Weblog Entries: Crime and Security

Two Arrested Over Computer Worm

'Turkey and Morocco on the arrests there of two men suspected of disrupting computer networks across the US last week.'

Originally by ABC News: Science and Technology, 8:54 PM

Attorneys Say Charges May Be Dropped Against Students Accused of Computer-Tinkering

'Most of the 13 students accused of tinkering with their school-issued laptop computers to download programs and spy on administrators are being offered deals in which the felony charges would be dropped, lawyers and a family member say. In return, the students would perform 15 hours of community service, write an apology, take a class on personal responsibility and serve a few months' probation, the attorneys said.'

Originally by Law.com - Tech Law Practice Center, 8:59 PM  Read more »

Spyware Manufacturer Charged with Criminal Offences

'The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that Carlos Enrique Perez Melara, the author of an investigative tool called 'Lover Spy,' has been indicted on 35 counts of federal hacking violations. This begs the question: if you develop and sell a software product, are you responsible for what your users choose to do with it?"'  Read more »

Writer of Zotob Worm Was Paid to Create it

'Now that authorities have apprehended the alleged writer of Zotob, an interesting facet of the story has emerged: Diabl0, the author, may have been paid to write the virus. A story from Elizabeth Montalbano of the IDG News Service identifies the suspects as Atilla Ekici, 21, of Turkey and Farid Essebar, 18, of Morocco. Montalbano reports: Ekici went under the code name of "Coder" and Essebar used the code name "Diabl0," said Louis M. Reigel III, assistant director of the FBI Cyber Division, in a conference call Friday. Ekici apparently paid Essebar a sum of money to write the worms...'  Read more »

Alternative Browsers Impede Investigations

'Allegations in an article over at CNET propose that alternate browsers such as Firefox and Opera impede law enforcement and investigation efforts because they "use different structures, files and naming conventions for the data that investigators are after", which can "cause trouble for examiners.'

Originally by CmdrTaco at Slashdot: Your Rights Online, 11:36 AM

Accused Pleads Guilty to Theft of Microsoft Source Code

'A Connecticut man pleaded guilty in federal court to selling proprietary Microsoft source code in a case that has the potential to take the issue of software piracy to a higher level.'

Originally by NewsFactor Network, 8:39 PM

Scammers, Identity Thiefs Converge upon Katrina Aftermath

Jennifer Kerr of the Associated Press writes, ‘Social Security cards, driver’s licenses, credit cards and other personal documents are literally floating around New Orleans, raising the prospect some hurricane survivors could be victimized again — this time by identity thieves.

“This is probably not the most immediate concern that people have, but at a certain point they need to stop and take stock of their financial health”, Broder said Tuesday.  Read more »

Unraveled Web Fraud Reveals Inner Workings of Net Theft

The unraveling of an Internet "phishing" scam reveals the complications of busting thieves across international borders. "There's sort of a hole in enforcement," says an investigator for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Investigators have found suspects' inboxes emptied and evidence deleted as embarrassed victims explain how seemingly legitimate e-mails request personal information, such as credit card numbers and mother's maiden name. "Stupid me, I just went ahead and gave up everything," says one man.  Read more »

Pirated DVD Seller Faces US Criminal Charges

A man convicted in China of selling pirated DVDs now faces multiple charges of copyright infringement in the United States.

Originally by NYT > Technology, 9:27 PM

eBay fraudster to repay £70k

A convicted eBay fraudster has been ordered to cough up £70 000 or face an extra two years behinds bars.…

Originally by The Register - Internet and Law: eCommerce, 9:51 PM

Eight charged over Star Wars leak

Dark Side of the net

Eight US residents suspected of involvement in leaking the final Star Wars film onto the net prior to its official release have been charged with copyright infringement offences.…

Originally by The Register - Internet and Law: Wild Wild Web, 9:54 PM

User of Lynx Web Browser Found Guilty for Intrusion

Man attempts to make donation to tsunami relief fund, gets prosecuted for cybercrime violation. This is quite astonishing:

Last January, I got an email from a trusted source swearing that a good pal of his had been arrested while making a donation to an online tsunami relief fund because he’d been using a non-standard text-based browser that triggered the donor’s intrusion detection system.  Read more »

Two Ex-Employees of Computer Maker Dell Charged With Forgery

Two Malaysian former employees of US computer maker Dell Inc were charged with forging documents, causing millions of dollars in losses to the company, a court official and news reports said Friday. Ng Chiun Khoon, previously manager at Dell's plant in Malaysia's northern Penang state, and former technician Tan Boon Hoe were arrested September 22 in China's southern province of Guizhou, the newspaper reported.

