NewsBits for March 25, 2005 ************************************************************ 29 people charged in child porn crackdown Police have charged 29 people on the Sunshine Coast after a week-long police operation targeting computer child pornography. Police from Task Force Argos, which is targeting child pornography offences, and Sunshine Coast police were involved in the operation codenamed "Charlie Havoc". Fifteen people were arrested for possessing child porn images, while 14 face other charges. Detective Superintendent Ross Barnett says about 250,000 child porn images were found on computers. - - - - - - - - - - Damages in Lexar Case Rise to $465 Million A jury orders Toshiba to pay an $84-million punitive award for sharing trade secrets with another flash memory chip maker. Electronics maker Toshiba Corp. and a subsidiary were ordered to pay Lexar Media Inc. $84 million in punitive damages Thursday for sharing trade secrets with another rival maker of flash memory chips used in digital cameras, music players and other devices. (LA Times article, free registration required),1,435768.story - - - - - - - - - - SECs weak security puts financial, investor data at risk: GAO The Securities and Exchange Commission needs to strengthen its controls over financial and other sensitive data, the Government Accountability Office said in a new report. Specifically, SEC should improve its controls over user accounts and passwords, access rights and permissions, network security and audit, and monitoring of security events to prevent or detect unauthorized access to its systems, according to the report. - - - - - - - - - - Trillian IM flaw exposed Researchers have reported a vulnerability in the Trillian instant messaging application, adding to the rapid development of IM-related security threats. Workers at LogicLibrary, a company that makes software development tools, including programs designed to catch bugs before applications go into production, said they have unearthed a potential flaw in the IM client made by Cerulean Studios. - - - - - - - - - - Phishers target Yahoo IM users The search giant has confirmed that its instant messaging service is being used to perpetuate a phishing scam. Yahoo's free instant-messaging (IM) service is being targeted by phishers in an attempt to steal usernames, passwords and other personal information.,39020375,39192578,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Yahoo Seeks Legal Protection Yahoo Inc. asked a federal appeals court Thursday for legal protection for U.S.-based Internet portals whose content is protected by the 1st Amendment, but is illegal in foreign countries. Some of the judges acknowledged the need for a shield for American companies in such situations, but suggested it was premature in the case of Yahoo, which is challenging a fine levied by a Paris court four years ago for allowing the site's French users to buy and sell Nazi memorabilia, in violation of French law.,1,6022382.story - - - - - - - - - - Canada considers file-swap crackdown Those who enjoy swapping music, books and movies on-line may want to reconsider. The federal government inched closer Thursday to cracking down on file sharing by announcing several proposed amendments to the Copyright Act. - - - - - - - - - - Legal threat stops flaw info release A threat by Sybase Inc. to sue a U.K.-based security research firm if it publicly discloses the details of eight holes it found in Sybase's database software last year is evoking sharp criticism from some IT managers but sympathetic comments from others. Blocking the release of vulnerability information "would set a bad precedent" for the software industry, said Tim Powers, senior network administrator at Southwire Co., a Carrollton, Ga.-based maker of electrical wires and cables.,10801,100637,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Politicians form transatlantic spam alliance The U.S. Congressional Internet Caucus, the body charged with educating lawmakers about the Internet and fostering its growth, is teaming up with its U.K. counterpart to tackle spam. The move will improve communication between the two countries on e-commerce, as well as help tighten laws on unsolicited bulk e-mail, said Derek Wyatt, chairman of the U.K. body, the All Party Parliamentary Internet Group. - - - - - - - - - - Report: Cybersecurity regs would be tricky Some lawmakers, concerned about the nations vulnerability to cybercrime and possible cyberterrorism, are considering whether a larger federal government role in dealing with the problem is feasible. But a recent study by the Congressional Research Service, which conducts public policy studies, suggests that congressional leaders will face significant challenges if they try to create a regulatory framework to strengthen the nations cyberdefenses. - - - - - - - - - - Bloggers narrowly dodge federal crackdown When the Federal Election Commission kicked off the process of extending campaign finance rules to the Internet on Thursday, the public document was substantially altered from one prepared just two weeks earlier and reviewed by CNET - - - - - - - - - - Absent regulation, identity theft grows In San Francisco, 67-year-old Warren Lambert has a new daily ritual standing guard over his bank accounts and credit rating. Last month Lambert learned he was among 145,000 Americans whose personal information identities had been stolen from ChoicePoint. [It was] very intimate information about me, actually more information about me than my own children have, says Lambert. - - - - - - - - - - DUSTING FOR DIGITAL FINGERPRINTS Forensic computing: As criminals and crime-fighters go digital, analysing clues from computers is a growing field. EVERY new technology leads to new forms of crime. As a Chicago policeman once put it: "No other section of the population avail themselves more readily and speedily of the latest triumphs of science than the criminal class." He was speaking in 1888, about the electric telegraph. But he could just have easily been speaking about computers and networks today. - - - - - - - - - - Changes? Wait until the next disaster In a recent report to President Bush, an advisory task force presented a damning picture of the nation's information technology infrastructure. The authors of the study, "Cyber Security: A Crisis of Prioritization," warn that the current system is "highly vulnerable to attack" and urge a fundamental rethinking of how the nation's computing architectures and technologies should get deployed. - - - - - - - - - - Amazon knows you well -- too well for some Inc. has one potentially big advantage over its rival online retailers: It knows things about you that you may not know yourself. Though plenty of companies have detailed systems for tracking customer habits, critics and boosters alike say Amazon is the trailblazer, having collected information longer and used it more proactively. It even received a patent recently on technology aimed at tracking information about the people for whom its customers buy gifts. - - - - - - - - - - Kevin Mitnik: you can hack a whole company Following the launch of his new book, reformed hacker Kevin Mitnick spoke to about his work as a security consultant. Between 1995 and 2000, Kevin Mitnick was in Federal prison in the US for his hacking exploits. It was a career that made the front page of newspapers across the globe, and frightened the US authorities so much that he was denied the use even of a telephone while he was behind bars, in case he somehow compromised national security. - - - - - - - - - - TSA misled public about air passenger database, report says The Transportation Security Administration misled the public about its role in obtaining personal information about 12 million airline passengers to test a new computerized system that screens for terrorists, according to a government investigation. - - - - - - - - - - States debate privacy safeguards on vehicle black boxes Raymon Holmberg didn't know his new sedan came equipped with the long arm of the law. The dealer hadn't bothered to mention the ``black box,'' a computer chip that stores information on speed and seat belt use. ``When I bought my car,'' he said, ``I didn't realize I was also buying a highway patrolman to sit in the back seat.'' - - - - - - - - - - No hiding place? UK number plate cameras go national The national rollout of the UK police's ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) system is kicking off, with the goal of deploying a network of over 2,000 cameras on motorways, major roads and city centres. The system is claimed to be able to run database checks on 3,600 plates per hour, on vehicles travelling at speeds of up to 100 mph - but there are just a few snags. *********************************************************** 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.