NewsBits for February 4, 2005 ************************************************************ Guilty plea entered in AOL spam case A 24-year-old former American Online software engineer pleaded guilty Friday to stealing 92 million screen names and e-mail addresses and selling them to spammers, setting off an avalanche of up to seven billion unsolicited e-mails. - - - - - - - - - - FBI shuts down e-mail system because of possible breach The FBI said Friday it has shut down an e-mail system that it uses to communicate with the public because of a possible security breach. The bureau is investigating whether someone hacked into the e-mail system, which is run by a private company, officials said. - - - - - - - - - - Mass. officer ordered to stay away from kids, Internet A Sandwich police officer assigned to work with the town's schoolchildren has been ordered to stay away from kids and the Internet after being arraigned in an Internet child sex sting in New Hampshire. Forty- three-year-old Michael Caico is charged with using the Internet last winter to try to seduce a Hollis police officer who was posing online as a 14-year- old girl into sex and phone sex. - - - - - - - - - - Fake tsunami appeal website terminated A bogus website masquerading as that of the Disasters Emergency Committee has been taken down. The enforcement action follows warnings yesterday (3 February) that the site,, which claimed to be collecting funds to help victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster was not to be trusted. - - - - - - - - - - WebEx sues Citrix for cybersquatting Online conferencing company WebEx is suing Citrix for cybersquatting. It has filed a suit in the Northern District Court of California claiming trademark infringement, cybersquatting and unfair competition thanks to Citrix buying a number of domain names virtually identical to WebEx's latest service. - - - - - - - - - - RIAA sues the dead Death is no obstacle to feeling the long arm of the Recording Industry Ass. of America. Lawyers representing several record companies have filed suit against an 83-year old woman who died in December, claiming that she made more than 700 songs available on the internet. - - - - - - - - - - MSN Messenger worm seeds zombie networks A worm spreading via MSN Messenger is turning infected Windows PCs into zombie drones. The Bropia-F worm spreads by offering "sexy image files" to IM contacts of infected users. Instead of racy documents, users who accept and open infected files get a comical photo of a roasted chicken with a bikini tan line. worm, opening a backdoor on infected systems. MSN Messenger worm raised to medium threat,10801,99524,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Saddam used as worm lure Users are spreading a mass-mailing worm by opening attachments which claim to be pictures of the deposed leader's corpse. Photos of a "dead" Saddam Hussein are the lure for a new mass-mailing worm, Sophos warned on Thursday, in the latest instance of attackers using well-known figures as bait.,39020375,39186713,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Thirteen patches planned in next Microsoft security update IT administrators may find themselves grappling with triskaidekaphobia on Tuesday when Microsoft Corp. releases a flood of 13 new security patches, including several critical updates. The release, part of Microsoft's regularly scheduled monthly security update, is the company's biggest patch roundup in months. Included will be nine Windows updates, at least one of which is rated critical.,10801,99532,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Study: Few bugs in MySQL database A source-code analysis of the MySQL database, a popular open-source program at the heart of many Web sites, revealed few bugs compared with the number found in commercial code, testing company Coverity said Friday. - - - - - - - - - - Huge security hole in .Net James Gosling, CTO of Sun's Developer Products group and the father of the Java programming language, has called Microsoft's decision to support C and C++ in the common language runtime in .Net one of the "biggest and most offensive mistakes that they could have made" in his speech to developers at an event in Sydney earlier this week. - - - - - - - - - - E-mail meltdown claims take heat Security vendors have accused antispam experts at SpamHaus of hyping a trick that allows spammers to take advantage of ISP mail servers. Earlier this week, Steve Linford, director of the SpamHaus Project, warned that e-mail infrastructures were on the verge of collapse because of a new worm. - - - - - - - - - - Canadians Fight for Privacy British Columbians are fighting to halt an outsourcing contract recently signed by their government that could place millions of their health records in the hands of a private American company. Activists with the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association are concerned that the data could be susceptible to seizure by American law enforcement agencies if the data resides with a company whose parent firm is in the