NewsBits for March 30, 2005 ************************************************************ Lost: Data from 270,000 bank accounts Japanese bank Mizuho said it has lost the confidential data of 270,000 account holders. Mizuho Financial Group, which owns the retail bank, said it had lost customer account numbers and names at 167 branches over several years, according to a Financial Times report on Wednesday. The bank is said to have suffered problems integrating systems and managing data since it was formed three years ago. - - - - - - - - - - Microsoft drops MSBlast writer's $500,000 penalty Jeffrey Lee Parson, the teen convicted of writing a variant of the MSBlast worm, won't have to pay $500,000 in restitution. The damages were to be paid to Microsoft for the teen's actions, which piggybacked on a worm that temporarily downed the software giant's Web site in 2003. The tech behemoth has asked that the 19-year-old's punishment be converted from the fine to 225 hours of community service. The community service must not involve the Internet or computers. - - - - - - - - - - Scout Official Pleads Guilty in Porn Case A former high-ranking Boy Scouts of America official who ran a task force that worked to protect children from sexual abuse pleaded guilty Wednesday to a child pornography charge. Douglas Sovereign Smith Jr., 61, faces five to 20 years in prison. Authorities found 520 images of child pornography, including video clips, on Smith's home computer, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bret Helmer said. The images included children engaging in sex acts. - - - - - - - - - - IT fault cripples Barclays The problems that plagued Barclays' customers trying to use ATMs, phone banking and online services over the weekend have been blamed on a hardware problem. A Barclays computer glitch left the bank's customers without the use of its ATM machines and online banking for much of the Easter bank holiday weekend. Services were still in the process of returning to normal during The day on Tuesday, according to some customers.,39020351,39193138,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Con artists target elderly with get-rich scam spam The e-mail, written in poorly composed English, is deceptively simple: help the widow of a dead Nigerian dictator get possession of $25 million or so in cash and receive a multimillion-dollar commission for "your kindness.",1,5596775.story - - - - - - - - - - Bahnhof slams antipiracy ambush Swedish ISP Bahnhof is considering legal action after it emerged that illegal material uncovered in a raid on its premises was placed there by a paid informant of the antipiracy group that mounted the operation. Swedish anti-piracy organisation Antipiratbyran has confirmed to The Register that it has used a paid informant, dubbed Rouge, who is active in Swedens piracy underground, but also claims that underground activity in the country had dropped significantly since the raid. - - - - - - - - - - New mass-mailer on the march The Mytob mass-mailing worm looks to be both spreading and evolving rapidly. With eight new variants surfacing in the last week alone, and over a dozen reported since the beginning of March, the Mytob mass-mailing worm appears to be evolving rapidly.,39020375,39193134,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Vonage may route 911 call to Congress, FCC Internet phone provider Vonage may ask Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to help it solve problems with SBC over subscriber access to the 911 emergency call network. SBC's decision not to work more closely with Vonage, made public Wednesday, may delay efforts to fix the problem that keeps a majority of U.S. Net phone providers from successfully routing 911 calls to the right emergency calling center. - - - - - - - - - - Analysts slam hacker law changes Technology darling Derek Wyatt MP is proposing changes to the Computer Misuse Act next week but analysts from the Butler Group says the changes don't go far enough. Wyatt, generally seen as a "tech-friendly" MP, is chair of the All Party Parliamentary Internet Group. He wants to increase sentences for hacking from six months currently to two years. And he wants to introduce a specific offense for Denial of Service attacks. But Wyatt has only got the equivalent of an "elevator pitch" to convince Parliament. - - - - - - - - - - Symantec details flaws in its antivirus software Symantec has reported glitches in its antivirus software that could allow hackers to launch denial-of-service attacks on computers running the applications. In a notice posted on its Web site this week, Symantec detailed two similar vulnerabilities found in its Norton AntiVirus software, which is sold on its own or bundled in Norton Internet Security and Norton System Works. The flaws, which could lead to computers crashing or slowing severely if attacked, are limited to versions of the software released for 2004 and 2005. - - - - - - - - - - Surfers urged to take Phishing IQ Test A new website has been built to educate British online consumers about the dangers of phishing scams. The Phishing IQ Test has been set up with faux emails from banks and e-commerce vendors, and users are invited to judge whether they are legitimate or not. A results page reveals the correct answers and gives detailed information on how to identify a phishing attack. Phishers spread net for smaller prey Phishers change bait as IM use grows Phishing attacks ease off,39020375,39193153,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Cops get cybercrime help from Microsoft Microsoft is developing analytical tools to help international law enforcement agencies track and fight cybercrime. Microsoft unveiled the tools development program at the kickoff on Wednesday of three days of technical