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News - September 4, 2004

Porn dialler fraudsters find lucrative loophole

A German Internet dialer watchdog site, Dialerschutz, is warning web users about a new porn dialer scam run by Spanish firm Teleflate S.L. The latest scam uses a Java program to automatically consent to users dialing into pornography websites at rates of €30 per hour. Dialerschutz has already informed the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) in Bonn about Teleflate. Dialer services that connect without user consent are illegal in Germany and many other European countries. Fully-patched Microsoft Windows machines should not be vulnerable to the scam, according to Dialerschutz.


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Private files vulnerable to hackers, audit says

In reply to: News - September 4, 2004

A report by the Michigan Office of the Auditor General, released on August 31, 2004, found that personal information contained on machines supporting the licensing, vehicle registration and other financial systems was vulnerable to hackers. Specifically, the audit found security flaws in nine mainframe databases belonging to the state's Automated Information Systems and the departments of State and Information Technology between 2000 and 2003. Michigan Department of State officials acknowledged the flaws, but said that steps have been taken to improve information security. They added that security has been improved since Social Security numbers began being collected for new and renewed driver's licenses in May 2004. Department officials told state auditors they were not aware of their system being hacked into or any information being stolen.


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Research Firm Reveals Multiple Flaws in DB2

In reply to: News - September 4, 2004

UK-based security firm Next Generation Security Software Ltd. has announced that multiple "high risk" vulnerabilities exist in IBM DB2 database products, but details of the flaws were not revealed. IBM has released patches to fix two of the flaws, affecting DB2 Universal Database for Linux, Unix and Windows Versions 7.x and 8.1. According to Next Generation Security, the vulnerabilities are both remotely exploitable buffer overflows that "could allow for complete compromise of the affected database server or denial of service attacks". The company has found and reported other vulnerabilities in DB2, but IBM has not yet fixed these flaws. Exact details of the vulnerabilities are being withheld until December 1, 2004 to allow DB2 administrators to apply the patches. There have been no reports of exploits for the flaws.


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Old PCs are goldmine for data thieves

In reply to: News - September 4, 2004

A survey of 350 companies conducted by UK PC recycling firm Remploy e-cycle found that 75% of companies sold or gave away unwanted computers, but only 23% of those wiped the hard disks so that data contained on them was unrecoverable. Almost 40% of firms reformatted drives before disposing of them in the mistaken belief that this protected information stored on the PCs. Surprisingly, financial firms were among the worst offenders. Only 12.5% of financial companies destroyed data to the required standard, according to Remploy. The findings are troubling because they highlight how vulnerable personal information held by companies is to identity thieves and other criminals. The problem could be exacerbated by new legislation, the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Directive, scheduled for the autumn of 2004, which will put pressure on firms to recycle IT equipment.

Also - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3623194.stm

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Malware Might Become a Problem for Macintosh

In reply to: News - September 4, 2004

Neel Mehta, a research engineer with Internet security Systems' X-Force, says, "As more people begin to use Mac OS, we'll see more malware targeting it. If the kind of worms targeting Windows and Linux are written to target Mac, it would have more significance than this piece of malware."

Macintosh users have had some bragging rights over their Windows counterparts for various reasons, not the least of which is "malware" -- viruses, worms and Trojan horses -- that is a frequent pain to Windows users.

But on March 20, a "proof of concept" Trojan horse named MPSConcept (file name MP3Virus.Gen) was discovered, paving the way for more serious malware

More in http://www.macnewsworld.com/story/Malware-Might-Become-a-Problem-for-Macintosh-36347.html

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Scamming Software Company Scams Again

In reply to: News - September 4, 2004

Mike wrote in http://techdirt.com/articles/20040903/1547250.shtml

"You may recall Bonzi software as the company that used to run pop-up ads trying to trick you into thinking there was something wrong with your computer. They eventually settled a lawsuit about those ads, but were dinged again earlier year for knowingly collecting data from children under 13 via their BonziBuddy product (as the article notes, the data they collected included the birthdate of the children making the "knowingly part a slam dunk"). It appears that neither previous case is going to keep Bonzi from staying on the legal side of their advertising practices, as they've now settled yet another case brought by the FTC for false advertising about their "anti-phishing, anti-virus" product that, in truth, does very little. However, that doesn't stop their advertisements from first telling you that all of your personal information can be taken by thieves, and that their software will protect you completely from the threat. Isn't there some sort of three strikes law for scamming companies?"

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eBay domain hijacker arrested

In reply to: News - September 4, 2004

Police in Germany have arrested a 19 year-old from Helmstedt for hijacking the site of eBay Germany about a week ago. Visitors to eBay Germany were redirected to a site hosted by internet provider Intergenia AG. Initially, phishers were suspected of the domain hijack.

The boy admitted he requested a DNS (domain name server) transfer for several high-profile sites, including Google.com, Web.de, Amazon.com and eBay Germany. While most of these transfers were denied, somehow eBay slipped through. It remains unclear how the domain could have been transferred without the consent of the existing holder.


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