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Tuesday, June 28, 2005
  Adult web sites hit by record-keeping rules
US porn sites are now obliged to keep records proving that the models they feature are not minors, after new rules came into force on Thursday. But some sites have gained a reprieve, pending the hearing of a suit that challenges the constitionality of the rules.

One third of music CDs are pirated, says industry
Thirty-four percent of all music discs sold worldwide in 2004 were pirated, according to a report published by the recording industry yesterday, which called for tougher government action in tackling the crime.

Yahoo! shuts user chat rooms to protect children
Yahoo! closed down all of its user-created chat rooms last week, in the wake of an undercover television report revealing that some of the chat rooms were being used by paedophiles to reach children, a practice known as "grooming".

ID theft and internet scams hit consumer confidence
The growth in identity theft and phishing attacks is taking its toll on consumers’ trust in e-commerce. One third are buying less on-line and most no longer open e-mails sent by companies or people they do not know, according to a new survey by research firm Gartner.

Friday, June 24, 2005
  E-mail hoax 'spells trouble'
A hoax e-mail doing the rounds, apparently countrywide, could land unsuspecting people in "serious trouble" if they follow its advice when faced with an arrest at a roadblock. The gist of the e-mail is that people should demand the original warrant for arrest.

Fronting a Fix on Data Breaches
As details unfold about a massive security crack that exposed more than 40 million credit card accounts, security experts, legislators and corporate IT administrators are jockeying about ways to plug leaky data problems.

Comedian roasts Tory MP on Internet
The comedian who once got thousands of names on a petition to have Stockwell Day change his name to Doris Day has set his sights on another Conservative politician. The Doris Day petition made fun of the former Reform Party leader's promise to make important policy choices after holding referendums.

Yahoo shuts chat rooms after report of sex predators
Reacting to angry protests from several of its top sponsors, Yahoo Inc. has pulled the plug on perhaps hundreds of chat rooms operating on its site after a news report revealed some of the rooms were used to promote sex with minors.

Canadian entertainment industry to continue winning streak
Canada's entertainment and media industry will stay on its winning streak in the next five years, mainly thanks to soaring digital businesses such as video games and Internet advertising, a new study predicts.

Ownership of IP is neglected in contracts, says Patent Office
Over 70% of British businesses risk losing their intellectual property rights when they sign deals with other businesses, because they do not clarify ownership details in the contract, according to a new survey from the UK Patent Office.

Stephen King sued over Misery
Horror writer Stephen King has been accused of defamation and invasion of privacy by a writer who believes that she was the inspiration for Annie Wilkes, the sadistic nurse depicted in King’s best-seller, Misery, according to news site Celebrity Justice.

Publishers Raise Concerns About Google Print Project
Google has agreed to meet with representatives of the publishing industry to hear their concerns, but is apparently moving forward with the Google Print project in the meantime. The entirety of Google Library, as the project is known, was expected to take as long as 10 years to complete.

Supercomputers step up the pace
The Government has published a review of legislation that prohibits the disclosure of information in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act, finding that 210 statutory provisions conflicted with the Act.

Relief for SA credit cardholders
The recent systems breach which occurred at US third-party processor CardSystems has led to around 6 000 South African Visa card numbers being exposed. MasterCard remains tight-lipped as to how many of its local cardholders were exposed and the banks have yet to comment.

Copyright bill satisfies recording industry
Copyright holders and Internet service providers are the direct beneficiaries of the revisions to the Copyright Act in a bill tabled in Parliament this afternoon.

Copyright bill satisfies recording industry
Copyright holders and Internet service providers are the direct beneficiaries of the revisions to the Copyright Act in a bill tabled in Parliament this afternoon.

Elephant gun backfires in Admiral's domain name hunt
British insurer has lost an attempt to capture from a Canadian who uses it for his web site about elephants and who had indicated that he would sell the name if the offer price was over $1 million.

Credit card drama deepens
South African Visa and MasterCard cardholders will have to wait until tomorrow to find out if they were among the 40 million accounts that were compromised in the US, the credit card companies say.

Banks Not Doing Enough To Stop ID Theft
Despite all the headlines about the growing problem of identity theft, most financial institutions that provide credit cards are doing an inadequate job of attacking the problem, focusing on resolution rather than prevention and detection, according to a report released this week by Javelin Strategy & Research.

Banks to spend more on IT security, survey says
Investment in security has topped the banking sector's IT spending priority list for 2005, according to a study by the Info-Tech Research Group. Info-Tech's 2005 IT Budget and Staffing Report surveyed more than 1,400 IT decision-makers in various vertical industries, including finance, manufacturing, government, agriculture, health and professional services. Of the banks surveyed, 89% were in based in the U.S.

Company settles spyware suit for $7.5 million
Intermix Media has agreed to pay the state of New York $7.5 million to settle a lawsuit charging it with bundling hidden "spyware" along with millions of programs it gave away for free, the company said Tuesday.

UK under attack from Asian Trojans
Three hundred key business and government organisations are threatened by a wave of data-stealing attacks from Asia, the government has warned. According to the National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre (NISCC), hackers in East Asia have developed Trojan horse programs that attempt to steal information from certain parts of the critical national infrastructure (CNI). The CNI is made up of finance, transport, telecoms, energy and government bodies.

