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NEWS - April 6, 2005

by Donna Buenaventura / April 5, 2005 5:49 PM PDT

Computer virus attacks up 50 per cent

Computer virus incidents grew 50 per cent in 2004 even in the absence of a major new attack, a security survey shows.

The survey by Cybertrust's ICSA Labs in the US found that the frequency of attacks, and costs to businesses affected by those attacks, increased again for the 10th consecutive year.

The survey found a rate of 392 "virus encounters" per 1,000 computers per month last year, up 50 per cent from 2003.

The amount of infections also increased to a rate of 116 per month.

ICSA said the number of "virus disasters," where 25 or more PCs or servers are infected at the same time in an organisation, was up 12 per cent from the previous year.

Of the 300 companies responding to the survey, 112 reported a virus disaster, compared with 92 reported in 2003.


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Sybase allows release of flaw information
by Donna Buenaventura / April 5, 2005 5:51 PM PDT
In reply to: NEWS - April 6, 2005

The database company allows U.K. security firm NGSSoftware to publish details on six flaws, but legal and security experts are still concerned that future disclosures will be challenged.


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Bigger phishes ready to spawn
by roddy32 / April 6, 2005 4:52 AM PDT
In reply to: NEWS - April 6, 2005

Published: April 6, 2005, 4:00 AM PDT
By Matt Hines
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

There's good news about phishing: The growth of new attacks has slowed. But that's only because attackers are building more sophisticated traps and using advanced technology to perpetrate online fraud, researchers say.

Last week, the Anti-Phishing Working Group, an online fraud watchdog, reported that the number of phishing e-mails it tracked between January and February grew by only 2 percent.

That figure seems to mark a significant lessening of the threat, given that the average growth rate has been 26 percent per month since July 2004. But during the January-February period, phishing attacks also became dramatically more complex, experts said.

more here

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Big Brother watches and security companies profit
by roddy32 / April 6, 2005 5:43 AM PDT
In reply to: NEWS - April 6, 2005

Published: April 5, 2005, 11:14 AM PDT
By Reuters

Whether they're driving through a tunnel or taking a cigarette break, Americans are finding even their most mundane movements captured on video.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, corporations and government entities have been on the alert for possible security threats, including among previously ignored civilians. And makers of surveillance equipment are cashing in on the growing budgets of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its local counterparts.

more here

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Schimdt: More cops needed for high tech beat
by roddy32 / April 6, 2005 6:19 AM PDT
In reply to: NEWS - April 6, 2005

Published: April 6, 2005, 1:10 PM PDT
By Dan Ilett
Special to CNET News.com

Howard Schmidt, the former cybersecurity adviser to the White House, has warned that there aren't enough trained police officers in the world to tackle cybercrime effectively.

Schmidt, now the chief security strategist at auction site eBay, told delegates at the e-Crime Congress in London on Wednesday that the issue needs to be addressed as high tech law-breaking becomes more widespread.

"One thing that is very prevalent is that there aren't enough investigators to handle all the cases coming through," Schmidt said.

Schmidt gave the example of his son, a computer-crime policeman in Arizona, whose department has an eight-month backlog of work.

more here

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Web Postcards Hide Trojan Horse Programs
by Marianna Schmudlach / April 6, 2005 6:27 AM PDT
In reply to: NEWS - April 6, 2005

Instead of friendly greetings, malicious software installs on your PC.

Paul Roberts, IDG News Service
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Beware of Web postcards bearing greetings. That's the advice from the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center, which is warning about e-mail messages that pose as Web postcards and then direct recipients to a Web site that installs a Trojan horse program.

The new attacks use sophisticated social-engineering techniques to trick users into installing Trojan horse remote-access programs that can fool antivirus and firewall software by appearing to be authorized applications like Internet Relay Chat software, according to the Internet Storm Center (ISC).

ISC has received an increasing number of reports of the postcard scams in recent days. Victims receive e-mail messages with subject lines such as "You have received a virtual postcard from a family member," with a link to a pick-up site that installs the Trojan horse, according to a post on the ISC Web site Sunday.


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eBay fraudster lands six-year prison term
by roddy32 / April 6, 2005 6:42 AM PDT
In reply to: NEWS - April 6, 2005

Published: April 6, 2005, 11:45 AM PDT
By Matt Hines
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

A federal judge in Maine sentenced a man to more than six years in prison for conducting Internet scams on eBay.

U.S. District Judge George Singal rejected on Monday a plea bargain from Charles Stergios, 21, because of the man's failure to attempt to make restitution with his victims, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Halsey Frank, who represented the state of Maine in the case.

Stergios, who has been in jail on related charges since May 2004, admitted in earlier court proceedings that he had defrauded 50 individuals of at least $200,000 in cash and purchased goods through schemes executed over online auction site eBay.

Frank said Stergios actually may have duped some 321 individuals to the tune of $421,000 in ill-begotten profits. Many of the instances of fraud were not discovered until Stergios had already pleaded guilty to the first 50 cases found by the state, he said. The defendant had one previous conviction in Maine related to offline fraud, according to the attorney.

more here

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