2/14/2005

Juvenile sentenced in Microsoft attack

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A juvenile was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court to probation and community service in connection with a computer worm attack on Microsoft’s main Web site.

The juvenile admitted releasing a worm — known as the RPCSDBOT — in August 2003 and then directing infected computers to attack the Microsoft site. The site was shut down for about four hours.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case, said federal law prevents it from releasing details about the juvenile, even the defendant’s gender. It did say the juvenile was 14 when the crime occurred.

The cyberattack occurred around the same time as another worm attack on Microsoft’s Web site. In that case, Jeffrey Lee Parson, created a variant of the Blaster worm that infected about 1,200 Internet addresses. Parson, 19, a Minnesota resident, was sentenced last month to 1½ years in prison.

Initially, authorities wondered whether the two attacks were related, but they were not.

At the juvenile’s sentencing yesterday, the juvenile said, “Seventeen months ago, I made the worst mistake I ever made in my life. I did it out of curiosity and did not think I would cause any damage. I am sorry I created problems for people I did not even know.”

Judge Robert Lasnik took the juvenile’s contrition to heart and replied, “You know what you did was wrong, and you aren’t going to do it again.”

Lasnik sentenced the teen to three years of probation and required the teen to undergo mental-health counseling and perform 300 hours of community service.

The judge also required the juvenile to update him by letter every six months, describing the community-service activities and how the experience has affected the juvenile.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said yesterday that the investigation of the Blaster worm is continuing.

Source: Seattle Times

Apple, Sony sued over DRM in France

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple Computer and Sony are to appear in court over claims that their respective music download sites have been deceitful and have forced consumers to buy products because they are tied together.

French consumer association Union Federale des Consommateurs-Que Choisir has launched legal action over the two companies’ proprietary music formats, claiming that the respective digital rights management used by both Sony and Apple, which prevent songs bought from their online music shops from being played on other manufacturers’ media players, is limiting consumers’ choice.

The consumer group announced that it would take legal action against the pair after conducting interoperability tests last year between a selection of download services and digital music players. The group criticized the two companies’ lack of interoperable DRM.

“The total absence of interoperability between DRM removes not only consumers’ power to independently choose their purchase and where they buy it from but also constitutes a significant restraint on the free circulation of creative works,” the group said.

Source: News.com

MS, eBAY, PayPal, and Visa Launch Phish Report Network

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

New Anti-Phishing Service Enables Companies to Report and Block Phishing Web Sites and Better Protect Online Consumers Worldwide.

RSA Conference 2005 — WholeSecurity, the leading provider of behavioral, on-demand endpoint security solutions, today introduced the Phish Report Network, the Internet industry’s first worldwide anti-phishing aggregation service. Initial participants in the new business service include Microsoft, eBay, PayPal, and Visa. The Phish Report Network allows any company being victimized by phishing attacks to immediately and securely report fraudulent Web sites to a central database operated by WholeSecurity. Other companies subscribing to the Phish Report Network can then access the database or receive real-time notifications of known phishing sites, enabling them to more effectively protect consumers by blocking these sites in their user-facing security applications.

Phishing is an act of fraud that involves an attempt by scam artists to steal the identities of Internet users by sending out emails or links to Web pages mimicking popular Web sites. These emails and Web sites commonly ask Internet users to provide sensitive personally identifiable information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or bank account information. The Anti-Phishing Working Group, a pan-industrial and law enforcement association focused on eliminating fraud resulting from phishing and email spoofing, recently reported a 24 percent month-to-month growth rate in phishing attacks from August to December 2004. Additionally, the organization warned that phishing attack methods are becoming more sophisticated, such as incorporating malicious code into fraudulent Web sites, which could further victimize consumers. Industry experts agree that the escalating phishing problem if unabated could result in significant financial losses.

AMD updates the Opteron family

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company will release on Monday three new Opteron chips for servers–the Opteron 852, 252 and 152– that sport a number of enhancements over existing models. The chips run at 2.6GHz, faster than the 2.4GHz chips AMD has been selling. The HyperTransport links, which shuttle data between the processors and other devices, have been sped up from 800MHz to 1GHz.

Just as important, the chips contain PowerNow with Optimized Power Management, which lets the operating system slow the processor’s clock speed and consequently reduce power consumption, said Ben Williams, vice president of the server microprocessor business unit.

Hewlett-Packard will announce its plans to use the 252 in a blade server at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in Boston on Monday.

Though consumers often think of power consumption in the context of notebook or phone battery life, it’s an increasingly important consideration for servers. Reducing power consumption reduces heat dissipation, which in turn lets administrators pack more servers into a data center. Hot servers can also malfunction, melt and contribute to sky-high electrical bills.

Source: News.com

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