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NEWS - November 23, 2005

Can You Spot The Phish Attack?

According to data from e-mail security firm MailFrontier, only 4 percent of users can spot a phished e-mail 100 percent of the time. That's a very sobering thought as the holiday season is upon us and Americans flock online for their shopping needs.

MailFrontier's data comes from its Phishing IQ Test, which is comprised of 10 examples of e-mails and users must choose whether they think the mail is legitimate, a fraud or if they have no answer.

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Cyberterror 'overhyped,' security guru says

By Tom Espiner, ZDNet (UK)
Published on ZDNet News: November 23, 2005, 7:41 AM PT

Fears of cyberterror could actually hurt IT security, a threats expert asserts.

Bruce Schneier, who has written several books on security and is the founder of Counterpane Internet Security, told ZDNet UK that officials claiming terrorists pose a serious danger to computer networks are guilty of directing attention away from the threat faced from criminals.

"I think that the terrorist threat is overhyped, and the criminal threat is underhyped," Schneier said Tuesday. "I hear people talk about the risks to critical infrastructure from cyberterrorism, but the risks come primarily from criminals. It's just criminals at the moment aren't as 'sexy' as terrorists."

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Latest Sober threatens e-mail gateways

By Munir Kotadia
Special to CNET
Published: November 23, 2005, 10:02 AM PST

The latest Sober worm, first spotted over the weekend, has generated the vast majority of virus-laden e-mail traffic in the past 24 hours and could cause problems for corporate e-mail gateways, security companies said.

This variant of Sober generates e-mails that purport to be from the CIA or FBI. These messages tell the recipient they have been looking at illegal Web sites and should answer some questions in the e-mail's attachment. If the attachment is opened, the computer is infected, and the virus sends copies of itself to any e-mail addresses found on the hard drive.

Allan Bell, the marketing director at McAfee Australia, said that over the past 24 hours more than 90 percent of all virus laden e-mails monitored by its partner Postini contained a copy of Sober.

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Security experts lift lid on Chinese hack attacks

By Tom Espiner
Special to CNET
Published: November 23, 2005, 11:48 AM PST

Security experts have revealed details about a group of Chinese hackers who are suspected of launching intelligence-gathering attacks against the U.S. government.

The hackers, believed to be based in the Chinese province of Guangdong, are thought to have stolen U.S. military secrets, including aviation specifications and flight-planning software.

The U.S. government has coined the term "Titan Rain" to describe the hackers.

"From the Redstone Arsenal, home to the Army Aviation and Missile Command, the attackers grabbed specs for the aviation mission-planning system for Army helicopters, as well as Falconview 3.2, the flight-planning software used by the Army and Air Force," Alan Paller, the director of the SANS Institute, said on Tuesday.

The team is thought to consist of 20 hackers. Paller said that the Chinese government is the most likely recipient of the information they intercepted.

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Verizon files suit over cell phone spam

By Reuters
Published: November 23, 2005, 1:03 PM PST

Verizon Wireless said on Wednesday it has filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against a Florida company that it charges with sending thousands of unsolicited text messages to Verizon customers' mobile phones.

The company, a wireless venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, said it filed the suit in U.S. District Court in New Jersey after 98,000 spam messages were sent on behalf of Ormond Beach, Fla.-based Passport Holidays telling Verizon customers they had won cruises to the Bahamas.

While there have been relatively few cases of illegal spamming to cell phones in the U.S., all of U.S. wireless operators are being more vigilant about such incidents, which could cost users and carriers dearly, Ovum analyst Roger Entner said.

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I got 6 right and 4 wrong!!

Oh well!!

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