NewsBits for February 15, 2005 ************************************************************ Scammers access data on 35,000 Californians ChoicePoint confirmed Tuesday that criminals recently accessed its database of consumer records, potentially viewing the personal data of about 35,000 Californians and resulting in at least one case of identity fraud. The Atlanta company, which provides consumer data services to insurance companies, other businesses and government agencies, said the unidentified individuals posed as legitimate business people in order to breach its defenses. - - - - - - - - - - Court: Wife broke law with spyware A wife who installed spyware on her husband's computer to secretly record evidence of an extramarital affair violated state law, a Florida court ruled Friday. The Florida Appeals Court, Fifth District said that Beverly Ann O'Brien "illegally obtained" records of husband James' online conversations with another woman as the two played Yahoo Dominoes together. - - - - - - - - - - Click fraud threat looms Like thousands of other merchants, Tammy Harrison thought she had struck gold when hordes visited her Web site by clicking on the small Internet ads she purchased from the world's most popular online search engines. - - - - - - - - - - New Steps to Protect DVDs in Piracy War It took a Norwegian teenager and two Internet chat-room cohorts about a month to write a program that picked the digital locks on DVD movies and enabled them to be copied quickly and easily. It took more than five years for someone to find a way to snap the locks shut again.,1,7807877.story - - - - - - - - - - CIOs say consolidation and cybersecurity top priority list CIOs and IT managers will focus on systems consolidation and security through the end of the fiscal year. Thats the chief finding from a new survey of 44 CIOs: 29 from civilian agencies, nine from the Defense Department, and six from the legislative and top-level executive offices. - - - - - - - - - - RSA conference: Pest control (serious of stories) Security companies and experts huddle in San Francisco to tackle the ever-more-pressing issue of how to keep pests out of home PCs and corporate networks. IM gets perfect forward security,39020375,39187934,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Firms give flaws a grade With an eye to guiding companies on which software problems to patch first, Cisco Systems, Symantec and Qualys plan to launch a joint grading system for security vulnerabilities. The ratings will consist of three numbers, Gerhard Eschelbeck, the chief technology officer at security information provider Qualys said on Tuesday. - - - - - - - - - - Phish Report Network Launched Developing higher-powered anti-phishing tools and having industry leaders collaborate on the problem is vital, says Dave Jevans, APWG chairman. "Having so many people looking at this problem is an indication that the industry is fighting as hard as it can." - - - - - - - - - - Microsoft will make antispyware software free of charge Microsoft Corp. will give away software to battle spyware, adware and other privacy- invading pests, company co-founder Bill Gates said Tuesday. In a speech to security experts, Gates said the programs, which users often accept when they install free software without reading its accompanying licensing agreements, are quickly becoming a major threat to the future of computing. Anti-spyware tool to become standard issue for Windows - - - - - - - - - - Secure e-mail tools debut in the desert A pair of software start-ups have introduced new tools to protect organizations from damaging incoming and outgoing e-mail messages. At the Demo@15 Conference, Cloudmark Inc. of San Francisco is touting anti-phishing technology, and Audiotrieve LLC of Boxborough, Mass., is showing software that detects potentially damaging e-mail before it leaves a users computer. - - - - - - - - - - Passwords? We don't need no stinking passwords RSA 2005 Concerns over online security are continuing to slow consumer e-commerce growth. A quarter of the respondents in a recent survey have reduced their online purchases in the past year and 21 per cent refuse to conduct business with their financial institutions online because of security fears. More than half (53 per cent) of the 1,000 consumers quizzed believe that basic passwords fail to provide sufficient protection for sensitive personal information. - - - - - - - - - - Former U.S. Hacker Mitnick Meets Journalists in Moscow Kevin Mitnick, formerly one of the most famous U.S. hackers and now the head of a computer consulting company, held a press conference in Moscow on Sunday. Mitnick, quoted by the Kommersant newspaper, said experienced hackers would rather act through the companys employees than attack its computer system end on. - - - - - - - - - - The man with the RFID arm reporter's notebook To many, implanting radio frequency ID chips into humans is the face of impending Orwellianism. But to be honest, it looks like a mosquito bite. Joseph Krull, an executive at Flanders, N.J.-based Virtual Corporation, had a doctor stick an RFID tag from VeriChip under his skin on Jan. 10. The residual blemish amounts to a small red dot. - - - - - - - - - - The state of security: It ain't pretty Commentary--Wow, what a few months it's been for the information security industry! In December, Symantec and Veritas Software showed incredible guts by announcing plans to merge into an 800- pound business risk-reduction gorilla. At the same time, Cisco Systems bolstered its security management by grabbing Protego Networks, then proceded to gobble up Airespace in January, making it the secure-wireless king. - - - - - - - - - - Digital Water Marks Thieves Crooked criminal hearts may have fluttered and skipped a beat Monday when some of Britain's most notorious thieves opened a valentine from an unwelcome secret admirer -- one of London's top female police chiefs. But the greeting -- in which Chief Superintendent Vicki Marr wrote "thinking of you and what you do" -- was not so much an amorous expression to the underworld as part of a sting designed to catch hard-core burglars using new chemical microdot crime- fighting technology.,1282,66595,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Have a blog, lose your job? Mark Jen landed a dream job with Google Inc. in January. He was fired less than a month later. His infraction? He ran a Web log, where he freely gabbed about his impressions of life at the Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet search giant. Web logs, or blogs, the online personal diaries where big names and no names expound on everything from pets to presidents, are going mainstream. While still a relatively small piece of total online activity, blogging has caught on with affluent young adults. As Forrester Research analysts recently noted, blogging will become increasingly common as these consumers age. *********************************************************** 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.