NewsBits for September 16, 2005 ************************************************************ Laptop with personal data of 98,000 recovered A stolen laptop computer holding personal information of more than 98,000 California university students and applicants has been recovered, but it's uncertain whether the information had been tapped, the University of California, Berkeley said on Thursday. The laptop, which stored names and Social Security numbers, disappeared in March from a restricted area of the university's graduate division offices, forcing the university to alert more than 98,000 students and applicants of the theft.,10801,104692,00.html - - - - - - - - - - Tycoon fined for e-mail spying AN INTERNET pioneer who uncovered the e-mails that forced Dame Shirley Porter to pay PS12.3 million to end the homes-for-votes scandal was fined yesterday for hacking into the messages. Clifford Stanford, the founder of Demon Internet, was plotting a boardroom takeover of an electronic data firm and intercepted e-mails to and from Dame Shirleys son, John.,,2-1782674,00.html,39024677,39152318,00.htm,39020330,39218598,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Xbox chipper jailed and fined When the mod-chips are down... Biren Amin, owner of US games store Pandora's Cube, has been sentenced to five months in prison and given a fine of almost $250,000 for the sale of pirated games and illegally modified Xboxes, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced yesterday. Games consoles such as the Microsoft Xbox or Sony Playstation 2 include copyright protections that prevent them running pirated games, or games subject to regional control (where a console bought in one part of the world cannot run games purchased in another). - - - - - - - - - - Estonia phone scammers fined PS100k An Estonia-based company, Digital Media Ltd, has been fined PS100,000 for running a premium rate phone scam. Regulator ICSTIS used emergency powers to shut down the service which employed automated calling equipment (ACE) to inform people they had won a prize in a competition. - - - - - - - - - - Miami-Dade police officer suspended in unauthorized data access A Miami-Dade police officer has been relieved of duty and is under investigation for allegedly obtaining unauthorized access to Social Security numbers and other personal data on as many as 4,689 people maintained by ChoicePoint Inc. The company, based in Alpharetta, Ga., said Friday that the U.S. Secret Service was investigating the matter but that it was unclear whether any identity theft had occurred. - - - - - - - - - - NSC computers targeted in hacker e-mail attack The National Security Council's (NSC) computer system was the target of an attempted e-mail attack Monday, according to a report in the Liberty Times, the Taipei Times' sister newspaper. According to sources, the attempted break-in was discovered yesterday afternoon, and a meeting was immediately called to discuss ways of beefing up network security. - - - - - - - - - - Pawleys man accused of making child porn Louis Chiavacci, 61, of Pawleys Island, has been charged in a two-count indictment with production and possession of child pornography, a violation federal law. Count 1 of the indictment charges thatin November through December 2004, Chiavacci used a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct. Count 2 of the indictment charges that in November 2004 through March 2005, Chiavacci possessed images of child pornography. - - - - - - - - - - Teen Charged With Child Porn Crimes Imagine the horror: You're a teen-age girl who's broken up with your boyfriend. Next thing you know, nude pictures of you are downloaded to friends, and a pornographic publishing company which also received the photos contacts you about employment. WHILE IT MAY sound like the plot of a bad movie, Fairfax County police say this scenario was all too real for one, local, 17-year-old girl. And as a result, they charged her ex-boyfriend, Jason Philip Sengstack, 19, of 13800 Cabell's Mill Drive in Centreville, with one count each of possession and production of child pornography. - - - - - - - - - - Verizon Wireless Wins Injunction Against Data Thieves Verizon Wireless said Thursday that it has received a court order preventing a Tennessee company continuing what Verizon calls the theft of subscriber information. The wireless operator received an injunction against Source Resources of Cookeville, Tennessee. The permanent injunction prevents Source Resources from acquiring, possessing or selling customer account information without either a court order or the subscriber's permission. - - - - - - - - - - Word blunder reveals government terror doubts The 'track changes' function in Word has shone light on the Home Secretary's doubts over his own push for stronger anti-terror legislation. The UK government is once again in trouble over document management, with an apparent split within the government over new hard-line anti-terror laws exposed by a letter from Home Secretary Charles Clarke.,39020381,39218713,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Decision on .xxx domain pushed back Anyone desperate to gets their hands on a .xxx domain name will have to be patient. The fate of the highly controversial .xxx Internet domain will not be decided until "a future date," a representative of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names, which oversees domain names, said on Friday. ICANN's board of directors considered an agreement for the proposed virtual red-light district at a Thursday meeting but decided against taking action, directing ICANN staff to negotiate "additional contractual provisions" with ICM Registry, the Florida company that plans to operate the domain.,39020372,39218714,00.htm,1367,68878,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - US