Tuesday, July 13, 2004

SEC: [INFOCON] NewsBits - 07/12/04

Gmail - [INFOCON] NewsBits - 07/12/04

NewsBits for July 12, 2004

MSN search guru 'stole AltaVista code'
A Microsoft employee arrested by the FBI for stealing
AltaVista search source code works for MSN's Search
team, the Seattle Post Intelligencer has revealed.
Laurent Chavet was arrested for accessing AltaVista
computers after he left the company, between March
and June 2002. However, the story is more Borlandgate
than Watergate. The alleged break-in took place before
Chavet joined Microsoft. Chavet had been at AltaVista
from June 1999 to February 2002.
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Nebraska man arrested and charged with the manufacture of child pornography
Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning announced
the arrest of Jeffery D. Meyers, a 36 year old
foster parent. Meyers has been charged on ten
counts including the possession of child
pornography and the manufacture of child
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Online job seeker says she was duped into scam
A Texas woman reponded to an online advertisement
similar to this one and now faces a felony charge.
Bobbie Jean thought she had finally found work when
she answered an online classified ad last fall or
an overseas firm. Instead, within weeks of her hiring,
she was arrested at her local bank, charged with
a felony, and is currently facing an August trial
date in a Harris County, Texas court. Bobbie Jean
now says she was tricked into helping an international
fraud ring to move stolen money out of the country.
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Sacked clerk hits bosses with 5m emails
An unnamed 17-year-old clerk who was given his
marching orders from UK insurance company Domestic
& General responded by bombarding his former
employers with 5m emails, the Sun reports. The
youth was sacked for failing to fill in a time
sheet and promptly downloaded an email "bomber"
which he used to unleash the tsunami over a three-
day period. Domestic & General had to shut down
its website and reportedly lost £18,000 as the
a result of the teen's alleged attack.
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419 'bankers' back in business
The 419 scammers who have just lost their online
presence in the form of United Mercantile Credit
& Investment Bank (UMCIB) certainly don't mess
about when it comes to getting back to business.
We're obliged to the reader who has just alerted
us to the Trans-Atlantic Private Bank - another
bogus mercantile entity courtesy of the same
gang which fleeced a US citizen for $1,000 as
we reported last week.

419 scam 'bank' bites the dust
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Australian parliament fights spyware outbreak
After discovering more than 50 pieces of spyware
on their system, Australian parliamentarians are
calling for better protection on government networks
Australian Democrat Senator Brian Greig is drafting
legislation which aims to better define, and in some
cases outlaw spyware and adware, after his office
found the computers on the parliamentary system
had been compromised by more than 50 different
Internet-borne pests.
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Senate Bill Targets Phishers
Internet scam artists who use fake Web sites to
dupe people into revealing sensitive financial
information could face up to five years in jail
and forced to pay $250,000 in fines under a bill
introduced late last week in the Senate. The
legislation, introduced last Friday, is designed
to fight "phishing," one of the newest and most
dangerous forms of online fraud.
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Russia is going to outlaw spam
More than 99% of all websites linked in spam
messages are based in China, South Korea, the
US, Russia and Brazil, a new survey of Commtouch,
a company engaged in selling anti spam solutions.
Commtouch have analysed hundreds of millions of
advertisement messages and they note that about
55% of them come from the USA. 73% of ad messages
direct their recipients to websites located in
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Electronic voting critics sue company under whistle blower law
Critics of electronic voting are suing Diebold Inc.
under a whistleblower law, alleging that the company's
shoddy balloting equipment exposed California elections
to hackers and software bugs. California's attorney
general unsealed the lawsuit Friday. It was filed
in November but sealed under a provision that keeps
such actions secret until the government decides
whether to join the plaintiffs.
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South Korea to create unit fighting cybercrime
South Korean National Police Department will create
a new unit of computer anti-terror by the end of
this year. Police management came to the necessity
of such step after they had encountered attempts
to hack governmental information networks and
distribution of information like beheading of
a Korean hostage in Iraq on the Net.
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New Hampshire state proposal would tax chat rooms
New Hampshire's tax collecting agency wants to
apply a 7% tax on a variety of telephone and
Internet services from chat rooms to voice mail.
The Department of Revenue Administration is
holding a hearing Monday on the proposed rule
which still must be reviewed by a legislative
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Advice to hackers: Do no harm
Stephen Wozniak, a founder of Apple Computer, was
preaching to the choir at a conference in Manhattan,
recalling an era when the word "hackers" referred
to technological wizards, not rogue computer users.
His "choir" was a group of self-described hackers,
about 2,000 of them, listening to Wozniak's speech
on Saturday at the HOPE conference - Hackers on
Planet Earth - sponsored by the hacker magazine
2600 News.

