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NEWS - November 1, 2005

Bird flu virus infects PCs
By Reuters
Published: November 1, 2005, 5:30 AM PST

Attackers are exploiting fears over bird flu by releasing a computer virus attached to an e-mail passing itself off as containing avian flu information, warned computer firm Panda Software.

According to Panda, the virus Naiva.A masquerades as a word document with e-mail subject lines such as "Outbreak in North America" and "What is avian influenza (bird flu)?"

When the file is opened, the virus modifies, creates and delete files. A second part of the virus installs a program that allows hackers to gain remote control of infected computers.

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Symantec: No end in sight for acquisitions

In reply to: NEWS - November 1, 2005

By Will Sturgeon
Special to CNET News.com
Published: October 31, 2005, 11:30 AM PST

Symantec is intent on making more strategic acquisitions this year and will follow its Veritas Software buy with a large deal approximately every 18 months, a top company executive said.

The U.S. security giant has pursued an aggressive purchasing strategy, bossing the rapid consolidation in the market. Enrique Salem, former CEO of Symantec acquisition Brightmail, now senior vice president of security products at the company, said in an interview to expect no letup.

"We expect to keep making six to eight acquisitions per year, with perhaps a larger deal, such as Veritas, every 18 months," said Salem, who is enjoying his second spell with Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec.

Salem said Symantec CEO John Thompson actively fosters a culture within the company whereby senior executives are always on the lookout for the next buyout target.

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Authentica aims to secure BlackBerry e-mail

In reply to: NEWS - November 1, 2005

By Joris Evers
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: October 28, 2005, 5:07 PM PDT

Authentica next month plans to release an extension to its enterprise rights management software that can lock down e-mail on BlackBerry handhelds. Called Authentica Secure Mobile Mail, the product lets users receive encrypted messages and set permissions on e-mail--for example, when a message can be viewed or blocking forwarding and copy-pasting. E-mail can be set to expire at a certain time or recalled. Administrators can also remotely delete e-mail, which could be useful when a BlackBerry is lost or stolen, according to Authentica, which plans to announce the product on Monday.

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The "Sony rootkit" case

In reply to: NEWS - November 1, 2005

F-Secure ran a scan using their F-Secure Blacklight and discovered a rootkit with Sony BMG. Sony BMG is currently using a rootkit-based DRM system on some CD records sold in USA, according to F-Secure.

Read more about it with screenshots in F-Secure Weblog:

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British teen in court over 'e-mail bomb' charges

In reply to: NEWS - November 1, 2005

By Tom Espiner
Special to CNET News.com
Published: November 1, 2005, 7:57 AM PST

A teenager accused of unleashing an "e-mail bomb" on his former employer will appear in court on Tuesday in what will be a test case for the U.K.'s Computer Misuse Act.

British police accuse the youth of sending 5 million e-mails to the company he used to work for. This amount of e-mail could cause an e-mail server to crash and is hence a form of denial-of-service (DoS) attack.

The case will prove to be a test of the effectiveness of the CMA, as nobody has yet been convicted under the act of launching a DoS attack. According to those familiar with the case, the teenager's defense will argue that launching a DoS attack is not illegal under the CMA.

The CMA does not specifically include a denial-of-service attack as a criminal offense, something some members of the U.K. parliament want changed. The act explicitly outlaws "unauthorized access" and "unauthorized modification" of computer material, but DoS attacks sit in a legal gray area.

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The battle to shape data security laws

In reply to: NEWS - November 1, 2005

By Tom Zeller Jr.
The New York Times
Published: November 1, 2005, 6:11 AM PST

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a consumer advocacy group in San Diego, has counted 80 data breaches since February, involving the personal information of more than 50 million people. The sensitive data--names, Social Security and credit card numbers, dates of birth, home addresses and the like--have either been lost by or stolen from companies and institutions that compile such data.

In February, ChoicePoint, the big data broker, raised public awareness of the problem when it announced that thieves had fraudulently obtained information on 145,000 consumers. In August, even the United States Air Force reported a data breach--a hacker may have gained access to a military management database and personal information on 33,000 officers.

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Researchers Say Automated IM Worm Is Inevitable

In reply to: NEWS - November 1, 2005

By Ryan Naraine
October 31, 2005

The sudden appearance of a rootkit file in a spyware-laden IM worm attack has set off new fears that malicious hackers are sophisticated enough to launch a fully automated worm attack against instant messaging networks.

In the most recent attack aimed at users of America Online Inc.'s AIM network, the "lockx.exe" rootkit file was bundled with a new variant of the W32/Sdbot Trojan to create a nasty mix of hidden malware.

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