Originally by Law.com - Tech Law Practice Center, 6:42 PM  Read more »

Barnes on Spyware

Wayne Barnes (Texas Wesleyan University - School of Law) has posted Rethinking Spyware: Questioning the Propriety of Contractual Consent to Online Surveillance (UC Davis Law Review, Vol. 39, 2006) on SSRN. Here is the abstract: The spyware epidemic has reached new heights on the Internet. Computer users are increasingly burdened with programs they did not knowingly or consciously install, which place strains on their computers' performance, and which also trigger annoying "pop-up" advertisements of ...  Read more »

Police Seize German Warez Servers

'German police have confiscated five warez servers with 6 terabytes of illegal copies of movies and games in the German town of Coburg on the fringes of northern Bavaria. The servers, with names as Temptation and Paradise Island, were accessible to over 1 200 people for € 30 to 120 per month. Police arrested at least one 26 year old. ...'

Originally by The Register - Internet and Law: Digital Rights/Digital Wrongs, 2:33 PM  Read more »

Distributed Computing Project Cracks Enigma Cypher, Decodes WWII Message

An interesting distributed computing project has reportedly cracked one of the Enigma cyphers used by the Germans during World War II. The M4 Message Breaking Project, founded in January by an amateur German cryptographer, harnesses the processing power of a wide network of computers in order to do in one months what the likes of Alan Turing and his Bletchley Park colleagues failed to do at all.  Read more »

Security Danger for Voice over Internet Protocol Users, Says Study

‘An Australian survey of 200 medium to large businesses and government organisations revealed that 97 per cent of respondents lacked sufficient security on their VoIP [Voice over Internet Protocol] systems. The survey, conducted in late 2005, found that nearly 60 per cent of organisations reported frequent breaches to the security of their data networks, more than two each year’:

 Read more »

Canadian Man Jailed for Cyberstalking; Australia Proposes New Cyberstalking Offences

A man in Alberta who used the internet to turn his ex-girlfriend’s life upside down was convicted on Thursday of criminal harassment and sentenced to a year in jail. The man used internet keyloggers and fake e-mail addresses to harass the ex-girlfriend.  Read more »

London Millionaire Accused of Involvement in Hacking Ring, Say Investigators

According to this CNET Article, ‘a high-profile London society millionaire is among a group of defendants accused of being part of a phone-tapping and computer hacking scheme that gathered confidential information on wealthy people and businesses. He has been charged with conspiracy to cause unauthorized modification of computer material.’  Read more »

"Spam king" gets fined US$4 million in spyware lawsuit

The Federal Trade Commission has concluded its first major spyware-related lawsuit, slamming down a US$4 million hammer against Sanford Wallace and his company, Smartbot.net. Will this have any effect in the War On Malware?

Originally by Ars Technica, 10:44 AM

The RFID-Hacking Underground

They can steal your smartcard, lift your passport, jack your car, even clone the chip in your arm. And you won't feel a thing. By Annalee Newitz from Wired magazine. Plus: Retail-Safe RFID Unveiled.

Originally by Wired News: DAT's Entertainment, 10:54 AM

Anti-Piracy Law Gets First Tryout

In the first trial of its kind in the United States, a federal jury in Los Angeles recently convicted a retired painter of illegally bringing a camcorder into a movie theater to record "The Legend of Zorro." The jury's decision against Manuel Sandoval was the first brought under the U.S. Family and Entertainment Copyright Act. The year-old law makes it a crime to upload a copyrighted work onto the Internet, and makes it a felony, not just a misdemeanor, to copy a movie in a theater using a camcorder.  Read more »

"Paraplegic Activist Leaps from Wheelchair, Runs from Police"

From Overlawyered: 'Laura Lee Medley was making a regular career of filing claims against various Southern California entities complaining of violations of her rights as a wheelchair user under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Placed under arrest after police sniffed fraud, Medley leaped from her chair and led authorities on a brief chase which ended with her capture:  Read more »

Cyber Criminal's Jail Term 'Too Light'

A 21-year-old man in California has received one of the harshest sentences for cyber crime, but Internet polls say it should have been longer.

Originally by ABC News: Science and Technology, 1:42 PM

Hacker Faces Criminal Liability for Identifying Security Flaw

After pointing out a hole in the security of a USC database, a computer expert finds himself on the short end of the legal stick.  Read more »