Details emerge on credit card breach
More details emerged Monday on the cyberbreak-in at a payment processing company that exposed more than 40 million credit card accounts to fraud.

Thursday, June 23, 2005
  Why most ISPs can't stop spam
ISPs are finding it increasingly difficult to adequately stop spam. It is no longer acceptable, nor fiscally viable, to wait for spam to arrive on your network, and then filter based on content. Companies can no longer rely on outdated spam prevention technologies that filter based on known content alone.

Lawyer's reputation stained by an e-mail
Richard Phillips, a senior associate at Baker & McKenzie, resigned from the law firm after becoming the subject of an e-mail forwarded around London's business community and quoted in several newspapers.

IT security experts warn of 'pod-slurpers'
The Apple iPod music player is set to become the next headache for computer managers trying to protect confidential data, the British weekly New Scientist reports in next Saturday's issue.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005
  The cost of poor document storage planning
If you don't make the right storage location choices up-front, it will cost you.

Networks to the rescue
MTN and Vodacom have implemented software applications, code-named MMSafe and F-Secure respectively, which they say will block the new CommWarrior cellphone virus, as well as any future viruses.

Hackers ‘think small, score big'
A recent computer security breach that left 40 million credit cards vulnerable to fraud showed how online criminals were scoring big by thinking small, experts said yesterday.

Wireless Web puts personal data at risk
What comes to mind when you think of wireless Web surfing? It may not be security, or lack of it. There are nearly 30,000 public wireless "hot spots" in the United States at places such as parks and cafes, but there's more to consider than just where to log on. The convenience comes with a caveat.

Ownership of IP is neglected in contracts, says Patent Office
Over 70% of British businesses risk losing their intellectual property rights when they sign deals with other businesses, because they do not clarify ownership details in the contract, according to a new survey from the UK Patent Office.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005
  The hottest celebrity ... viruses?
While Britney Spears' pregnancy may be popular with celebrity news junkies, her time in the public eye is also making it a whole lot easier to spread computer viruses. According to a computer software maker, Spears tops the list of famous people whose names are used in mass e-mail messages to entice readers to download damaging viruses.

Students who flunk courses get e-mail listing all who failed
More than 100 students who failed their classes at the University of Kansas last semester found out who shared their misfortune.

Dark Blogs and Voices in the Wilderness
Business would love to harness the buzz potential of blogging. But the biggest benefits may be found behind the firewall, according to experts at Supernova, an emerging technology conference co-sponsored by the Wharton School of Business. According to the Pew Internet and Life Survey, the blog audience spiked in 2004, with some 32 million Americans reading blogs.

Pressure to Change Judge in Microsoft Antitrust Case
The lead judge of the European Union's second-highest court has proposed changing justices in the Microsoft (Quote, Chart) antitrust appeal, according to several published reports. The suggestion comes after a wave of criticism aimed at the judge heading the Microsoft antitrust case following a newspaper article he wrote criticizing other judges and clerks involved in the appeal, according to a letter sent to all parties in the case.

Privacy issues with Google library search
A contract between Google and the University of Michigan released publicly on Friday contains no provisions for protecting the privacy of people who will eventually be able to search the school's vast library collection over the Internet.

Bosses on the prowl for risque pics
Beware, those of you who sometimes sneak off in cyberspace to look at naughty pictures.
Ninety percent of the largest U.S. companies have procedures in place in case inappropriate or illicit images are discovered in the work place, and 50 percent have had to use these procedures for incidents in the past year, according to a study released Friday.

119 students who failed courses get group e-mail
Due to an e-mail mistake by the University of Kansas, 119 students who failed all their classes during the last semester found out who shared their misfortune. The students were notified earlier this week that they were in jeopardy of having their financial aid revoked. The e-mail sent Monday by the Office of Student Financial Aid asked for additional information to determine if they were still eligible for aid.

P2P sites prepare legit bows
With a Supreme Court ruling in the Grokster case believed to be imminent, proponents of commercial peer-to-peer networks are busily preparing new legitimate services.

Newspaper Readers Turning to Web
The Nielsen//NetRatings study showed not only the convenience of the Internet, analysts say, but also the staying power of brands online, with relatively few readers reporting that they have abandoned traditional mainstream media outlets in favor of Web-only rivals.

Catching 'Click Fraud' Online
Until recently, online advertisers had no way of knowing whether they were being victimized by click fraud, experts said. Now, however, software and services from firms such as,, and are helping to discern the real visitors on the Web from the imaginary ones.

Does Your Company Need a Chief Risk Officer?
Forrester analyst Michael Rasmussen said the C-level risk-related position is emerging in part because corporations are overwhelmed by the compliance challenges they face. For instance, just one section of Sarbanes-Oxley has implications for data management, auditing and executive oversight of information controls.

Protect your computer
It only takes 20 minutes on the Internet for an unprotected computer running Microsoft Windows to be taken over by a hacker. Any personal or financial information stored on that computer is ripe for the taking -- passwords, bank accounts, credit card numbers, and more. A firewall is your first line of defense and it works, so long as it is used properly.

