Tuesday, June 29, 2004

SEC: NewsBits for June 25, 2004

NewsBits for June 25, 2004

It looks like the Internet is turning into a world
wide minefield this morning. Internet security companies
and cybersecurity experts in the federal government are
warning computer users to guard against a new online
attack that can affect PCs running the Windows operating
system. What makes this latest threat particularly scary
is that computers can be affected just by visiting a Web
site that has been compromised by hackers.

Scob Virus Targeted Financial Data
Handler's Diary June 25th 2004
Web infection may be aimed at stealing financial data

Web site virus attack blunted
Web surfers are no longer playing Russian roulette
each time they visit a Web site, security researchers
say, now that a far-reaching Internet attack has been
disarmed. The attack, which had turned some Web sites
into points of digital infection, was nipped in the
bud Friday, when Internet engineers managed to shut
down a Russian server that had been the source of
malicious code. Compromised Web sites are still
attempting to infect Web surfers' PCs by referring
them to the server in Russia, but that computer
can no longer be reached.
- - - - - - - - - -
Man charged over Google blackmail attempt
A California man who claimed to have software which
automatically clicked on Google cost-per-click ads
has been charged with extortion and wiretap fraud.
Michael Bradley of Oak Park, California is accused
of threatening Google that he would to sell the
software to spammers unless the search engine firm
paid him $150,000. He was arrested in March and is
pleading not guilty to the charges.
- - - - - - - - - -
Valley man pleads not guilty to tech export violation
A Silicon Valley businessman pleaded not guilty Thursday
to charges of illegally selling military gear to China,
the latest case involving exports of U.S. defense
equipment. Philip Cheng, 57, was arrested in May with
a business partner after allegedly shipping night vision
cameras to aresearch institute linked to the Chinese
military. Cheng, a U.S. resident, faces at least 35
years in prison and fines of more than $1.75 million.
- - - - - - - - - -
Arresting News for AOL
Spammers can cross the e-mail address acerenmar@aol.com
off their lists, because Mount Airy resident Roland A.
Mariano canceled his subscription to America Online
yesterday. The news that a 24-year-old America Online
software engineer was arrested on charges that he
hacked into the Internet provider's computers and
took a list of 92 million AOL-mail addresses so
they could be sold to bulk e-mailers sent Mariano
over the edge.

AOL breach gives spam fight a twist
- - - - - - - - - -
Jailer charged with showing pirated DVDs to prisoners
The best place to catch the latest movies for free
may be Shelby County's Jail East. About 100 female
inmates saw The Passion of the Christ on DVD at
the jail. Now, deputy jailer Steven Morrow, 36,
has been charged with criminal simulation and
has been suspend with pay, officials said. After
speaking with inmates, investigators searched
Morrow's home and found a detailed list of DVDs
for sale, including movies still in theaters.
- - - - - - - - - -
Senate OKs antipiracy plan
The U.S. Senate on Friday overwhelmingly approved
a controversial proposal that would let federal
prosecutors file civil lawsuits against suspected
copyright infringers, with fines reaching tens
or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. The
so-called Pirate Act has raised alarms among
copyright lawyers and lobbyists for peer-to-peer
companies, who have been eyeing the recording
industry's lawsuits against thousands of peer-
to-peer users with trepidation. They worry that
the Department of Justice could be even more

Australia may permit 'personal' music copying
- - - - - - - - - -
House OKs More Jail Time for ID Thieves
Criminals who steal sensitive personal data such
as Social Security and credit card numbers while
committing other crimes could get five extra years
tacked onto the jail sentences under legislation
approved today by the House of Representatives.
The Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act creates
a new kind of crime, "aggravated identity theft,"
making it a felony to use stolen identities as
part of committing other crimes. Most felons
already sentenced to jail would get an extra
two years for identity theft. They could get
an additional five years for using stolen
identities as part of committing a terrorist
- - - - - - - - - -
Court ready to rule on Net porn
Adult Web sites that have largely enjoyed freedom
from government interference could be in for a
unpleasant surprise as early as Monday, when the
U.S. Supreme Court is set to deliver a long-awaited
ruling on pornography. The court is expected to
decide early next week whether the Child Online
Protection Act violates Americans' right to free
expression on the Internet. The 1998 law, which
restricts sexually explicit material deemed "harmful
to minors" that appears on commercial Web sites,
includes civil fines and prison terms in its provisions.
COPA has been on hold during the court proceedings.
- - - - - - - - - -
Common anti-spam standard ready soon
Agreement on a common standard for anti-spam
technology using an IP-based sender authentication
scheme could be reached within weeks. Sender ID is
a combination of Microsoft's Caller ID with a domain
authentication scheme devised by Meng Wong, co-founder
of email forwarding and hosting company Pobox.com.

People Are Even More Willing To Click On Attachments Today
- - - - - - - - - -
Now We Need To Worry About VoIP Spam
We're still trying to beat down spam, and people
have been getting increasingly worried about IM
spam and SMS spam, and all of a sudden one company
is warning us that the rush to VoIP systems may
lead to VoIP spam. In other words, once VoIP is
just an app on the network, it shouldn't be all
that difficult for someone to write a script that
would basically spam a voice message to millions
of VoIP systems. Of course, the company discussing
this problem is bringing it up because they've now
patented a solution that they claim will stop VoIP
- - - - - - - - - -
An Arsenal to Combat Spyware
If your computer is acting like it may be possessed
by some particually annoying digital demon, it may
be infested with spyware. Happily there are some
excellent excorcists that can be downloaded for
free. Spyware collects and transmits data about
how you use your computer so marketers can target
their advertising pitches. Some spyware applications
launch pop-up ads for products that match the sites
you visit or the searches you perform. Others can
change Web browser preferences, add entries to
Internet Explorer's Favorites list and transmit
sensitive information like passwords.
- - - - - - - - - -
Human Firewall gets new owner
The Information Systems Security Association
announced Friday it will take over the Human
Firewall project and Web site, which faced the
prospect of folding after two financial backers
decided to scale back their support. ISSA, a
nonprofit security association, assumed ownership
of the Human Firewall site because it recognized
its value and didn't want it to go away when its
two main supporters decided to pull back, said
Dave Cullinane, ISSA president. The site is
temporarily closed while its ownership changes.
- - - - - - - - - -
Terrorists using Internet to spread message
Al Qaeda-linked terror groups and their sympathizers
have in recent months made a big splash on the
Internet, making it their communications channel
of choice. They're benefiting from free discussion
boards, e-mail accounts and other online forums
for propaganda, recruitment, fund-raising and
even planning.
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