the most dangerous infections from computers. The program, with monthly updates, is a step toward plans by Microsoft to sell full-blown antivirus software later this year.,10801,98783,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Mozilla vulnerabilities identified Users of the Mozilla and Firefox browsers and the Thunderbird e-mail client may be vulnerable to flaws that could allow an attacker to spy on or take over a system, according to security researchers.,10801,98757,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Passport chips raise privacy concerns A controversy is brewing over a U.S. State Department decision to put identification chips inside all new passport covers, a program scheduled to start by late 2005. The passport chips differ from those now commonly used for building entry or identifying the family dog. Those chips only provide one piece of information -- a unique identification number -- when pinged by a radio receiver. - - - - - - - - - - SSH Port Forwarding SSH is typically used for logging into remote servers so you have shell access to do maintenance, read your email, restart services, or whatever administration you require. SSH also offers some other native services, such as file copy (using scp and sftp) and remote command execution (using ssh with a command on the command line after the hostname). - - - - - - - - - - How to fight against patent terrorism Microsoft's recent announcement of a software indemnification policy has moved the once ignored issue of intellectual-property liability protection onto center stage. Software companies increasingly are dangling the offer of intellectual-property liability indemnification in front of customers concerned about protecting themselves against the threat of lawsuits. The war on leaked intellectual property,,98724,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Courts to pilot e-payment system A range of online payment and transactional services for county courts are to be tested in a six month pilot, in an attempt to improve access to justice. County courts in England and Wales are to offer a range of new online services in a six month pilot project due to begin on 17 January, 2005.,39020378,39183214,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Council suspends CCTV Peeping Toms Police are investigating a a trio of municipal "Peeping Toms" from Sefton, Merseyside who reportedly trained a street safety CCTV camera on a womans flat in Liverpool's Bootle district, UK tabloid the Sun reports. The three have been suspended "pending a full internal investigation into alleged breaches of the councils policies and procedures," as a Sefton council spokesman put it. Police confirmed that they are "currently investigating allegations under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and we are talking to a number of people", although no-one has been arrested. - - - - - - - - - - Barely legal? Strip poker hits Cingular phones A tepid version of strip poker for cell phones is set to debut in the United States, and while there's no nudity--on the screen, at least-- the game's distributor is preparing for complaints that it stretches the boundaries of good taste. *********************************************************** 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.