Weblog Entries: Crime and Security

Blaster Seizes Control, Politburo Disbanded

Okay, so that last part was a joke. In stark contrast comes the rapid spread of a new internet worm, which seems to have taken many by surprise and is continuing to infect users with unprecedented rapidity.  Read more »

Trojan Horse a Valid Defense

A British Court has acquitted Julian Green, an individual accused of possessing child pornography when police siezed his computer in October 2002.  Read more »

'Brazen Theft' at Sydney Airport

According to The Age, two men "of Middle Eastern appearance" were successful in a cunning theft of several million dollars worth of high-tech mainframe computers from the cargo and intelligence centre of Sydney International Airport.  Read more »

Trojan Horse Defence Valid

A jury in the Southwalk Crown Court, London, has acquitted a teenager of various cyber crimes after his counsel successfully used the 'Trojan Horse' defense. Aaron Caffrey, aged 19, was charged with launching a denial of service (DoS) attack from his personal computer against a mainframe computer owned by the Port of Houston in Texas, United States, but claimed that the attack was not his doing - but that of a rogue hacker who infiltrated his computer and used it as a base for the attack.  Read more »

Counterfeit Circumvention Angers Photoshop Users

This thread in Adobe's Photoshop Users forum details a rather unusual feature that debuted with the release of the latest incarnation of popular image-editing software Photoshop. The latest version uses an image-analysis algorithm to detect the presence of an image of United States or European Union currency, and disables access to the file.  Read more »

US to Prosecute for Cyberstalking

Recent amendments to the United States Code are about to be tested by prosecutors in the District of Columbia, who have charged one Robert Murphy with 26 counts of using a telecommunications device 'to annoy, abuse, threaten and harass'.  Read more »

Internet Worm Creator Sentenced to 18 Months

A 19-year-old Minnesota resident was sentenced in a US District Court today to 18 months in prison and an additional 10 months of community service for releasing a variant of the Blaster worm in 2003. Jeffrey Lee Parson had originally pleaded innocent to the charges, but last summer had a change of heart and pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally causing or attempting to cause damage to a protected computer.  Read more »

Accused 'DDoS Mafia' Go Free

Federal authorities in Los Angeles have dismissed a criminal complaint (PDF) filed last August against four men accused of performing distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks for hire.  Read more »

Not Guilty, Pleads Lynx User Accused of Hacking

A man has denied attempting to hack into a website designed to raise funds for victims of the December tsunami, pleading not guilty to a charge of ‘causing a computer to perform a function which intended to secure unauthorised access to a program or data held in a computer’:  Read more »

Teenager Arrested for Sending 'Spim'

A US teenager has become the first person to be arrested on suspicion of sending unsolicited instant messages, or ‘spim’. Anthony Greco, 18, was lured from New York to Los Angeles under the pretence of a business meeting. He was arrested upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport last Wednesday.

Greco allegedly sent 1.5 million messages advertising pornography and mortgages. According to reports, the recipients of the messages were all members of the MySpace.com online networking service.  Read more »

Attention Widows: When in Florida, Never Parachute on Sunday

Two American students are intent on making criminal history by spending their summer breaking as many US laws as possible. Starting in the liberal state of California, they hope to evade the attention of local police officers when they ride a bike in a swimming pool and curse on a crazy-golf course.  Read more »

Aussie Speed Cameras in Doubt Because of MD5

An anonymous reader writes "A speeding case has been thrown out in Australia after the Roads and Traffic Authority admitted that it could not prove the integrity of speed-camera photos. 'The case revolved around the integrity of a mathematical MD5 algorithm published on each picture and used as a security measure to prove pictures have not been doctored after they have been taken.'" I wonder if Australian police are as (radar gun) trigger happy as they are in certain parts of the U.S.  Read more »

Jury Deliberates in Arkansas Computer Hacker Trial

Jury deliberations began Wednesday in the trial of an accused computer data thief in one of the largest federal computer theft cases to date. Scott Levine, the former CEO of bulk e-mail firm Snipermail.com, faces 144 counts from a July 2004 indictment. He is accused of stealing 8.2 gigabytes of information from Acxiom Corp. The 1.6 billion records included names, home addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, bank and credit card numbers involving millions of individuals.  Read more »

