NewsBits for February 24, 2005 ************************************************************ Japanese government computers hit by denial-of-service attacks A series of cyber attacks disrupted Japanese government computer networks this week, although no damage was reported, Japan's top government spokesman said Thursday. The attacks, seen three times each on Tuesday and Wednesday, targeted the Prime Minister's Office and the Cabinet Office, causing computers to freeze up under a deluge of data and made it impossible for anyone to access the two Web sites, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda told a news conference.,39020330,39189080,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - U.S. charges four under 'spam' law Federal authorities say they managed to pierce the murky underworld of Internet spam e-mails, filing the first criminal charges under the government's new "can spam" legislation. Court documents in the landmark case in Detroit describe a nearly inscrutable puzzle of corporate identities, bank accounts and electronic storefronts in one alleged spam operation. US spam scams slammed,39020375,39189085,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - BT rogue dialler court case delayed A legal challenge to BT's decision last year to block access to numbers suspected of being used by rogue dialler companies has been delayed. Birmingham-based Opera Telecom was due to have its case against BT heard at the High Court tomorrow (Friday). It is suing BT for blocking access to lines Opera leases to adult content outfit Netcollex and is seeking compensation for lost revenues. - - - - - - - - - - Iranian blogger given 14 years An Iranian newspaper editor has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after comments made online criticising his government's treatment of bloggers. An Iranian blogger has been jailed for 14 years -- for criticising Iran's arrest of other online journal keepers. Arash Sigarchi was convicted this week for charges including espionage and insulting Iran's leaders, after the 28-year-old criticised the Iranian government and its treatment of bloggers on his own blog.,39020369,39189089,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Lawmakers to act on identity theft U.S. lawmakers on Thursday sought more control over data brokers like ChoicePoint, after criminals gained access to tens of thousands of names and personal details in the company's database. Several Democratic lawmakers said they would introduce legislation to limit the activities of data profilers, who sell Social Security numbers and other consumer information to business and government clients. Databases Called Lax With Personal Information The Social Security numbers of millions of Americans, including Vice President Cheney and celebrity heiress Paris Hilton, are available to many subscribers of a widely used information database company, U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) charged yesterday. Breach Points Up Flaws in Privacy Laws The recently disclosed privacy breach at the data collection giant ChoicePoint, in which con artists gained access to the Social Security numbers, addresses and other personal data of nearly 145,000 people, has exposed the shortcomings of the laws governing the data-mining industry and consumer privacy. Potential ID theft victims face a lifetime of vigilance Warren Lambert thought it was just another piece of junk mail until he read the letter more closely and learned that con artists may have obtained his Social Security number, name and address -- just what they need to steal his identity and ruin his credit. Lambert is one of nearly 145,000 Americans rendered vulnerable by a breach of the computer databases of ChoicePoint Inc., a leading trafficker in a growing pool of information about who we are, what we own, what we owe and even where we go. - - - - - - - - - - Take three: Antivirus apps could spread infection Internet Security Systems has found a flaw in Trend Micro's virus-scanning software--the third time this month that the security company has picked a hole in an antivirus product. The vulnerability affects Trend Micro's Antivirus Library, a common set of code used by at least 29 Trend Micro products, according to separate advisories posted on Trend Micro's Web site on Wednesday and on ISS' site on Thursday. - - - - - - - - - - Patch for masses swats Windows bug Microsoft has pushed out a patch for a software bug responsible for crashing some Windows systems that had third-party antivirus and firewalls installed. The fix, which was sent out through the automatic Windows Update system this week, deals with a problem that only affects Windows XP computers with Service Pack 2 installed alongside Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 and Windows Server 2003. - - - - - - - - - - Firefox fix plugs security holes The Mozilla Foundation released on Thursday an update to the Firefox Web browser to fix several vulnerabilities, including one that would allow domain spoofing. The open-source project released Firefox 1.0.1 to fix, among other bugs, a vulnerability in the Internationalized Domain Names (IDN), a standard for handling special character sets in domain names that lets companies register domain names that appear to be the same in different languages. - - - - - - - - - - Microsoft says sorry for AntiSpyware error Microsoft has publicly apologized and compensated Web directory, one of MSN's main competitors in Holland, after the software giant's anti-spyware product incorrectly flagged the site as malicious. - - - - - - - - - - No Encryption for E-Passports Despite widespread criticism from security experts that a proposed high-tech upgrade to Americans' passports actually introduces new security risks, the government is declining to encrypt data on new high-tech e-passports, according to proposed new rules published last week. In response to this outside criticism and some public questioning by one of its own contractors, the State Department delayed its rollout of the chip-equipped passports and hired additional companies to provide prototypes.,1848,66686,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Symantec, Computer Sciences team up Symantec and Computer Sciences Corp. on Thursday announced an alliance designed to broaden CSC's security offerings and extend Symantec's reach into the corporate and government markets. - - - - - - - - - - New passenger screening system expected to debut in August The Transportation Security Administration expects to begin using a new computer system to prescreen airline passengers this summer, an agency spokeswoman said Thursday. - - - - - - - - - - Watchdogs Sniff Out Terror Sites On the website of Internet Haganah, self-described as "an internet counterinsurgency," the mark of victory is a makeshift graphic -- a little blue AK-47 assault rifle. "Haganah" in Hebrew means defense. But when Internet Haganah's founder places another AK-47 on his site, it means mission accomplished: another jihad website taken out by going on the offensive.,1848,66708,00.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.