Advice for ChoicePoint victims
Have you seen ChoicePoint in the headlines? What is it anyway? As many as 145,000 consumers may be the victims of identity theft after a company few have ever heard of exposed their personal information to criminals.

Damage control for identity theft
Dear Armchair Millionaire: I just discovered that my identity was stolen. I'm in a bit of a panic -- what should I do to protect myself?

LexisNexis acknowledges more ID theft
LexisNexis, which compiles and sells personal and financial data on U.S. consumers, said Tuesday that personal information on 310,000 people nationwide may have been stolen.

Ameritrade loses customer account info
Ameritrade said Tuesday account information may have been lost for up to 200,000 customers when a package containing tapes with back-up information on customer accounts went missing.

Time Warner employee data missing
Time Warner Inc. said Monday that data on 600,000 current and former employees stored on computer backup tapes was lost by an outside storage company and that the Secret Service is now investigating.

Breach that hit Cisco wider than thought
The theft of software from a Cisco Systems network last year was only part of a series of widespread attacks that breached thousands of computer systems, federal officials and security investigators now say.

No identity crisis for Equifax
It seems like every other day, there's a report about how customer data has been stolen from a big bank, retailer or employer. For the average consumer, the thought of what some cyberpunk criminal could do using your Social Security number is certainly worrisome to say the least.

Bank of America gets personal
What could make you feel more at ease than a picture of your dog, Scruffy? Bank of America (Research) will require Internet clients to register their computers and assign a digital image, such as a photo of a pet, to their accounts in an effort to cut down on fraud, the bank announced.

Info on 3.9M Citigroup customers lost
Citigroup said Monday that personal information on 3.9 million consumer lending customers of its CitiFinancial subsidiary was lost by UPS while in transit to a credit bureau -- the biggest breach of customer or employee data reported so far.

40M credit cards hacked
Over 40 million card accounts were exposed to potential fraud due to a security breach that occurred at a third-party processor of payment card transactions, MasterCard International said last Friday.

Ex-Tyco CEO Kozlowski found guilty
In a major victory in the government crackdown on corporate corruption, former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski and ex-CFO Mark Swartz were found guilty Friday of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the manufacturing conglomerate.

Die vyf groot risiko's van IT in die werkplek
Inligtingstegnologie (IT) is 'n kern-komponent van die meeste mense se werk- en persoonlike lewe en, hoewel nuwe tegnologie en die internet die lewe makliker maak, is daar ook sekere risiko's daaraan verbonde.

Spyware, adware hide in BitTorrent downloads
BitTorrent users, beware: Your download may include adware and spyware. Purveyors of the applications that produce pop-up ads on PC screens and track browsing habits have discovered BitTorrent as a new distribution channel. According to observers of the trend, videos and music that hide adware and spyware are increasingly being offered for download on various BitTorrent Web sites.

Mozambique gears up for e-government
The Mozambican government has implemented an e-government pilot project connecting 15 national public administration entities in Maputo. The project will be scaled up to a national level later.

London's Olympic bid hits image rights hurdle
A row has broken out between the boards of the London and New York 2012 Olympic bids over the use of a picture of New York board member and long-jump gold medallist Bob Beamon in a brochure issued by the London bid team.

Nominet wins again in data mining case
Nominet UK, the national registry for all .uk domain names, has obtained an Australian court order freezing the assets and bank accounts of two men behind a scam that targeted thousands of Nominet registrants with misleading domain name notices.

Lax security in public sector IT, says study
The effectiveness of IT security arrangements in British public sector organisations is being undermined by a culture of complacency and a failure to ensure that staff understand the rules, according to a survey by the Audit Commission.

Password management still relies on Post-it Notes
Nearly half of IT managers fear that their admin passwords are not stored securely, with 19% estimating that their colleagues still keep their passwords on Post-it Notes, according to a survey by Cyber-Ark Software.

OECD alerts governments to on-line music business
Governments and industry should re-think their policies in respect of on-line music distribution in order to promote the technology as a viable business model and as a new social and cultural phenomenon, according to a new OECD report.

Warning: Your clever little blog could get you fired
Like a growing number of employees, Peter Whitney decided to launch a blog on the Internet to chronicle his life, his friends and his job at a division of Wells Fargo. Then he began taking jabs at a few people he worked with. His blog,, did find an audience: his bosses. In August 2004, the 27-year-old was fired from his job handling mail and the front desk, he says, after managers learned of his Web log, or blog.

AOL Sued Over Voice Platform
Klausner Technologies has filed a $200 million patent infringement lawsuit against America Online (AOL) over voice platform technology. At issue are features that let subscribers receive visual notification of new voice messages and selectively retrieve messages from their displays.

Intermix says it is settling spyware lawsuit
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has reached an agreement in principle with web marketer Intermix Media Inc. in which the company has agreed to pay $7.5 million over three years to settle accusations that Intermix surreptitiously installed software on computers.

Microsoft slaps firms with piracy lawsuits
In its latest effort to curb software piracy, Microsoft has filed suits accusing five companies in two states of selling counterfeit copies of Windows and related products.

