Weekly Brief - May 3 2010

  • According to reports in the Virginia Pilot, investigators still have no idea who breached a statewide prescription drug database a year after the event. However, not all online criminals are as smart. Mesquite, Texas-based David Anthony Edwards is pleading guilty to charges of building a custom botnet. Charges allege that he and an accomplice attacked a computer posted by popular ISP The Planet as a demonstration to a potential botnet customer.


  • A high school principal in New Jersey has told parents to keep their children away from Facebook and any other social network. He also advised them not to use interactive communication devices during online gaming, sticking instead to pure gameplay.


  • In China, rules came into effect requiring security vendors to divulge encryption secrets if they are to sell their products to the Chinese government. Databases, secure routers, anti-spam and anti-hacking products are among the 13 product categories covered by the new rules. The Chinese operate the Golden Shield, a nationwide Internet monitoring and filtering program. In other Chinese news, the country has dropped off the 'dirty dozen' list of sources for spam relaying. It contributed to just 1.9% of the world's spam during the first quarter of 2010, according to security firm Sophos.


  • The University of Montana's Montana Tech notify students and alumni that their personal information was released in an email message sent out to the Montana Tech campus community. The email, sent out late last month, contained information including names, Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and in some cases the date of birth. Roughly 260 individuals were affected


  • Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed software called HyperSafe, that leverages existing hardware features to secure hypervisors against attack.


  • Security researchers from India, the US, and the Netherlands have discovered what they say is a vulnerability in Indian electronic voting machines, making them susceptible to fraud.


  • And it seems that security issues spread as far as Israel last week. The website for Knesset, the legislative branch of the Israeli government, publicized the names of high level Mossad officials by accident, according to reports in Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

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