NewsBits for March 21, 2005 ************************************************************ Brazilian cops net 'phishing kingpin' Brazilian police last week arrested the suspected kingpin of a gang which looted an estimated $37m from online banking accounts. Valdir Paulo de Almeida allegedly masterminded a scam to raid accounts using a Trojan horse sent by email to thousands of victims, mostly Brazilian. - - - - - - - - - - Man guilty of Internet fraud A former Wichita man was found guilty Friday of fraud for using the Internet to sell items that buyers never received. A federal jury found James A. Bird, 32, guilty of 12 counts of wire fraud for using the eBay Internet auction service to sell golf clubs and watches that he never sent to buyers. - - - - - - - - - - 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. - - - - - - - - - - Pirates of the Baltic Facing U.S. sanctions and a possible delay in joining the Eurozone, Latvia announces a crackdown on financial crime. RIGA, Latvia-- A cybercrime incident involving a big Latvian bank has again highlighted the country's reputation as a haven for money launderers and online scammers. But it's pressure from the United States that is more likely to lead to real change in the Latvian banking system. - - - - - - - - - - Ukraine: child porn case A criminal suit was filed against a local man of Ternopol, Ukraine, who allegedly produced and distributed porn and child porn, a clipping service of Ternopol regional police department informed. The malefactor was detained by officers of Economic crime police department when he sold eight compact discs containing child porn. - - - - - - - - - - New cybersecurity team meets this week The Office of Management and Budget has created a task force that this week will begin figuring out how agencies can share cybersecurity functions. The team of senior IT managers will look at training, incident response, disaster recovery, contingency planning and how agencies select security products. - - - - - - - - - - Phishing by phone--VoIP raises security concerns Internet phone services have drawn millions of users looking for rock-bottom rates. Now they're also attracting identity thieves looking to turn stolen credit cards into cash. Some Internet phone services let scam artists make it appear that they're calling from another phone number--a useful trick that enables them to drain credit accounts and pose as banks or other trusted authorities, online fraud experts say. - - - - - - - - - - Wireless Internet opens new path for thieves But every convenience has its cost. Federal and state law enforcement officials say sophisticated criminals have begun to use the unsecured Wi-Fi networks of unsuspecting consumers and businesses to help cover their tracks in cyberspace. - - - - - - - - - - Companies at risk from cyber-crime Bank robbery has come a long way since the days of Bonnie and Clyde. Last week British police revealed they had foiled a cyber-crime gang's bid to steal $412 million from the London offices of the Japanese bank Sumitomo. The gang hacked into the bank's systems using "keylogging" software, which records all keystrokes entered into a computer to gather secret information such as account numbers and passwords. - - - - - - - - - - Britain tops zombie PC charts Britain has the largest zombie PC population of any country on the planet, according to the latest Symantec Internet Security Threat Report. The UK has more than a quarter (25.2 per cent) of all bots - virus-infected, zombie PCs under the control of crackers and used for malicious purposes like identity theft and online fraud - with the US (24.6 per cent) and China (7.8 per cent) in second and third place. Broadband boom makes UK worst for hacked PCs,39020375,39192117,00.htm Half of UK adults fear ID theft - - - - - - - - - - Virus writers follow the money More than half of recent major Internet threats tried to harvest personal information, a sign that financial gain is behind the attacks, according to a Symantec study. Identity theft features were found in 54 percent of the top 50 malicious codes detected between July and December last year, the security company said in a report released on Monday. That marks an increase on the 36 percent found during the same period in 2003. Virus writing: It's a thieves' game,39020375,39192132,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Worms whack half of businesses The survey, released Monday by security company Mazu Networks and the Enterprise Strategy Group, found that almost 75 percent of companies boosted security spending in 2004 to comply with regulations set by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. - - - - - - - - - - Hackers target browsers to dodge firewalls Hackers are increasingly using attacks that exploit browsers rather than trying to batter through firewalls and other network protection devices, according to security firm Symantec. Nearly half of the vulnerabilities reported by Symantec in its six-monthly Internet Security Threat Report covering July to December 2004 centre on web applications, and the numbers are rising quickly. Last year such threats accounted for barely a third of all vulnerabilities. Hackers reach beyond Windows, IE - - - - - - - - - - Next-gen viruses need next-gen responses Viruses are getting stealthier and smarter. Without an industry-wide response, the bad guys will win. Evolution is a powerful idea. It predicts that as an environment changes, the organism that best adapts will be the most successful. This should be warning enough to malware security software writers to stay alert and already, the next generation of hostile software is proving more intelligent than the last.,39020505,39192123,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Online profiler: Internet assistant or cyberstalking? A Cambridge startup is offering a service it says gives a measure of control over the personal data the Internet disgorges, giving new meaning to a practice commonly termed "ego surfing" or "Googling yourself." The practice of typing your name into an Internet search engine and seeing what pops up is now common, but the results can be unpredictable. - - - - - - - - - - Computer Ethics, From the Grandstands The recent security breach that exposed an individual's application status at top business schools raises moral and ethical questions about cyberspace. Where do morality and ethics end, and criminality begin? What is the appropriate "punishment" for the crime of curiosity coupled with the act of snooping? *********************************************************** 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.