NewsBits for February 14, 2005 ************************************************************ Alleged mobsters guilty in vast Net, phone fraud Writing a sudden ending to what authorities say is one of the biggest consumer fraud cases ever prosecuted, alleged members of one of New Yorks most notorious Mafia families pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy and fraud charges stemming from an Internet and phone billing caper that bilked consumers out of more than $650 million. - - - - - - - - - - Man pleads guilty to hacking WebTV A 44-year-old Louisiana man pleaded guilty Monday to hacking into WebTV users' accounts, which resulted in the users dialing 911 instead of logging into the Internet service, the government announced. David Jeansonne, 44 of Metairie, faces 10 years imprisonment when sentenced here next month. He pleaded guilty to two counts of intentionally damaging computers and causing a threat to public safety. - - - - - - - - - - 14-year-old hacker sentenced to probation A 14-year-old who used a computer worm to launch an attack against Microsoft's main Web site in August 2003 was sentenced in federal court yesterday to three years of probation. The juvenile, whose identity was not revealed because of his age, used a worm that exploited the same software vulnerability as the Blaster Worm. - - - - - - - - - - Spain Arrests 18 Suspects in Pedophilia Sting Spanish police have smashed a pedophile ring with the arrest of 18 people accused of sexually abusing children and distributing the images via the Internet, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday. It was the first time Spanish police had broken a pedophile network which recorded its own pornography, the ministry said. - - - - - - - - - - Break-In At SAIC Risks ID Theft Some of the nation's most influential former military and intelligence officials have been informed in recent days that they are at risk of identity theft after a break-in at a major government contractor netted computers containing the Social Security numbers and other personal information about tens of thousands of past and present company employees. - - - - - - - - - - Man Tried to Engineer Sex, Suicides, Police Say A man who used an Internet chat room allegedly to try to set up a mass suicide on Valentine's Day had been trying to persuade women for at least five years to engage in sex acts with him and then kill themselves, a county sheriff said. Gerald Krein is charged with solicitation to commit murder, and prosecutors are expected to add an attempted manslaughter charge today, Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger said. (LA Times article, free registration required),1,3630927.story - - - - - - - - - - Fur protesters launch Web attacks Animal rights protesters are conducting denial- of-service attacks against seven companies in the fur trade. Animal rights protesters launched denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on Monday against seven organisations that work in the fur trade.,39020375,39187926,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - War of the Worlds Web site hacked The Web site of Steven Spielberg's summer film has been defaced by Brazilian hackers who appear to have exploited a vulnerability in an Apache Web server. A Brazilian hacker has defaced the Web site of Steven Spielberg's film version of HG Wells' novel War of the Worlds, which is set to be released in cinemas this summer.,39020375,39187861,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - White House may make NSA 'traffic cop' over U.S. computer networks The Bush administration is considering making the National Security Agency -- famous for eavesdropping and code breaking -- its ``traffic cop'' for ambitious plans to share homeland security information across government computer networks, a senior NSA official says. Such a decision would expand NSA's responsibility to help defend the complex network of data pipelines carrying warnings and other sensitive information. It would also require significantly more money for the ultra-secret spy agency. - - - - - - - - - - Beijing Reports Closing Illegal Internet Cafes Chinese authorities shut down more than 12,575 Internet cafes from October to December last year for operating illegally, the government said. The crackdown was done to create a "safer environment for young people in China," the official New China News Agency said Sunday. It didn't give details of the violations, but said the businesses closed were near primary schools and middle schools.,1,1664847.story - - - - - - - - - - Triple threat: IM viruses get big jump on 2005 Ten instant messaging worms and their variants have spread over America Online, ICQ and MSN networks in the first six weeks of 2005, according to Akonix Systems. That's more than three times the three worms that propagated over public IM networks over the same period last year, the security company said on Monday. - - - - - - - - - - Microsoft, eBay join antiphishing initiative Microsoft, eBay, PayPal and Visa have joined a new antiphishing initiative spearheaded by WholeSecurity, the companies said Monday. Dubbed the Phish Report Network, the effort will attempt to slow the spread of phishing attacks by reporting deceptive Web sites to a central database operated by WholeSecurity, an IT security company based in Austin, Texas. - - - - - - - - - - Spyware, adware threat to be hot topic at security conference Unwanted programs that spy on PC users, deliver pop-up ads and track Web surfing habits will be a hot topic at a security conference that's usually more focused on viruses, hackers and the encryption of sensitive information. So- called spyware and adware have been around for years but have largely been viewed as more of an annoyance than a security threat. McAfee plans daily virus updates - - - - - - - - - - Making your IM secure--and deniable When you hit the Send button on an instant message, do you really know who is on the other end? Two researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have created an add-on to instant messaging that they claim will enable the participants to identify each other and have a secure conversation without leaving any proof that the chat occurred. - - - - - - - - - - Mobile encryption to get corporate test Siemens is to test a mobile encryption service with ten corporate customers looking for secure mobile email. Voltage Security is expected to announce on Monday that mobile phone maker Siemens is putting its encryption technology to the test.,39020375,39187857,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Nokia wants holistic approach to security 3GSM: The Mighty Finn claims technology exists to nip the mobile security problem in the bud, as long as it is implemented in the right way. Mobile handset vendor Nokia launched the latest version of its smartphone software on Monday, and called for greater industry cooperation to combat threats to mobile security.,39020339,39187927,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Laptop trackers Cables and locks, file encryption, passwords and biometrics they all help physically secure notebook computers and protect their data. But once the horse is gone, is there anything you can do but close the barn door? Fortunately, stealth tracking products can trace lost or stolen notebooks. I tested three of the leading products: Brigadoon Software's PC PhoneHome, Stealth Signal's XTool Computer Tracker and SyNet Electronics' nTracker. - - - - - - - - - - Study: Security fears daunt online shoppers One-fourth of online shoppers have reduced their purchases in the past year as concerns over identity theft have risen, according to a survey released Monday. That increased reluctance to shop online comes as Americans become more aware of the possible risks, the consumer study by RSA Security indicated. - - - - - - - - - - Cloak of Internet Propels Deceit, Sneak Attacks Technology's Remoteness Brings Decline in Civility When an aide to Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) went online to fuel damaging rumors about the Democratic mayor of Baltimore, he entered a world where public and private boundaries are treacherously blurred and normal etiquette can easily evaporate. *********************************************************** 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. 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