NewsBits for April 11, 2005 ************************************************************ 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 hospital loses patient info Patients from the San Jose Medical Group are feeling even sicker this morning - the organisation has lost personal and confidential information on 185,000 current and ex-patients. Patient records and financial details were downloaded from secure servers and put on two Dell desktop machines. The information was related to customer billing and was needed for the firm's annual audit. But on the night of 28 March someone got into the building and stole the two PCs and a monitor. - - - - - - - - - - Man stole $1,000,000 from the bank using laptop This case was an unusual one. Firstly, hacking appeared relatively not so long ago. Secondly, the criminal meaningly wanted to be found. There is such a kind of people who are called born hackers. A PC is the best friend for them, they know everything about computers. - - - - - - - - - - UK police launch hacker crackdown In an attempt to curb the rise of disorder in the electronic world, British police made two arrests for cybercrimes last week. Police are stepping up the war on cybercrime with two arrests in the past week in opposite corners of Europe. An Eastern European man and a UK man both felt the long arm of law after allegedly committing separate, unrelated crimes.,39020375,39194559,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Tougher data-leak law proposed In the wake of several leaks of Americans' personal data, Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced on Monday a beefed-up version of her bill to combat identity theft. The update adds new guidelines on types of data covered and reporting policies to the ID Theft Notification Bill, proposed by the California Democrat in June 2003. The legislation would require organizations that collect the personal data of U.S. citizens to inform consumers when their information has been lost or stolen. - - - - - - - - - - UK fraud reaches record levels. Fraud rose dramatically to 'record levels' levels in the UK last year, according to industry watcher BDO Stoy Hayward. According to the firm's annual FraudTrack report, the value of total reported fraud in Britain more than doubled, from PS331m in 2003 to PS756m in 2004, although the number of cases involving fraud worth over PS50,000 increased only modestly, from 211 to 229. - - - - - - - - - - 13 News Entities Tackle Apple on Confidentiality More than a dozen news organizations are trying to stop Apple Computer Inc. from forcing online publishers to identify sources of confidential information on company products. The Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press and 12 other media outlets, including the Tribune Co.'s Los Angeles Times, filed papers in court asking a California judge to reconsider his decision that online publishers must reveal the source of stories on Apple's GarageBand software, which is used to record and mix music. (LA Times article, free registration required),1,1042917.story - - - - - - - - - - Russian police: 'Our hackers are the best' The Russian police's cybercrime division has warned that Russian hackers are the best in the world. "Everyone knows that Russians are good at maths," said Lieutenant General Boris Miroshnikov of the division known as Department K. "Our software writers are the best in the world, that's why our hackers are the best in the world." - - - - - - - - - - Cybercrime-fighting MP to step down Liberal Democrat MP Richard Allan is to step down at the general election to concentrate on academic pursuits. The UK Parliament is set to lose one of its most tech-savvy politicians and IT champions at the forthcoming general election when Liberal Democrat MP Richard Allan stands down.,39020375,39194558,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Support for public-private cybersecurity group withdrawn Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., the chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, has decided not to allow the panel's staff director to co-chair an advisory board of government cybersecurity chiefs and corporate members who had agreed to pay as much as $75,000 to participate in the group. - - - - - - - - - - Campaign seeks to defang Rafa's hacker image Family and colleagues of a Venezuelan security expert known for defacing Web sites under the name "Rafa" have launched a campaign to highlight the one-time vandal's more benevolent acts. Family and colleagues of a Venezuelan security expert accused of defacing Web sites under the name "Rafa" launched a campaign on Monday to highlight their view that the one-time vandal has reformed himself. - - - - - - - - - - Site-blocking worm carries phishing risk A new variant of the Crowt worm could block infected browsers from accessing Web sites belonging to some antivirus sellers, Trend Micro has warned. Crowt.D, first discovered Wednesday, opens up the Google News site upon infection, then alters the computer's hosts file to add a list of Web site addresses, the antivirus company