Worldwide phishing ring bust, 38 people indicted

Los Angeles (CA) – The Department of Justice has announced indictments against a worldwide phishing ring with members in Romania and the United States.  In all 38 people were indicted on charges of bank fraud, racketeering and a host of other charges.

Law enforcement officials concerned about Passport Card vulnerabilities

Former law enforcement officials are concerned about the insecurity of the upcoming Passport Card or PASS card issued by the US Department of State.  The plastic card with embedded RFID-chip is about the size of a credit card and is meant for land and sea travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Bruce Schneier gives tips on securing laptops against Customs agents

Courts and police turning to GPS-enforced restraining orders

GPS tracking bracelets are giving judges and police a new weapon to fight against abusive husbands and lovers.  In several states, these bracelets now give authorities real-time tracking of high-risk offenders and will alert police when a restraining order has been violated.  Studies show the bracelets have reduced repeat offenses, but not surprisingly the offenders went back to their criminal ways after the bracelets were taken off.

14 more people implicated in UCLA medical records snooping

The California Department of Public Health has issued its findings in the UCLA celebrity medical records snooping case.  The department found 14 more people snooped into the records of famous people including Farrah Fawcett, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver.  This brings the total to 68 people including physicians, nurses, administrative staff and one volunteer.

Five IRS workers indicted for snooping into taxpayer files

HSBC bank server grows legs and walks off

Why hack into a server when you can simply steal the damn thing.  This is exactly what happened to a Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) server containing 159,000 customer accounts, after it went missing during a branch office rennovation.

China to block “unhealthy” websites during Olympics

Microsoft's new product goes against crime: Meet (Hot) COFEE

Cyber crimes have evolved from hackers fighting against the views of government to sophisticated identity theft, breaking into banks and various criminal activities. So far, local police organizations have been losing a lot of time to recover data from such machines, and they need all the help they can get. Now Microsoft is joining the fight.

McAfee raises Trojan alert for the first time since 2005

It is a rare thing when an anti-virus company raises an alert about a widespread trojan virus. However, that is exactly the case with the new trojan named Downloader-UA.h, with a million infections stopped by McAffee alone. This trojan is spreading through file-sharing networks, so caution is advised.

As many as 1000 laptops missing from State Department

Several hundred to possibly a thousand laptops are missing from the United States State Department, according to an internal audit.  Many of the laptops likely contain classified information and as many as 400 computers belonged to the Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program which provides counterterrorism training to other nations.

NSA spills its guts on TEMPEST attacks

Secret agents have apparently been remotely scanning and decrypting electrical signals since World War II, according to a newly declassified NSA document.  Titled “TEMPEST: A Signal Problem”, the document describes leaky signals broadcasting from teletype machines would cause nearby sensors to spike – those signals could then be translated into keystrokes.  Known as TEMPEST, this phenomenon was mostly ignored by the United States in the following years, but it appears the Soviet Union, Japan and other countries developed TEMPEST scanning into an art form and used it against the USA.

Scientists create malicious hardware

You are concerned about spam and viruses? You ain’t seen nothing yet, believe researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC): A next phase of more sophisticated viruses may not only exist in software, but may be deeply embedded in hardware, or what the scientists describe as ““malicious circuits”.

Microsoft’s forensic thumb drive not as evil as first thought

The initial uproar over news of Microsoft’s forensic USB thumb-drive appears to be misplaced.  Microsoft has confirmed that the drive is just a compilation of publically available tools and adds that the USB-based toolkit does not “backdoor” or bypass any of Window’s security features.

Half a million Microsoft-powered sites hit with SQL injection

Airports scramble to change security codes after pilot loses laptop

FBI concerned about Chinese counterfeiting Cisco routers

An unclassified government PowerPoint presentation documenting Chinese counterfeiting of Cisco routers has been published on the net.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation document was produced on January 11, 2008 and discusses how counterfeit routers, switches and interface cards make it inside of American companies and government organizations.

Israeli soldier jailed for 19 days for Facebook photo

Hackers hit UN and other high-profile websites

U.S. government scraps virtual border fence prototype

The Department of Homeland Security has ceased operating its virtual fence near Tucson Arizona because of complaints by Border Patrol officers.  The 28-mile fence had been touted as a high-tech way to detect and capture hundreds of illegal immigrants that cross the area every day, but the system couldn’t quickly alert officers to the crossing.  Furthermore, DHS complained that the remote controlled cameras couldn't be turned quickly enough.