ID Cards are of ‘Limited Value’

January 31, 2006 @ 1:07 pm

ID Card

ID cards would be of “limited value” against terror and would not have prevented the London attacks in July, says the reviewer of anti-terror laws.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Carlile said he had changed his mind on identity cards, which he had previously backed.

“I can’t think of many terrorist incidents, in fact I can think of very few… that ID cards would have brought to an earlier end,” he told GMTV.

The bill introducing the ID cards plan is currently going through Parliament.

It recently suffered two defeats in the Lords, with peers wanting an entirely voluntary scheme, and ministers wanting people applying for new passports and driving licences to be obliged to go on the ID card register.

“ID cards could be of some value in the fight against terrorism but they are probably of quite limited value,” Lord Carlile told GMTV’s Sunday programme.

BBC News

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Countdown for Nasty Windows Virus

@ 8:15 am

windows virus

PC users have been urged to scan their computers before 3 February to avoid falling victim to a destructive virus.

On that date the Nyxem virus is set to delete Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Acrobat files on infected machines.

Nyxem is thought to have caught out many people by promising porn to those who open the attachments on e-mail messages carrying the virus.

Anti-virus companies have stopped lots of copies, suggesting it had infected a large number of computers.

The Nyxem-E Windows virus first emerged on 16 January and has been steadily racking up victims ever since. Nyxem-E is also known as the Blackworm, MyWife, Kama Sutra, Grew and CME-24 virus.

Helpfully, the virus reports every fresh infection back to an associated website which displays the total via a counter. Late last week the counter was reporting millions of infections, but detective work by security firm Lurhq found that many of these reports were bogus.

SAMPLE SUBJECT LINES

    Fw: Funny :)
    Fw: Picturs
    *Hot Movie*
    Fw: SeX.mpg
    Re: Sex Video
    Miss Lebanon 2006
    School girl fantasies gone bad

NYXEM FILE TARGETS

  • DMP – Oracle files
    DOC – Word document
    MDB – Microsoft Access
    MDE – Microsoft Access/Office
    PDF – Adobe Acrobat
    PPS – PowerPoint slideshow
    PPT – PowerPoint
    PSD – Photoshop
    RAR – Compressed archive
    XLS – Excel spreadsheet
    ZIP – Compressed file
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    Missing a few brain cells? Print new ones

    January 30, 2006 @ 10:10 pm

    A printer that spits out ultra-fine droplets of cells instead of ink has been used to print live brain cells without causing them any apparent harm…

    Complete Story

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    Microsoft Would Put Poor Online by Cellphone

    @ 8:40 pm

    Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder and chairman, demonstrated a mockup of his proposed cellular PC at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, and he mentioned it as a cheaper alternative to traditional PC’s and laptops during a public discussion here at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

    New York Times

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    US Plans to ‘Fight the Net’ Revealed

    January 29, 2006 @ 11:46 pm

    A newly declassified document gives a fascinating glimpse into the US military’s plans for “information operations” – from psychological operations, to attacks on hostile computer networks.

    Iraq Cyber Cafe Donald Rumsfeld

    Bloggers beware.

    As the world turns networked, the Pentagon is calculating the military opportunities that computer networks, wireless technologies and the modern media offer.

    From influencing public opinion through new media to designing “computer network attack” weapons, the US military is learning to fight an electronic war.

    The declassified document is called “Information Operations Roadmap”. It was obtained by the National Security Archive at George Washington University using the Freedom of Information Act.

    Officials in the Pentagon wrote it in 2003. The Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed it.

    A Copy of that Classified Doucment

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    Iranian Stude in Handcuffs During Class Exams

    January 28, 2006 @ 9:12 pm

    Blogger Mojtaba Saminejad, who has been in prison since February 2005, was taken in handcuffs to sit his exams at Tehran’s Azad University on 21 January 2006. Reporters Without Borders welcomed the fact that the Iranian courts have allowed him to continue his university course but repeated its call for his release.

    “We have never stopped our condemnation of the unfair conviction of this young student who has been imprisoned for nearly a year for posting a few messages on the Internet. We urge the authorities to show leniency. Bloggers like Mojtaba represent no threat to Iranian society. On the contrary, they support the emergence of a citizen’s debate,” said the organisation.

    Complete News

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    Scientists Warn VOIP Such as Skype Ideal for Hackers

    January 27, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

    VoIP networks such as Skype and Vonage might be used to control networks of compromised machines because of security shortcomings that give hackers a better opportunity to cover their tracks, security researchers warn.

    Boffins at the Communications Research Network (CRN), which involves academics from Cambridge University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as industry experts – reckon that VoIP applications provide a means to anonymously launch denial of service attacks.

    Networks of virus-infected machines under the control of hackers (so-called botnets) are generally controlled using IRC networks. Attack commands might also be sent via instant message. But if control traffic were buried in streaming IP Telephony packets it would be far harder to trace it origins, and catching those responsible for DoS attacks would become much more difficult.

    For more details

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    Google, Sun Backing New Anti-Malware Effort

    January 26, 2006 @ 3:33 pm

    Harvard, Oxford researchers aim to create Internet defensive strategies geared to consumers.

    Major figures at Sun and Google — including Vinton Cerf, one of the inventors of the Internet and now Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist — are backing a new academic anti-malware initiative that aims to spotlight spyware purveyors and ultimately give besieged computer owners simple technologies to guide their Web surfing and downloading decisions.

    The new effort launches today in the form of a website, www.stopbadware.org, created by Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and Oxford University. The site’s initial function is to serve as a collection point for empirical information — from consumers and technical experts alike — about nasty code that infects computers and aims to steal data, send spam, and churn out obnoxious pop-up advertisements. The researchers behind the effort plan to use this data to understand the scourge, spotlight offending malware purveyors, and generate consumer-friendly defensive strategies.

    Technology Review

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    High-Tech Spy Stone

    @ 11:18 am

    UK ’spy’ case under press surveillance

    spy stone

    Russian press comment on allegations by Moscow that British diplomats have been involved in espionage ranges from the indignant to the wry, with some commentators questioning the official Russian version.

    Nezavisimaya Gazeta considers it “probably the biggest scandal in recent years”, while Komsomolskaya Pravda believes “the row that has broken out between Russia and Great Britain is no laughing matter”.

    “An entire recruitment institute may already be functioning in Russia thanks to money from the British intelligence service, MI6,” says the Komsomolskaya Pravda report.

    more of that news…

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    Iran blocks BBC Persian Website

    @ 12:27 am

    The Iranian authorities have started to block the BBC’s Persian language internet site, for the first time.

    The BBC says the level of traffic to the site from within Iran has dropped sharply over the last three days.

    No official explanation has been given. The BBC has expressed concern at the action, saying it deprives many Iranians of a trusted source of news.

    BBC News

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