said in an advisory last week. When people click on one of those addresses, they are redirected to a local loopback address instead, a move that blocks access to the sites in the list. - - - - - - - - - - Banks fight 'phishing' scams Banks are using a growing array of technologies -- many from Bay Area companies -- to uncover, divert or spike e-mail scams known as ``phishing,'' designed to trick customers into revealing personal financial data. Phishing costs banks, online merchants and credit card companies an estimated $350 million to $500 million a year in losses or reimbursements to defrauded customers. - - - - - - - - - - Microsoft warms up for patch Tuesday 'Critical' Windows flaws fixed in monthly upgrade Microsoft is to release a slew of new patches on 12 April as part of its monthly upgrade cycle, the company said in a posting on its website. The release contains a total of eight security updates, five of which repair vulnerabilities in Windows. The others address issues in Office, MSN Messenger and Exchange. Most of the vulnerabilities are rated 'critical'. - - - - - - - - - - Golden padlock no promise of security One in four online shopping sites may not be as safe as they seem consumers have been warned. This alert comes from a provider of website security certificates, Comodo which said more and more companies buying security certificates haven't been thoroughly vetted. - - - - - - - - - - Trend Micro bolsters anti-spyware lineup Network security specialist Trend Micro has revamped its anti-spyware lineup, launching on Monday a new version of its computer defense applications and a new package of tools to fight malicious software. - - - - - - - - - - Next-generation RFID tags imminent Second-generation hybrid RFID tags should be in use by the autumn, according to Gartner, and will feature privacy technology. Companies should start preparing now for the next-generation RFID technology which will soon hit the shelves, according to analyst Gartner.,39020348,39194678,00.htm Keep RFID Simple,10801,100957,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Spy tech poses challenge for Vatican conclave Computer hackers, electronic bugs and supersensitive microphones threaten to pierce the Vatican's thick walls next week when cardinals gather in the Sistine Chapel to name a papal successor. Spying has gotten a lot more sophisticated since John Paul was elected in 1978, but the Vatican seems confident it can protect the centuries-old tradition of secrecy that surrounds the gathering.,1282,67186,00.html Spammers exploit Pope's death - - - - - - - - - - Is cybercrime unstoppable? Online crime is growing at breakneck speed while law enforcement, try as they might, have a hard time keeping up. Simon Moores reports on the state of cybercrime - and why it's so difficult to fight. The quiet bombshell dropped by Alan Jebson, chief operating officer at HSBC Bank, appeared to go unnoticed by journalists at last week's e-Crime Congress in London.,39024711,39129415,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Internet users accept spam as part of online life We're not any less annoyed by spam. We're just more accepting of it. So says a study released Sunday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Fifty-three percent of adult e-mail users in the United States now say they trust e-mail less because of spam, down from 62 percent a year ago and about the same as a June 2003 Pew survey. - - - - - - - - - - States gang up on Vonage In a sign of another battle between regulators and Net phone service providers, a high-profile Texas lawsuit against Vonage is generating interest from other states' top cops. The deceptive trade practices lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott in late March alleges that Net phone operator Vonage doesn't adequately disclose how its 911 service differs from what customers are used to. Vonage's emergency call service, for example, has to be first activated by the customer, and the calls aren't routed directly to emergency dispatchers. - - - - - - - - - - Small-fry counterfeiters caught A 12-year-old Seattle student and his buddies were caught after allegedly using a PC to counterfeit $20 worth of $1 bills that were used in the cafeteria to buy food, school officials said. "On Monday, our lunchroom staff was counting the till at the end of the day and noticed that there was a dollar bill that looked a little bit different," Seattle School District spokeswoman Patti Spencer said Friday. - - - - - - - - - - Porn, Dubai and Bluetooth phone hacking... The latest Bluetooth scare is that if you go to the United Arab Emirates, someone might hack your phone, implant porn on it, and you'd end up in jail. Here's the origin of this story: an article by reporter Lana Mahdi, saying: "People who use mobile phones, particularly with bluetooth technology, to send pornographic images or indecent SMS messages will henceforth have to face imprisonment, a police source has warned." *********************************************************** 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.