Games Made Me Do It Defense Didn't Work

BuddingMonkey wrote to mention a heartening ruling from a judge who saw beyond the anti-gaming hype. CNN is reporting that Devin Moor has been found guilty of murder, in a well publicized case where the defendant stated that video games caused his behavior. From the article: "Prosecutor Lyn Durham said Tuesday that Moore knew what he was doing when he grabbed a patrolman's gun and killed two officers and a radio dispatcher. 'And he knew it was wrong,' she said."  Read more »

'Video Game Defence' Rejected By Jury

‘FAYETTE, Alabama (AP) — A 20-year-old whose lawyers claimed the video game Grand Theft Auto and childhood abuse caused him to kill three small-town police officers was convicted Tuesday of capital murder.

Defense lawyers had partly blamed Moore’s actions on the hours he spent playing video games from the Grand Theft Auto series, in which players shoot police officers and steal cars.  Read more »

Man Convicted in Enormous Acxiom Data Theft

A man who owned an e-mail marketing company was convicted Friday of stealing information from data broker Acxiom Corp. in what prosecutors said was the largest federal computer theft case ever. The jury convicted Scott Levine, the owner of defunct e-mail marketing contractor Snipermail.com, on 120 counts of unauthorized access to data, two counts of access device fraud and one count of obstruction of justice.

Originally by Law.com Legal Technology, 4:25 PM  Read more »

WorldCom Fraud's 'Architect' Receives 5-Year Prison Term

Scott Sullivan, the former chief financial officer of WorldCom who was described by a federal judge as the 'architect' of the largest accounting fraud in US history, was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison. Judge Barbara Jones gave Sullivan credit for his cooperation in unraveling the WorldCom fraud and also took into account his 'extraordinary family circumstances'.

Originally by Law.com - Tech Law Practice Center, 5:25 PM  Read more »

Nuclear Reactor Cybersecurity Targeted by New US Legislation

Under new United States legislation, operators of the US electricity grid will be subject to greater regulation of their cybersecurity practices:  Read more »

E-Mail Thief Jailed

A former AOL engineer who admitted stealing 92 million screen names and e-mail addresses and selling them to spammers is sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Originally by Wired News: Top Stories, 9:47 PM

Online Scammers Pose as Executives for 'Spear-Phishing'

Online criminals trying to pry passwords and other sensitive information out of companies have started using fake e-mails to pose as powerful executives of the targeted organisations.

Originally by ABC News: Science and Technology, 4:15 PM

Internet Accounts and Probable Cause

Orin Kerr offers this analysis of the circumstances in which the existence of an internet account will satisfy the 'probable cause' requirement to search a home for evidence:
In [such] cases, the police know that an Internet account was used in a particular way potentially related to criminal activity. The police then use that knowledge to get a warrant authorizing them to search a physical place for evidence of the crime.

Originally by Orin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy, 4:21 PM  Read more »

Ramsay on the Steve Vizard Case

'The public and media frenzy which accompanied the recent downfall of Steve Vizard overshadowed some important issues of insider trading and directors' duties. Professor Ian Ramsay reports on the case and asks what lessons can be learned.'  Read more »

Criminal Libel on the Internet

According to CNET News:

Oklahoma prosecutors will soon weigh whether to take up criminal charges against a former mayoral candidate accused of libeling a longtime state politician on his Web forum.  Read more »

Proposed Bill Would Confer Email Monitoring Powers on Canadian Police

'The Canadian federal cabinet will review new legislation this fall that would give police and security agencies vast powers to begin surveillance of the Internet without court authority. The new measures would allow law-enforcement agents to intercept personal e-mails, text messages and possibly even password-secure websites used for purchasing and financial transactions.'

Originally by samzenpus at Slashdot: Your Rights Online, 12:49 PM  Read more »

'Spammer Made Millions', Say US Federal Investigators

Christopher Smith's neighbors in an affluent Minnesota suburb didn't know exactly what he did for a living, but the feds did. In May, they shut down Smith's flagship company, Xpress Pharmacy Direct, suspected of being part of a massive unsolicited e-mail marketing campaign. Seen as one of the world's leading spammers, Smith remains free on bail as he awaits a hearing Thursday on contempt-of-court charges for which prosecutors are seeking six months in jail. He also faces a grand jury investigation.  Read more »