Sidebar: Hacking for profit
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Anti-fraud pilot wins credit from channel
Resellers will no longer be liable for money lost
as a result of card-not-present (CNP) theft if
Barclaycard's latest fraud-busting scheme takes
off.The credit-card giant, in partnership with
security vendor nCipher and MasterCard, has issued
card readers to 5,000 consumer customers for online
transactions, and plans to extend the scheme beyond
the six-month pilot period if it is successful.
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Malicious attacks now a fact of life
Viruses and malicious code attacks have become
a fact of life for the modern business. According
tothe Global Information Security Survey, the vast
majority of businesses across the world consider
security breaches and attacks as more of a threat
to their businesses in 2004 than they were in 2003.

Corporate weak points persist
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Have a flutter on a worm
When will the next big worm strike be? Who will
be the next high-profile victim of a DDoS attack?
If you know, you could make money at Tradesports.com.
Controversial Irish Web site Tradesports.com will
soon accept wagers on IT security disasters, such
as the timing of the next big Windows virus or
the most likely victim of a future DDoS attack.
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Pssst, wanna spam mobile phones?
Mobile phones are becoming the latest target
of junk mailers whose cynical attempts to enrich
themselves at the cost of wasting everybody else's
time apparently know no bounds. One chancer spammed
world+dog last weekend with an offer to teach his
elite cell phone spamming skills to a few chosen
individuals in exchange for the princely sum of
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Windows update will be late, Microsoft says
Microsoft said Monday that the long-awaited update
of Windows XP will be sent to manufacturing in
August, a month later than expected. The product
should be in customers' hands later that month.
Windows XP Service Pack 2, or SP2, will contain
a number of new features. Most of the improvements
deal with security. One new feature, for example,
is a Security Center that provides a view of
a PC's key protection settings. An improved
firewall and other tweaks are also planned.
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NetForensics wins deal for DOE security
Security information management company NetForensics
Inc. today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy
will use its nFX security information management software
to monitor about 400 network security products in its
National Nuclear Security Administration.
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Tulsa Leading in Cyberterrorism Training
The newest fighters against cyberterrorism may
come from a class comprised of a student, a former
amateur golfer and a Vietnam War veteran. They are
in training at the nation's largest "Cyber Corps"
institution, located at the University of Tulsa.
The concept of "Cyber Corps," a group of computer
security specialists who would detect cyberterrorism,
grew out of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
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Worm Wars
Companies are throwing up layers of protection as
new worms and viruses appear at an ever-quickening
pace. Christofer Hoff is taking no chances when it
comes to protecting his organization against worms
and viruses. As the director of enterprise security
services at Western Corporate Federal Credit Union
(WesCorp), Hoff has put in place a multilayered
architecture designed to set as many barriers as
possible between the bad guys and his data.
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Metasploit Framework (Part One)
sploit (n.) Exploit. A defect in the game code
(see bug) or design that can be used to gain
unfair advantages. (Source: Dictionary of
MMORPG Terms) At present the exploit development
community (hackers and security professionals
alike) is more sentient than ever before. The
timeline between the release of an advisory
and the development of an exploit has shrunk
to a great extent. Exploit development, which
was considered more of Wiccan art, has reached
large masses.
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Fury at anarchist convention threat
Fringe elements are hoping to spark major disruptions
at the Republican National Convention with a series
of sneaky tricks - including fooling bomb-sniffing
dogs on trains bound for Penn Station, the Daily
News has learned. Internet-using anarchists are
telling would-be troublemakers to decoy specially
trained Labrador retrievers with gunpowder or
ammonium nitrate-laced tablets in a bid to halt
trains or even spur the evacuation of Madison
Square Garden.
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Bill calls for agencies to demonstrate emergency telecommuting
Rep. Danny Davis late last week introduced legislation
requiring the Chief Human Capital Officers Council
to establish a telework demonstration program with
at least two agencies to ensure the government can
function in case of emergency. The Illinois Democrat
said at a Government Reform Committee hearing on
telework last week that the pilots will provide
agencies and lawmakers "with approaches to gaining
flexibility and identifying work processes that
should be addressed during an extended emergency

Law enforcers may see gains under House spending bill
More criminal justice IT pilots to launch
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