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NEWS - November 10, 2005

by Donna Buenaventura / November 10, 2005 2:43 AM PST

[QUOTE]Outfit Used Unsuspecting Bloggers to Spread its Malicious Code

An operation that uses the lure of free lyric files, browser upgrades, and ring tones to download spyware and adware on consumers’ computers has been ordered to halt its illegal downloads by a U.S. District Court at the request of the Federal Trade Commission. The court also halted the deceptive downloads of an affiliate who helped spread the malicious software by offering blogs free background music. The music code downloaded by the blogs was bundled with a program that flashed warnings to consumers who visited the blog sites about the security of their computer systems. Consumers who opted to upgrade by clicking, downloaded the spyware onto their computers. The court has frozen the organization’s assets pending a further hearing. The FTC will seek to bar the deceptive and unfair practices permanently and require the operators to give up their ill-gotten gains.


More in http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/11/enternet.htm

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Microsoft "concerned" over Sony DRM.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 10, 2005 2:58 AM PST
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Suit targets Sony BMG anti-piracy technology
by roddy32 / November 10, 2005 5:29 AM PST

Published on ZDNet News: November 10, 2005, 5:18 AM PT

LOS ANGELES--Record company Sony BMG Music Entertainment has been targeted in a class-action lawsuit in California by consumers claiming their computers have been harmed by anti-piracy software on some Sony BMG CDs.

The claim states that Sony BMG's failed to disclose the true nature of the digital rights management system it uses on its CDs and thousands of computer users have unknowingly infected their computers, according to court documents.

The suit, filed Nov. 1 in Los Angeles Superior Court asks the court to stop Sony BMG from selling additional CDs protected by the anti-piracy software and seeks monetary damages for California consumers who purchased them.

more here

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Stolen PC holds sensitive consumer data
by roddy32 / November 10, 2005 5:32 AM PST

By Dawn Kawamoto
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: November 9, 2005, 1:53 PM PST

A break-in and computer theft last month in an office of TransUnion credit monitoring service has left 3,600 consumers at risk of ID theft, the company said Tuesday.

The theft of the computer, from a California office of TransUnion, marks the latest case of consumer information being put at risk following the heist of a PC. The PC in this instance contained sensitive personal information, including Social Security numbers.

Security experts warn that the type of information that can be extracted from such computers often is used as the "keys to the vault," which enable the thieves to engage in other illicit behavior.

A small TransUnion sales office in California was burglarized and a desktop computer was stolen in October, the company noted. Consumers whose information was contained in the computer were notified of the theft and given a year of complimentary credit monitoring by the service.

more here

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Spyware spat makes small print a big issue
by roddy32 / November 10, 2005 5:36 AM PST

By Joris Evers
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: November 10, 2005, 12:00 PM PST

A maker of surveillance software is using a product download agreement to attempt to bar detection by anti-spyware tools, raising questions about the legal scope of such agreements.

RetroCoder is threatening legal action against Sunbelt Software, representatives of both companies said Wednesday. The British company wants Sunbelt, maker of CounterSpy, to stop flagging its SpyMon software as spyware. RetroCoder charges that Sunbelt has violated the terms of the copyright agreement contained in its software, which specifically excludes anti-spyware research.

The matter poses yet another challenge for anti-spyware companies, which often face complaints from makers of software that is detected as a threat by their tools. This particular challenge, however, shouldn't be hard to overcome, legal experts said.

more here

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'Bot' for Sony CD software spotted online
by roddy32 / November 10, 2005 5:40 AM PST

By John Borland
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: November 10, 2005, 12:40 PM PST

A first wave of malicious software written to piggyback on Sony BMG Music Entertainment CD copy protection tools has been spotted online, computer security companies said Thursday.

Sony's software, installed when playing one of the record label's recent copy-protected CDs in a computer, hides itself on hard drives using a powerful programming tool called a "rootkit." But the tool leaves the door open behind it, allowing other software--including viruses--to be deeply hidden behind the same cloak of invisibility.

The first version of a Trojan horse spotted early Thursday, which aims to give an attacker complete remote control over an infected computer, didn't work well. But over the course of the day, several others emerged that apparently fixed early flaws and made them effective.

more here

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Justice Dept. pushes stiffer antipiracy laws
by roddy32 / November 10, 2005 5:42 AM PST

By Anne Broache, CNET News.com
Published on ZDNet News: November 10, 2005, 12:29 PM PT

WASHINGTON--The Bush administration on Thursday announced that it is lobbying for new laws that would bump up criminal penalties for pirates, expand criminal prosecutors' powers and punish anyone who "attempts" to infringe a copyright.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, speaking at an antipiracy summit here hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the Department of Justice recently submitted to Congress a "legislative package" aimed at toughening up intellectual-property enforcement amid evolving technology.

According to a copy of the proposal obtained from the department, the measure would create a new crime called "attempting to infringe a copyright."

more here

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Court puts clamp on spyware ring
by roddy32 / November 10, 2005 8:48 AM PST

By Dawn Kawamoto, CNET News.com
Published on ZDNet News: November 10, 2005, 4:37 PM PT

A Los Angeles court has temporarily shut down an operation charged by the Federal Trade Commission with bundling spyware with downloads that allegedly hit 600 blog sites.

The district court issued a temporary restraining order against Enternet Media and three of its officers, Lida Rohbani, Nima Hakimi and Baback Hakimi, the agency said Thursday. A similar order was placed on an affiliate, Nicholas C. Albert.

Federal regulators allege that Enternet Media distributed spyware through a wide net of affiliates, largely comprised of Webmasters who would receive payments from Enternet.

more here

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