U.S.,1848,66497,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Spammers' New Strategy An advanced spamming technique could push the volume of unwanted e-mail to new heights in coming months, straining the integrity of the online communication system, according to several top experts who monitor the activity of spam gangs around the world. Illegal bulk- mailers have been able to deploy massive blasts of spam by routing it through the computers of their Internet service providers, rather than sending it directly from individual machines, the experts said. - - - - - - - - - - This week in security Trend Micro is warning of a new variant of he Bropia worm that uses MSN Messenger to spread. Bropia.F is packaged with a second, more damaging worm that tries to exploit poorly patched computers, the antivirus company said Thursday. - - - - - - - - - - Check Point tool to keep an eye on networks Check Point Software Technologies will launch software on Monday to help information security professionals manage their networks. Eventia Analyzer is designed to monitor networks by collecting and analyzing data from a variety of components, such as firewalls and antivirus gateways, said David Burton, Check Point's director of product marketing. - - - - - - - - - - The commercialisation of malware Each week asks a different expert to give their views on recent virus and security issues, with advice, warnings and information on the latest threats. This week David Emm, senior technology consultant at Kaspersky Lab UK, warns of the increasing threat from virus writers seeking to make money from their creations. - - - - - - - - - - Shhhh. U.S. appeals USA PATRIOT loss The U.S. Justice Department is appealing a decision that trimmed back the FBI's powers under the USA PATRIOT Act. But in a case already noted for unusual secrecy, the very fact of the government's appeal was kept under seal for over two months. - - - - - - - - - - Are You Responsible for Internet Security? In the battle against online scams, consumers have a responsibility to use the tools provided by technology vendors to protect their personal data, privacy executives from EBay, Hewlett- Packard, Microsoft, and Truste said this week. - - - - - - - - - - ID cards 'contrary to British values' The chairman of a group of Tory MPs issued a report yesterday slamming the government's plans for national identity cards. In a paper published on the Bow Group's website, Peter Lilley MP, former Secretary of State for Trade And Industry, was highly critical of Labour's plans to introduce identity cards, branding them unworkable, expensive and potentially dangerous.,10801,99526,00.html - - - - - - - - - - FBI Chief Lacks All the Answers on Project Woes Lawmakers criticized FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III on Thursday for continued problems with a costly computer project that was supposed to dramatically improve management of terrorism and other criminal cases. Mueller acknowledged he did not know how much the FBI's Virtual Case File would cost beyond the $170 million already budgeted and largely spent, or when FBI agents and analysts would have it on their computers. (LA Times article, free registration required),1,4478262.story Senators fume as FBI admits Trilogy foul-ups - - - - - - - - - - Video Games' Chaos Echoed In Streets, D.C. Leaders Say District political, religious and community leaders gathered at a Southeast Washington church yesterday to support a proposed ban on the sale of violent and sexually explicit video games to minors. They summed up their objections in a word: poison. "Why are they selling this game to our children?" said Ronald Moten, a leader of Peaceaholics, which mentors troubled youths in the District and Maryland. He and others drew a direct line between the make-believe mayhem in such video games as Grand Theft Auto and the very real pain they see in their neighborhoods. - - - - - - - - - - Indian teen kidnaps self to buy Nokia mobe A 15-year-old from Lucknow, India, who faked his own kidnapping because he wanted cash to buy a mobile phone is safely under lock and key after police traced his menacing calls home using Caller ID, Lucknow Newsline reports. - - - - - - - - - - Sex criminal seeks same on Calif. database A convicted child molester used a public database of California sex criminals to solicit men for sex, in what police said Friday was the first case of its kind. They said Glen Westberg, 35, wrote letters seeking dates to several other offenders listed on an official state Internet site. The data, assembled under the U.S. "Megan's Law" to protect children from sexual predators, is intended to warn citizens of potential nearby threats. - - - - - - - - - - Judge sentences man by mobile phone "I'm sorry your honour, you're breaking up ..." A taxi driver has become the first person in England to have a court judgement passed by mobile phone. According to The Daily Telegraph, the man had been due to attend court but was held up in a traffic jam. *********************************************************** 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.