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Sunday, March 23, 2003
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Technology News

E-mail virus exploits war interest
Computer security experts are warning about a new e-mail virus that feeds on public interest in the war against Iraq. The Ganda worm comes as an e-mail attachment with a variety of subject lines such as "Spy pics" and "GO USA !!!!". Some of these claim to contain pictures of Iraq taken by US spy satellites and others offer screensavers mocking President Bush. "The author of this virus is exploiting interest in current affairs by deliberately presenting his virus in this way," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. Playing on curiosity "At a time of international crisis it is understandable that computer users will be interested in finding out the latest news from the Middle East," he said. ...
(Offsite) Posted on: 3/23/2003 2:02:00 AM - Read Article
Bush Regime to Propose System for Monitoring (spying on Americans) on Internet
Bush Regime planning to propose requiring Internet service providers to help build a centralized system to enable broad spying of the Internet &, potentially, surveillance of its users. The proposal is part of a final version of a report, "The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace," set for release early next year, according to several people who have been briefed on the report. It is a component of the effort to increase national security after 9/11. Stewart Baker, a Washington lawyer who represents some of the nation's largest Internet providers, said, "Internet service providers are concerned about the privacy implications of this as well as liability," since providing access to live feeds of network activity could be interpreted as a wiretap or as the "pen register" & "trap & trace" systems used on phones without a judicial order. But Internet service providers argue that its data-monitoring functions could be used to track the activities of individuals using the network. ...
(Offsite) Posted on: 3/20/2003 9:52:00 AM - Read Article
Marking File Traders as Felons
During a recent hearing of the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, the Republican congressman said jailing college students who download copyrighted music would help stop piracy. "What these kids don't realize is that every time they pull up music and movies and make a copy, they are committing a felony under the United States code," Carter said in an interview. "If you were to prosecute someone and give them three years, I think this would act as a deterrent." But some university officials say they have stepped up efforts to stop piracy on their networks, and packing kids off to prison won't solve the problem. "I can't see turning millions of college students into criminals," said Graham Spanier, president of Pennsylvania State University. "We'd have to build a lot of new prisons to hold the lawbreakers engaged in piracy of copyrighted materials." ...
(Offsite) Posted on: 3/19/2003 1:01:00 PM - Read Article
Music Group Sends Piracy Complaints to 300 Firms
The music industry's leading trade group has sent letters to 300 U.S. companies complaining about alleged acts of piracy and copyright infringement in their corporate computer networks and warning of possible fines. The letter from the Recording Industry Association of America, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters on Monday, is the latest in the association's campaign to stem the tide of piracy and online file-sharing, which it blames in part for an industry slump that saw CD sales fall by 9 percent in 2002. The RIAA has recently begun to track down individual users it says are among the worst offenders, and last month it distributed a guide to Fortune 1000 companies with ways to prevent copyright abuse on their networks. An RIAA spokesman declined to comment on the letter or name the companies that received it. ...
(Offsite) Posted on: 3/17/2003 11:23:00 PM - Read Article
As America's media slavishly back their President on Iraq, the public is going online for more balanced views
More than 30 years ago, pictures of corpses and body bags on television in the United States helped to turn political opinion against the Vietnam War. Now, as the world's military superpower embarks on another foreign adventure, Americans at home are seeking out more anti-war pictures and opinions not from their media, which declines to show them, but from the internet. Faced with the jingoism of the cable news stations CNN and Fox, rabid right-wing views on talk radio and the hesitancy of the liberal print media to criticise the government, millions of Americans are using the net to tap in to overseas news sources. Ironic, really, for a medium that was seeded as a Pentagon project around the time the Vietnam War ended. It's a big change from the last Gulf War, when in January and February 1991 CNN was the closest thing to a global information source. Now, the internet provides an unlimited supply of information, updated round the clock. ...