Web shopping thrives amid phishing fears
While consumers' concern over phishing and pharming attacks is leading some to curtail their online shopping, e-commerce still continued to rise this year, according to two separate reports.

Fake DVD seizures up 41% on 2004
[UK] Seizures of fake DVDs are dramatically higher than the same period last year, according to anti-piracy campaigners. The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) confiscated 680,000 pirate DVDs between January and March - a 41% rise on the same period last year.

UK firms get fresh hacker warning
More than 1,000 vital UK government departments and businesses have been given fresh advice about the security threats posed by malicious hackers. The UK National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre's (NISCC) report into Trojan horses in e-mails says they are getting increasingly sophisticated.

Microsoft Software Piracy Crackdown Continues
Microsoft (Quote, Chart) again went on the attack against software pirates, filing four lawsuits against companies it said sold illegal copies of its software to consumers, officials announced Wednesday. The lawsuits name five companies -- East Outlet, Super Supplier, #9 Software, CEO Microsystems and Wiston Group -- that were allegedly selling illegal copies of Microsoft products or selling the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) labels that go with Microsoft products.

China's new bid to gag Web
China is to close unregistered China-based domestic Web sites and blogs, a media watchdog said, as the government tightens its grip on the Internet.

Spyware lawsuit settles for $7.5 million
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Intermix Media appear to have settled a suit accusing the internet marketing firm of being the source of spyware and adware that has been secretly installed onto millions of home computers.

Record labels have no legal right to demand customer data from providers
Suspicions of illegal copying of tracks and possible dissemination of such via FTP servers notwithstanding access providers are not legally obliged to divulge customer data. This the Higher Regional Court (OLG) in Hamburg has found, thereby annulling a contrary decision by the District Court (LG) in Hamburg.

University Seeks Identity Of Students From Cable Internet Provider In Dispute Over Blog Containing Professor Photos

Jury awards Perelman additional $850 million in damages from Morgan Stanley
Revlon chairman Ron Perelman won a second victory against investment banking firm Morgan Stanley in a lawsuit that has given new meaning to the term "paper trail" after a Florida jury awarded Perelman $850 million in punitive damages Wednesday. The verdict brings Perelman's total jury award to approximately $1.45 billion.

Where E-Mail Is Not "Traditional Means" For Conveying Contractually Binding Employment Terms, E-Mail Notice Of Change In Terms Is Not Binding
A company-wide e-mail containing hyperlinks to the company's new dispute resolution policy is not sufficient to put employees on notice of the new policy, where e-mail is not a "traditional means" of conveying contractually binding employment terms. Campbell v. General Dynamics Government Systems Corp., No. 04-1828, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 9360 (1st Cir. May 23, 2005). The appeals court upheld the lower court's refusal to order arbitration of an employment discrimination dispute, where the employer sent a company-wide e-mail advising employees of its dispute resolution policy and included links to the text of the policy at the foot of the e-mail. The court ruled that although a blanket rule precluding the use of e-mail would be inappropriate and undesirable (and probably would violate the federal electronic signatures act), the e-mail mail communication was not sufficient "to put a reasonable employee on inquiry notice of an alteration to the contractual aspects of the employment relationship."

Licensor Enjoined From Using Confidential Licensee Royalty Reports To Identify Third-Party Purchasers Under Terminated License
In a dispute over a license to manufacture and sell a product, the plaintiff-licensor may not utilize the defendant-licensee's royalty reports to identify and contact third-party purchaser-resellers with a cease-and-desist letter. Jordan v. Can You Imagine, Inc., No. 04 Civ. 4696 (S.D.N.Y. May 12, 2005). In granting the licensee's request for an injunction against the licensor's use of the royalty reports, the court relied upon a license term requiring the parties to keep the royalty reports confidential. The court also concluded that the licensor would not be harmed by the issuance of the injunction, based upon its representations that it had been sending cease-and-desist letters based upon Internet searches for references to the licensed product. The court declined, based upon the lack of proof in the record concerning the respective strength of the parties' claims, to enjoin any party from contacting customers to explain their position with respect to the rights to the licensed product.

Equitable Estoppel Bars Infringement Claims For Web Site Use Of Photographs
A freelance news photographer who continued to accept assignments from a newspaper that displayed his work in both its print and electronic editions is estopped from claiming that the use of his work in the electronic edition infringed his copyright rights. Dallal v. The New York Times Co., No. 03 Civ. 10065 (AKH) (S.D.N.Y. May 12, 2005). The court granted the newspaper's motion to dismiss the photographer's copyright infringement claims, concluding that the newspaper had shown the elements necessary for estoppel. The court noted that although the photographer included restrictive rights language in his invoices for the photographs, and although at times he orally objected to the use of the photographs in the electronic version, his continued course of dealing with the newspaper over a six-year period constituted inaction with respect to his pursuit of a copyright claim.

