10/10/2009

British hacker loses U.S. extradition case

Filed under: — Aviran

A British “UFO eccentric,” wanted in the United States for breaking into NASA and Pentagon computers in “the biggest military hack of all time,” lost his latest battle to avoid extradition on Friday.

Gary McKinnon, 43, was refused permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, Britain’s highest judicial body, as he continued his long battle to avoid being sent to the United States.

McKinnon, who was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, had challenged a refusal by Britain’s chief prosecutor to allow him to be tried in Britain, which would have avoided any need for extradition.

However, London’s High Court said his case did not raise “points of law of general public importance” which is necessary to pursue a case at the Supreme Court, the Press Association reported.

His lawyers said they would now consider applying to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Comcast tries pop-up alerts to warn Internet users of PC infections

Filed under: — Aviran

Comcast Corp. wants to enlist its customers in a fight against a huge problem for Internet providers - the armies of infected personal computers, known as “botnets,” that suck up bandwidth by sending spam and facilitating cybercrime.

The country’s largest provider of high-speed Internet to homes started testing a service this week in Denver in which Comcast sends customers a pop-up message in their Web browsers if their computers seem to have been co-opted by a botnet. One botnet can have tens of thousands or even millions of PCs.

The message points to a Comcast site with tips for cleaning infected computers. It reads: “Comcast has detected that there may be a virus on your computer(s). For information on how to clean your computer(s), please visit the Comcast Anti-Virus Center.”

Comcast said users can close the warning banners if they wish, but they cannot opt out of receiving them. A reminder will return every seven days while a computer appears to be infected.

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