(Offsite) Posted on: 3/17/2003 5:59:00 PM - Read Article
Motorola Unveils Latest in Family of Single Chip GPS Devices
Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT), working with IBM Microelectronics, today announced a breakthrough technology for adding accurate location sensing to virtually any portable electronics product. The new technology, called Motorola Instant GPS, is a self-contained, single-chip, assisted global positioning system (A-GPS) receiver small enough to fit into a wristwatch. Because it is the first truly single-chip GPS solution, it is expected to lead to a new generation of portable electronic products such as cameras that time- and location-stamp photos, PDAs with maps and real-time navigation and E-911 compliant cellular phones that can find friends, family members, restaurants and nearby shops with goods on sale. Motorola Instant GPS is the first truly single-chip GPS solution in the world, combining Motorola's GPS design with IBM's leading-edge silicon germanium (SiGe) chip-making technology. ...
(Offsite) Posted on: 3/15/2003 1:21:00 PM - Read Article
eBay to Law Enforcement - We're Here to Help
Joseph E. Sullivan, Director of Compliance and Law Enforcement Relations, Senior Counsel, Trust and Safety for online auction powerhouse eBay, recently addressed a group of law enforcement officials regarding eBay's policies for cooperating with government investigations. Below are verbatim quotations from his briefing at the recent CyberCrime 2003 conference: We [eBay] try to make rules to make it difficult for people to commit fraud and easy for you [law enforcement agencies] to investigate. One is our Privacy policy. I know from investigating eBay fraud cases that eBay has probably the most generous policy of any internet company when it comes to sharing information. [emphasis added] We do not require a subpoena except for very limited circumstances. We require a subpoena when we need the financial information from the site, credit card info or sometimes IP information. ...
(Offsite) Posted on: 3/13/2003 10:22:00 PM - Read Article
Windows Update keeps tabs on all system software
Evidence obtained by German hardware site tecChannel suggests a list of software installed on an XP machine is sent to Microsoft when users run Windows Update. When patches are downloaded, a few kilobytes of data are sent in the opposite direction over a secure SSL channel. Because the data is encrypted a simple packet sniffer can't be used to see what this data contains. However tecChannel's tecDUMP utility takes advantage of an undocumented WinInet API, enabling an examination of the data before it becomes encrypted. According to tecChannel, the information sent to Microsoft includes details of all the software installed in a machine, not only Microsoft applications. The latest version of Windows Update Privacy Statement (which dates from last October) states: "Windows Update must collect a certain amount of configuration information from your computer". ...
(Offsite) Posted on: 3/4/2003 1:35:00 AM - Read Article
Spike in "spyware" accelerates arms race
EarthLink's technical support staff handles a variety of problems: broken networks, corrupted files, coffee spills--and, increasingly over the past few months, bitter complaints from subscribers about "spyware" and "adware." Those persistent types of programs, frequently operating on computers without owners' knowledge, have spread quickly in the last year, evolving as rapidly as anti-spyware software has been able to find them. EarthLink executives estimate that 40 percent to 50 percent of the Internet service provider's subscribers have running on their machines some kind of advertising or more-malicious program, which often monitors their behavior and sends the data back to the software's parent company. ...
(Offsite) Posted on: 2/25/2003 8:20:00 PM - Read Article
Big Brother is watching you - and documenting. eBay, ever anxious to up profits, bends over backward to provide data to law enforcement officials
"I don't know another Web site that has a privacy policy as flexible as eBay's," says Joseph Sullivan. A little bit later, Sullivan explains what he means by the term "flexible." Sullivan is director of the "law enforcement and compliance" department at eBay.com, the largest retailer in the world. Sullivan was speaking to senior representatives of numerous law-enforcement agencies in the United States on the occasion of "Cyber Crime 2003," a conference that was held last week in Connecticut. His lecture was closed to reporters, and for good reason. Haaretz has obtained a recording of the lecture, in which Sullivan tells the audience that eBay is willing to hand over everything it knows about visitors to its Web site that might be of interest to an investigator. All they have to do is ask. "There's no need for a court order," Sullivan said, and related how the company has half a dozen investigators under contract, who scrutinize "suspicious users" and "suspicious behavior." ...
(Offsite) Posted on: 2/22/2003 5:57:00 PM - Read Article
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