banks lose $50bn to phantom fraudsters Reported ID theft losses represent only the tip of an iceburg, dwarfed by fraudulent losses run up by crooks assuming completely fictitious identities, according to analysts Gartner. It reckons ID theft will claim 10m US in 2005 resulting in losses of around $15bn from 50m accounts. By comparison "victimless" fraud - bad debt run up in the name of non-entities - will hit $50bn this year. - - - - - - - - - - Huge surge in ID theft using spyware A study of the top 2,000 known spyware threats, conducted by security firm Aladdin, has revealed that spying techniques are increasingly being used for ID theft. Spyware with a criminal intent, the most severe threat, was found to be doubling every month, according to the latest Aladdin eSafe CSRT study. One-In-Six Spyware Apps Tries To Steal Identities - - - - - - - - - - IE flaw puts Windows XP SP2 at risk A flaw has been discovered in Internet Explorer that could enable a remote attack on systems running Windows XP with Service Pack 2, eEye Digital Security has warned. The flaw, which also affects systems running Windows XP, is found in the default installations of Microsoft's IE, according to an advisory released by the security company on Thursday. Microsoft makes Longhorn Server security promises,39020396,39218594,00.htm Is the Firefox honeymoon over? - - - - - - - - - - Interpol media release Interpol has launched a new phase in the development of its international database of child abuse images, following completion of an implementation study commissioned and carried out by the G8 countries. A formal ceremony at the General Secretariat on 15 September marked the beginning of the implementation process, following three years of development by members of the G8 Lyon/Roma Law Enforcement Projects Sub-Group, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Interpol, Europol and supported by the European Commission. - - - - - - - - - - Telecoms fraud still a threat, companies told Businesses are being warned to guard against telephone fraud, a type of hack that compromises their phone systems and leaves them facing large bills that could amount to thousands of euro. Phone fraud, also called PBX fraud, involves gaining access to a company's PBX (private branch exchange) and using it to route international calls. It allows callers to dial international numbers at little or no cost to the caller, as the PBX owner ends up having to bear the cost of the call. - - - - - - - - - - The growing digital forensics industry The increasing use of devices like cell phones, PDAs, and USB drives is also expanding the number of digital footprints people leave. Those footprints are potentially valuable for prosecutors looking to establish a suspect's motives are whereabouts related to a crime. And some crimes are committed by sophisticated hackers and require a response by equally savvy technicians. - - - - - - - - - - Plan lets users be the judge of flaws A plan to make it easier for companies to determine how hard they could be hit by security flaws is ready for prime time, according to its backers. The Common Vulnerability Scoring System plan calls for a unified approach to rating vulnerabilities in software, to replace the proprietary methods many technology companies and security vendors use when determining the impact of a flaw. - - - - - - - - - - Study: Employees Ignore Security Risks "So the question is whether large enterprise users in the U.S. are less aware of security risks because of overconfidence in the I.T. department's ability to handle those risks," said Bob Hansmann, senior product marketing manager at Trend Micro. "The bottom line is that everyone has to be part of the solution." Don't trust security to techies alone, Gartner says - - - - - - - - - - Chinese film warns of teenage net dangers A new film has been released in China which tackles the gritty problem of adolescents and the net. Over the last two years Chinese authorities have closed thousands of internet cafes amid fears that accessing the web is damaging the "mental health of teenagers" while spreading "unhealthy online information". - - - - - - - - - - Crime? What crime? If there's one thing I've learned in the past few years as editor of SecurityFocus, it's that there is absolutely no saving grace in the security world. Everyone is a target, everyone is vulnerable and exposed, and no one is safe from, well... anything. I had a revelation the other day. I'm sorry it took me this long to figure it out. I took off my technology-is-utopian hat for a moment and was rather shocked at what I saw. - - - - - - - - - - CRS report calls for overhaul of Emergency Alert System The nations Emergency Alert System is inadequate and woefully outdated, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service, the research arm of Congress. The current system, originally designed for 1950s technologies such as radio and broadcast television, badly needs to be updated with capabilities to send alerts over the Internet and such other modern IT systems and devices as e-mail, text messages, cell phones, BlackBerrys and pagers, said the report, dated Sept. 2. It has not been released publicly. - - - - - - - - - - Rings, cameras--now sex is latest phone feature The cell phone, which already plays music, sends and receives e-mail and takes pictures, is adding a steamier offering: pornography. With the advent of advanced cellular networks that deliver full- motion video from the Internet--and the latest wave of phones featuring larger screens with bright color--the pornography industry is eyeing the cell phone, like the videocassette recorder before it, as a lucrative new vehicle for distribution. *********************************************************** 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.