NewsBits for January 10, 2005 ************************************************************ US software pirate jailed for 18 months A US software pirate has been sentenced to 18 months' jail by a Virginia court for punting illicit programmes via a pay-for-access website, Australian IT reports. Over six months, Kishan Singh, 33 of Lanham, Maryland, sold thousands of cracked copies of Adobe, Autodesk, Macromedia, and Microsoft programmes with an estimated (presumably retail) value of between $70,000 and $120,000. - - - - - - - - - - Hackers steal ID info from Virginia university George Mason University confirmed on Monday that the personal information of more than 30,000 students, faculty and staff had been nabbed by online intruders. The attackers broke into a server that held details used on campus identity cards, the university said. Joy Hughes, the school's vice president for information technology, said in an internal e-mail sent over the weekend and seen by CNET that "the server contained the names, photos, Social Security numbers and (campus ID) numbers of all members of the Mason community who have identification cards." - - - - - - - - - - Microsoft calls in police over employee 'abuse' of discount programme Seven Microsoft IT support staff have been fired for allegedly abusing the company's cut-price software scheme. Microsoft has called in the police after firing seven people whom it claims have abused its discounted software purchase programme for employees.,39020330,39183546,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Commerce Secretary to Urge China to Tighten Piracy Rules Departing U.S. Commerce Secretary Don Evans said he would travel to China this week to let leaders there know that President Bush expected greater efforts to tighten rules against patent and trademark piracy. The three-day visit will be one of his last actions before leaving the Bush administration this month, Evans said in an interview. (LA Times article, free registration required),1,3651615.story - - - - - - - - - - Exploit code increases threat of IE flaws A security firm has warned that exploit code has been released which shows hackers how to exploit previously reported flaws in IE - even XP SP2 users are not safe, and Microsoft does not yet have a patch ready. Three unpatched flaws in Internet Explorer now pose a higher danger, a security company warned, after code to exploit one of the issues was published to the Internet.,39020369,39183531,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Critical flaw plagues Mozilla Security experts have found a critical flaw in the Mozilla browser, days after the disclosure that the Firefox browser was vulnerable to phishing scams. - - - - - - - - - - Cell phone virus turns up the heat Cell phone viruses, largely considered a paper tiger in the digital security world, became a bit more dangerous this week with the release of a two-pronged program. Writers have released a virus, known as Lasco.A, that spreads both through wireless connections and by attaching itself to files, antivirus company F-Secure said Monday. Until now, malicious cell phone programs have spread using one mechanism or the other. - - - - - - - - - - McAfee automates Google hacking McAfee has released an update to its tool that uses Google to automatically search for security holes in Web sites. SiteDigger 2.0, delivered on Monday, looks for information about a Web site's security by sending specific queries to Google's Web database. Known as Google hacking, such searches can turn up easily exploitable flaws and sensitive information, including credit card numbers and user account information. - - - - - - - - - - Spammers 'hit schools with DoS attacks' The UK education sector is struggling to cope with the power wielded by today's spammers, claims one security firm. Schools, colleges and universities are being increasingly targeted by spammers flooding their systems with junk mail and launching denial- of-service attacks, according to one security firm this week.,39020375,39183540,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Spammers' New Tactic Upends DNS Although some ISPs and legislators are crediting the year-old CAN-SPAM Act and better technology for recent gains in the war on spam, many in the industry say the advances are forcing spammers to employ new tactics, which are destabilizing the Internet's crucial DNS.,1759,1749328,00.asp - - - - - - - - - - Security Holes Draw Linux Developers' Ire jd writes "In what looks to be a split that could potentially undermine efforts to assure people that Linux is secure and stable, the developers of the GRSecurity kit and RSBAC are getting increasingly angry over security holes in Linux and the design of the Linux Security Modules. - - - - - - - - - - Reuters outsources security monitoring Reuters says that it has improved its IT security controls by outsourcing the monitoring of critical network intrusion detection sensors and firewalls to NetSec in a six-figure deal.,39024655,39126914,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Stamping Passport Microsoft can save its ailing authentication service, but only by scaling back its expectations on what kind of accounts and services it's fit to secure. Online auction house eBay recently announced that it would discontinue support for Microsoft's Passport authentication service, touching off lively discussions on Slashdot and other forums where anti-Microsoft sentiment runs strong. - - - - - - - - - - The MS spyware experiment, moving calendars... There is a wide range of opinion out there on Microsoft's entry into the anti-spyware market... we wouldn't have it any other way: As long as the anti-spyware firms were external to MS, MS had an incentive to fix the holes in its OS. - - - - - - - - - - Spotting Car Thieves in Blink of a Digital Eye The Los Angeles Police Department is testing a mobile, computerized camera system that could markedly improve its chances of arresting car thieves at a time when auto theft accounts for nearly a quarter of property crimes. (LA Times article, free registration required),1,5985672.story - - - - - - - - - - Jails to keep eye on visits VICTORIAN jails will install hi-tech biometric iris scanners to identify visitors before entering the gates to visit inmates. In a world first, iris recognition technology will be used to confirm staff and visitor identity at Victoria's new prisons -- the Metropolitan Remand Centre at Ravenhall and Correctional Program Centre at Lara. Barwon Prison and the Melbourne Assessment Prison are likely to join the hi-tech revolution later this year following an upgrade of security systems.,5478,11887075%255E11869,00.html - - - - - - - - - - The Power of Porn As goes pornography, so goes technology. Pornography customers have been some of the first to buy home video machines, DVD players and subscribe to high- speed internet. One of the next big issues in which pornographers could play a deciding role is the future of high-definition DVDs. The multi-billion- dollar industry releases about 11,000 titles on DVD each year, giving it tremendous power to sway the battle between two groups of studios and technology companies competing to set standards for the next generation.,1367,66221,00.html *********************************************************** 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.