training for Australian law enforcement agencies. The Forensic Computing and Computer Investigations Workshops are designed to help investigators fight crimes such phishing, online child exploitation and money laundering. - - - - - - - - - - Is desktop search secure? A popular free desktop search tool poses several security threats to federal agencies, analysts say. Government employees have been using Google Desktop Search to sift through the full-text contents of their local hard drives, including e-mail messages, documents, bookmarks and Web pages. Microsoft and Yahoo! also offer free, downloadable applications for desktop search. - - - - - - - - - - Brits voice fraud fears over high-tech voting The vast majority of Brits think new, high-tech voting methods, such as voting by email or through a dedicated website, will make it easier to commit electoral fraud, according to research. A MORI poll, commissioned by fraud specialists, Detica, also found that almost forty percent of the voting population in the UK is already concerned about election fraud. David Porter, head of security and risk at Detica, describes electoral fraud as "identity theft, pure and simple. Someone has taken over your voting account, if you like," he said. - - - - - - - - - - Web Browser Forensics, Part 1 Electronic evidence has often shaped the outcome of high-profile civil law suits and criminal investigations ranging from theft of intellectual property and insider trading that violates SEC regulations to proving employee misconduct resulting in termination of employment under unfavorable circumstances. Critical electronic evidence is often found in the suspect's web browsing history in the form of received emails, sites visited and attempted Internet searches. - - - - - - - - - - Best practices for network security IT security is key to the financial sector. We look at the best practices for banks and see what the average user can learn from them. The board was dumbfounded. Only six individuals were on the circulation list that detailed its confidential deals, and yet details of the company's acquisition plans were appearing on a Yahoo notice board within minutes of being distributed. This was not only embarrassing it could land them in hot water as the firm was listed on the US stock market.,39020457,39193143,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Tackling the enemy within Staff training is as vital to network security as the most cutting-edge patch or state-of-the- art email filter. Each week asks a different expert to give their views on recent virus and security issues, with advice, warnings and information on the latest threats. This week Craig Pollard, head of security solutions at Siemens Communications, argues that workstation lockdown, network usage monitoring and old- fashioned indoctrination are the keys to combating network security failures brought about by careless staff. - - - - - - - - - - Book review: Mitnick's The Art of Intrusion Books on hacking and hacking exploits are ten a penny these days, and it's not hard to figure out why. After two or more decades when they were seen as bizarre outsiders practicing an intense but ultimately useless art, they are now just as likely to be seen as "out there" pioneers of a new and dazzling 21st Century counter-culture.,10801,100732,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Poor planning undercuts info sharing, DHS official says A lack of clear strategies and concepts of operation is holding up progress on information sharing, Martin Smith, director of information sharing for the Homeland Security Departments CIO Office, writes in a new report. Smiths commentary, Ten Barriers to Information Sharing, is included in a two-part report on information sharingfrom government and justice perspectives published yesterday by the National Association of State CIOs. The report is available at - - - - - - - - - - ID cards/passport integration plan progresses Passport Service to work with Home Office on creating new management body. The Passport Service (UKPS) is working with the Home Office on the processes required for integrating the issuing of passports with the planned national identity card scheme. - - - - - - - - - - Online gamer stabbed over cyber-sword Qiu Chengwei, 41, stabbed competitor Zhu Caoyuan repeatedly in the chest after he was told Zhu had sold his "dragon saber," used in the popular online game "Legend of Mir 3," the newspaper said a Shanghai court was told Tuesday. - - - - - - - - - - Terrorism on the Web Militants play cat and mouse to post killings online. Islamic militants who want the world to witness their attacks and beheadings in Iraq have engineered new ways to ensure their videos appear on the Internet, defying efforts to banish them from cyberspace. - - - - - - - - - - Webcam Aussie fights UK crime A public-spirited Australian has ensured that the streets of Exmouth are safer for decent, God-fearing citizens after tipping off local cops about an incident he spotted on a webcam in the Devon town. Andrew Pritchard, 52, hails from Boorowa, New South Wales. According to the BBC, his little piece of the Lucky Country has only just been hooked up with broadband, and Pritchard wasted no time in availing himself of the net's finest content - the Exmouth webcam. - - - - - - - - - - Charlotte Church topless pic busts onto mobes UK tabloid The Sun says it has refused to pay PS20,000 for a topless picture of Voice of an Angel Charlotte Church which is currently doing a tour of the UK mobile phone circuit. The "Page Three" style snap was snaffled from Church's squeeze Gavin Henson's mobile phone after he mislaid it on on a night out in Cardiff. *********************************************************** 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.