Software Licensor's Conversion and Unjust Enrichment Claims Under Virginia Law Preempted By Copyright Act
A software licensor's conversion and unjust enrichment claims with respect to unauthorized use of copyrighted software are preempted by the Copyright Act because they contain "no 'extra element' rendering them 'qualitatively different' from a copyright claim." Microstrategy, Inc., v. Netsolve, Inc., No. 05-334 (E. D. Va. May 13, 2005). The licensor alleged that a software audit revealed that the licensee was exceeding the "named user" and "per CPU" provisions of a license agreement. The court concluded that the licensor's conversion claim based on these facts alleged "mere unauthorized reproduction" of the licensed software, but not the "extra element" of the unlawful retention of a tangible embodiment of the plaintiff's work. Similarly, the court dismissed the licensor's unjust enrichment claim, concluding that the licensor failed to allege that the licensee was unjustly enriched by "material beyond copyright protection."

Monday, June 20, 2005
  Two computers stolen with Motorola staff data
Two computers containing personal information on Motorola Inc. employees were stolen from the mobile phone maker's human resources services provider, Affiliated Computer Services Inc., the latest in a series of incidents of companies losing control of employee data.

Military 'hacker' freed on bail
A British man arrested for allegedly carrying out the "biggest military computer hack of all time" has been released on bail by magistrates.

Spam sign-up man convicted of harassment
A US man who signed his boss up to various spam lists has been convicted of harassment. Scott Huffines, 41, from Essex County near Baltimore, Maryland, was sentenced to probation and 100 hours community service this week after pleading guilty to misuse of electronic mail, the Baltimore Sun reports

UT hacker guilty of stealing information, damaging network
A jury convicted Christopher Andrew Phillips Friday night of two federal felonies for recklessly knocking out UT Web services in Spring 2003 and stealing thousands of Social Security numbers belonging to students, staff and faculty.

Study: Flaw disclosure hurts software maker's stock
Software makers stand to lose significant market value whenever a flaw is found in their products, two university researcher said in a paper published on Friday.

Data losses push businesses to encrypt backup tapes
The loss of personal data of millions of consumers is prompting companies to embrace security technology they have neglected.

Feds vulnerable to lots of Net threats
Federal agencies are not prepared to deal with the triple Internet menaces of spam, phishing and spyware, government auditors have concluded.

Browser-based attacks increase as viruses dip
As the threat to IT operations by viruses and worms dips, browser-based attacks are increasing, according to a technology trade organization.

Calif. Man Arrested for Threats Against Tech Firm
A California man was arrested on Tuesday for making threats against employees of UTStarcom Inc. (UTSI.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and posting messages on an Internet site intended to manipulate the stock price of the communications gear maker, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Air France wins 'sucks' domain name
The domain name will be transferred to Air France. But the airline's victory at arbitration was not without controversy: panellists disagreed about what the word 'sucks' really means to internet users.

New domains must protect trade marks, says WIPO
A uniform intellectual property protection mechanism should be established to protect trade marks whenever new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are introduced, according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

Companies turn to ‘smart' boardrooms
An increasing number of South African businesses are turning to “smart” boardroom solutions as a means of reducing costs and improving efficiencies, a local company says. ETA Audiovisual recently completed the installation of a fully-equipped in-house smart boardroom, integrating audiovisual and wireless technology. The company says it has seen a steadily growing demand for this technology in recent months.

No redraft for Convergence Bill
Members of Parliament and the Department of Communications have rejected suggestions that the Convergence Bill should be redrafted. This emerged yesterday during the sixth day of hearings on the Convergence Bill before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications.

Consumers Remain at Great Risk from Spamming, Phishing
Consumers who doubt their own ability to avoid ID theft from bad e-mail will not get much solace from Blue Security's survey results on how hackers are mining e-mail addresses and passwords. The two newest phishing attack scenarios involve registration attacks and password reminder attacks.

Technology Can't Fix Trust Breach
"There is a monster data market of information from sources that aren't supposed to have that information," says Jeff Moss, president of Black Hat, a Seattle-based computer security training and conference firm. "Inside employees who are misbehaving are very hard to stop," he says. "It's very frustrating."

45% of IT decision-makers surveyed report lost or stolen intellectual property could put job on the line
SecureData, a member of the JSE-listed Group and a southern African distributor for Websense, today announced the latter's results of its Stress of Security study, which is part of Websense's annual Web@Work survey conducted by Harris Interactive.

Policy would decrease ICT risk
Experts agree that failure to employ a well-considered and structured security policy is one of the biggest ICT risks facing South African companies. “However, far too many South African companies fail to document the rules and procedures required to mitigate many of the security and behavioural risks in the use of IT systems.”

Thursday, June 16, 2005
  UK firms get fresh hacker warning
More than 1,000 vital UK government departments and businesses have been given fresh advice about the security threats posed by malicious hackers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005
  Electric cables used for hotel broadband
A UK company is looking to use existing electrical cables to deliver broadband services to public areas such as hotels. Unlike powerline technologies that compete with DSL by delivering broadband over electricity cables to homes and business, the Cibersuite service needs a broadband connection in place already.

SA shoppers to embrace internet
Retailers who considered the internet a temporary retail fad are as wrong as those who feared it could mean the end of conventional retail.

'Biggest hacker' fights extradition
A Briton accused of carrying out "the biggest military computer hack of all time" appeared in a London court yesterday and vowed to resist attempts to extradite him for trial in the United States. US prosecutors have alleged that Gary McKinnon, 39, from Wood Green, north London, hacked into more than 90 American military computers. His supporters say the proceedings are politically motivated.

End to “free” cell phones on contracts?
Icasa, South Africa’s telecoms regulator, continues to work on regulatory changes that may allow cellular telephone users to retain their 10-digit phone number, and move to another network (known as number portability). Through its work on number portability, Icasa has found that the practice of subsidising handsets on contracts needs to be reviewed.

Gartner identifies five most over-hyped IT security threats
Companies have been hesitant to implement selected new technologies because IT security risks associated with these technologies have been greatly exaggerated. To alleviate some of these concerns, Gartner analysts have identified five of the most over-hyped security threats.

ICANN creating virtual red-light district
A red-light district tentatively cleared for construction on the Internet - the ".xxx" domain - is being billed by backers as giving the $12 billion online porn industry a great opportunity to clean up its act.

CORRECTED - Two Computers Stolen with Motorola Staff Data
Two computers containing personal information on Motorola Inc. (MOT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) employees were stolen from the mobile phone maker's human resources services provider, Affiliated Computer Services (ACS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) , the latest in a series of incidents of companies losing control of employee data. The data on the stolen computers included names and Social Security numbers but no financial information, according to Motorola. The number of employees affected was not disclosed.

Warhol Foundation sues online art gallery
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts yesterday sued an online art gallery in Chicago that is selling unlicensed reproductions of Warhol's works. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Chicago, claims that is selling copies of Warhol's work for $200 to $300. The sales, lawyers for the New York City-based foundation claim, infringe on the copyright the foundation holds on Warhol's work.

Internet telephony grows with DIY help
After nipping at the heels of the major telephone providers for years, Internet telephony is finally taking a big bite out of telephone call traffic.

Contract management: The next issue to be tackled for financial efficiency?
If the contract says you pay, then you pay, or do you? In many cases the contracts often say you don't have to pay...but little did you know. Little did you know, for example, that at the time of last month's lease renewal for one of your 10 properties, you missed an option to acquire an extra 400m2 at no extra cost.

Snocap opens up to independent artists
The online music service Snocap said today that it would allow independent artists and small record labels to register their songs to receive payment when they are traded over Internet peer-to-peer networks.

Telecoms Dominate
The local scene was dominated by telecommunications news last week, with financial results from MTN, Telkom and Vodacom. Nothing dominated the international ICT market last week, which was not surprising following some key acquisitions the previous week. However, locally the market was dominated by the telecommunications sector with the Virgin news and the results from MTN, Telkom SA and Vodacom.

Prioritise business continuity planning
Although IT governance is starting to receive more attention from local companies, many have not yet addressed disaster recovery and business continuity issues. However, there are still organisations “where IT managers are exclusively operationally focused and pay no attention to control or governance issues”, which greatly increases their risk profiles.

Phishers get smarter
Phishing attacks are getting harder to spot as cybercriminals become increasingly skilled at disguising their fraudulent Web sites. Phishers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to grab user names, passwords and other personal data from users of commercial websites, according to latest industry research.

Panel paints grim picture of cybercrime battle
Consumers, government and technology companies have to step up to the plate to thwart increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks, experts on a security panel said Wednesday. In a discussion before a group of Silicon Valley businesspeople, a panel including representatives from Cisco Systems, Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security discussed recent changes in cybercrime and what can be done to fight it. The event was organized by the Churchill Club.

Monday, June 13, 2005
  SA scared of mobile banking
Although South African customers now embrace Internet banking, mobile banking is still a concern. This is according to BMI-TechKnowledge analysts, who gave a South African banking briefing in Sandton yesterday. “Top three choices for customers are physically going inside the bank, followed by using ATMs, and then Internet banking,” said BMI-T senior analyst, Tertia Smit.

Forum host grapples with cyberattack
Web bulletin boards hosted by Ezboard are slowly coming back online after being hit by a hacker, the company's chief said. In what CEO Robert Labatt called "a very precise and malicious Internet attack," all of the historical postings on all of Ezboard's forums were erased late in the evening on May 30, Memorial Day in the United States. A significant amount of back-up data was also lost, he said Thursday, noting that some data will never be restored.

Jackson suicide spam hides virus
A Windows e-mail virus is trying to ensnare victims by claiming that Michael Jackson has attempted suicide, say computer security firms. The message hopes to catch people's attention because of the huge interest in the on-going child abuse trial.

Online wills not yet valid
Johannesburg ? Did you think your carefully planned will is lying safely on your computer, waiting for your death? Think again. That computer will is not worth the hard drive it is saved on.

Alert on online safety
Computer users, beware. The head of the world's largest software company worries that consumers who make internet purchases have become too complacent about the risks of financial fraud and stolen identity.

Online gamer gets life for cyber-sabre stabbing
A Shanghai online game player who stabbed a competitor to death for selling his cyber-sword has been given a suspended death sentence, which in effect means life imprisonment, state media said on Wednesday. The case had created a dilemma in China where no law exists for the ownership of virtual weapons.

Digital photos can look great, but some labs won't print those that appear too professional
One of the benefits of digital photography – the fact that amateurs can take better-looking photos and doctor them using photo-editing software – is also becoming a bane. Photofinishing labs increasingly are refusing to print professional-looking photographs taken by amateurs.

Internet Firm Told to Identify E-Mail Sender
An Internet service provider must hand over documents that disclose the identity of a person who sent an allegedly libelous e-mail about his or her company's executive director to the company's board, a Manhattan judge has ruled.

Global Domain Names on a High
The number of worldwide domain name registrations continues its climb on the basis of a strong global economy and an increase in Internet users. According to VeriSign's May 2005 report, called Domain Name Industry Brief, released this week, worldwide domain registrations during the first quarter of 2005 hit a record high of 76.9 million, a 22 percent year-over-year increase and 8 percent growth over the fourth quarter of 2004.

Companies ramping up e-mail monitoring
A new study has found that 63 percent of corporations with 1,000 or more employees either employ or plan to employ staff to read or otherwise analyze outbound e-mail. The report, released Monday by e-mail security specialist Proofpoint, said 36.1 percent of companies employ staff to monitor e-mail today, with another 26.5 percent saying they intend to employ such staff in the future.

Court Tosses Patent Case Against Corbis, Getty
A United Kingdom judge ruled on Wednesday that stock photography companies Getty Images and Corbis didn't infringe a patent on selling digital media online. He also revoked the patent involved, a move sure to lower the heart rates of digital content creators in Europe.

UK man accused of hacking Pentagon appears in court
A British man the United States accuses of carrying out the world's "biggest military computer hack" appeared in court in London on Wednesday at the start of extradition hearings.

Thursday, June 09, 2005
  Phishing suspects questioned
Standard Bank says the Scorpions investigation unit is questioning eight more people in connection with the recent “phishing” attacks. The suspects, all of whom are South African, may be linked to the massive e-mail fraud scam that targeted local bank clients, towards the end of last month. Standard Bank, through its anti-fraud partners in the US, managed to shut down a Russian phishing Web site last month. A local man was also questioned last month.

Pharming and other security woes hector VoIP
There are few clearer signs that an information technology has hit the mainstream than when it becomes the focus of pharming and other security attacks. Low-cost voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone services now capturing the general public's imagination are indeed being targeted by online attackers, who have been known to eavesdrop on calls, deny customers access to their VoIP service and cause "clipping," or degraded service quality, on some accounts, say executives gathered here for Supercomm 2005, a major phone trade show.

Microsoft loses patent case
The United States District Court in Central California on Monday ordered Microsoft to pay $8.96-million for infringing on a 1994 patent held by a Guatemalan inventor.A jury ruled that Microsoft unwittingly infringed on Carlos Amado's patent covering technology that linked Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet program with its Accel database.

Not much to do in kids' online domain
There's not much for kids to do in the "online playground" set up by the U.S. government more than two years ago. They can go bowling with SpongeBob Squarepants at, plunk a piano keyboard at, and learn about mummies at

Lost papers may free killers
Some of South Africa’s most dangerous convicts – on death row for almost 18 years – could soon be released because their records have been lost.Late last month the Constitutional Court ruled that prisoners still on death row should have their sentences replaced with other sentences as soon as possible.

Monday, June 06, 2005
  No porn for IS customers
Clients of Internet service provider (ISP) Internet Solutions (IS) are worried that either the ISP has been hacked or that it is choosing to censor its users. This follows numerous complaints received by ITWeb from users who claim that for the past two weeks, they have been unable to access adult-related Web sites and chat rooms, although they are unsure of the reasons behind this.

Record labels close Spanish song site
One of the oldest Web sites offering inexpensive music downloads has closed, after years of legal battles with record labels., which has operated in Spain since 1997, offered subscribers the ability to download an unlimited number of songs for about $40 a month. It also offered shorter, cheaper windows of time that lasted a week or a weekend.

Net porn plan labelled 'obscene'
The creation of the .xxx net domain has come under fire from net veterans.
The decision was called "obscene" by Karl Auerbach, former board member of Icann which approved the .xxx plan.

Panel paints grim picture of cybercrime battle
Consumers, government and technology companies have to step up to the plate to thwart increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks, experts on a security panel said Wednesday.

Microsoft agrees to antitrust tweaks of XP
Microsoft has agreed to make modest changes to Windows XP in response to criticism from an antitrust compliance committee. In a court filing on Wednesday, the U.S. Justice Department and some states charged that Web-related resources, such as saved HTML files, continued to be denoted by an Internet Explorer icon, even when it was not the default browser. Also, the filing said, disabling Internet Explorer in XP does not automatically delete user-created shortcuts pointing at the application.

SA lacks ADSL competitiveness
A new study on Internet connectivity by the MyADSL Web site has indicated that broadband connections in SA are unaffordable for the average citizen. According to the study, a standard ADSL broadband connection in countries such as the US, UK and Japan would cost the average user around 1% of their monthly income, while in SA it will cost users anywhere from 46% to 105% of their monthly salary.

Industry welcomes ADSL price reductions
Telkom has announced further reductions in the cost of its ADSL offerings as of 1 August, with prices dropping between 18% and 31%, dependent on the product. According to Telkom media relations specialist, Xolisa Vapi, the company's HomeDSL 192 service will be reduced from R329 per month to R270, while the 384Kbps offering will come down from R449 to R359.

We've even fallen behind Ethiopia
While Africa is improving in the ICT stakes – witness Ethiopia's new broadband initiative – SA remains stuck in the same hole, being bled dry by a lack of real competition. Being part of the South African ICT community leaves one with the distinct problem of not knowing whether to laugh or cry – or more accurately, one has to laugh or else you will cry.

Major demographic profile of SA web users released
The profile of the South African Web user is more like 'the man in the street' and not so much a 'techno whizzkid' profile, like it used to be in 1999 and 2000, according to Webchek, a division of Research Surveys, which also released its major findings into who the South African Internet user is, throwing up fascinating demographics.

Google's books online under fire
A US publishing organisation has accused Google of breaching copyright rules through a plan to put university libraries online.

Internet bets on Jackson trial outcome
Whether or not Michael Jackson's jurors still have a reasonable doubt about his guilt, the wild world of Internet betting has rendered judgment: the smart money is on acquittal.

Woman sues Yahoo over nude photos
A woman sued Yahoo Inc. for $3 million, alleging the Internet site failed to fulfill a promise to remove nude pictures of her from the Web.

FNB looks into online fraud claim
First National Bank (FNB) has confirmed it is investigating a case in which an online banking client's accounts were apparently “cleaned out”.

VANS licence applications are law
Minister of communications Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri has signed into law the value-added network service (VANS) licence fee application process, but the industry is waiting to see what terms and obligations will be attached by the regulator.

E-mail marketing to grow 25% this year, says research
E-mail marketers look set for a successful year, with revenues predicted to increase almost 25% from £120 million last year to £148 million by the end of 2005, according to E-consultancy.

Porn films must not be sold on-line, says UK court
The High Court yesterday upheld lower court rulings that two adult entertainment firms had breached a law prohibiting the sale of porn videos and DVDs other than on licensed premises.

Council of Europe sets standards for human rights in IT
The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has adopted a declaration to set standards for human rights and the rule of law in today's information society. But a digital rights group complains that it fails to say anything new.

MasterCard 'phishes' out over 300 spoof sites in Asia
MasterCard International shut down about 1,400 phishing or spoof sites globally over the past 11 months, almost a quarter of which originated from the Asia-Pacific region.

Study: Insider revenge often behind cyberattacks
Companies hoping to thwart insider attacks need to have good password, account and configuration management practices in place, as well as the right processes for disabling network access when employees are terminated.

UK banks ignore security audit findings
Some UK corporates routinely ignore the findings of security audits treating them solely as a necessary step to satisfy corporate governance regulations, according to an experienced penetration tester.

Court rules for German ISPs in P2P identities case
ISPs in the state of Hamburg can't be forced to provide customer data to record companies, even when illegal copying is suspected, at least for now. The Higher Regional Court in Hamburg has ruled ( that there is no legal basis for demanding customer data. ISPs, the court argues, aren't part of the criminal act. They merely provide access to the web.

Homeland Security budget boosts cybersecurity
Information security could get greater focus now that the House budget bill calls for creating a high-level cybersecurity position at the Homeland Security Department.

Agencies Left Private Information on Discarded Computers, Audit Shows
Montana state agencies failed to remove private information before retiring outdated state computers, risking public disclosure of Social Security and credit card numbers, medical records and income taxes, a new report discloses.

Computer system hacked at Stanford
The FBI and Stanford University are investigating how someone hacked into a computer system containing information about people looking for work through the university's Career Development Center.

IT battling cultural division in law firms
IT directors say the biggest barriers to law firms reaping the full rewards of IT remain the lack of enthusiasm for technology among lawyers and the cultural gap that divides IT professionals and lawyers.

Bank scam: 'Runner' questioned
An alleged syndicate member linked to the massive e-mail fraud scam attack against several South African banks last week is being questioned by the Scorpions following an intensive investigation by Standard Bank (SBK), the bank said on Monday. The man was handed over to the Scorpions on Friday.

One Third of All Software in Use Still Pirated, Major Study Finds
Thirty-five percent of the software installed on personal computers worldwide was pirated in 2004, a one percentage point decrease from 36 percent in 2003. Yet, losses due to piracy increased from $29 billion to $33 billion. These are among key findings of a global software piracy study released today by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the international association of the world’s leading software developers. The independent study, which indicates that software piracy continues to be a major challenge worldwide, was conducted by global technology research leader IDC.

Computer files 'held hostage'
Computer users already anxious about viruses and identity theft have new reason to worry: Hackers have found a way to lock up the electronic documents on your computer and then demand US$200 over the internet to get them back.

Langa slates Convergence Bill
Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) chairman Mandla Langa today criticised the licensing provisions in the draft Convergence Bill. Langa was presenting the regulator's response to the Bill in the first public hearings before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications this morning.

Software antagonists square off in EU Parliament
A proposal to extend patent protection in Europe could threaten the existence of open source software unless the European Parliament amends it, say advocates of freely distributed programs such as Linux.







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