London, Thursday, November 14, 2002

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                              [News Index]

[1] White House to unveil first homeland security tech blueprint
[2] House, Senate move toward passage of homeland bill
[3] Accused Pentagon Hacker's Online Life
[4] House considers jailing hackers for life
[5] Florida: The cybersecurity state

[6] Back to the Insecure Future
[7] New Tools a Spying Boss Will Love  
[8] MS hires national security advisor
[9] Ballmer: 'A new era of partnership'
[10] British Web designer charged over viruses

[11] Defense officials outline top research priorities
[12] (UK) Hopes raised for Internet grooming ban
[13] The first hopeful moment since Sept. 11  
[14] (UK) Spammers receive Government threat
[15] Return of Bin Laden

[16] Top court to review online-porn law
[17] Powers to ban online racists
[18] More Telemarketers During Dinner?
[19] Maintaining Credible IIS Log Files



[1] White House to unveil first homeland security tech blueprint
By Shane Harris 

The White House Office of Homeland Security will soon release the first
in a series of conceptual plans for how information technology systems
should fit together in the new Homeland Security Department, according
to a White House official. 

Lee Holcomb, the office's director of "infostructure," said Wednesday
that in the next 90 days the administration would unveil an enterprise
architecture plan for Homeland Security agencies with border control
responsibilities. An enterprise architecture is a blueprint that shows
how disparate technology devices should work together to serve an
organization's overall mission. 

Holcomb didn't elaborate on what the new plan would entail, but he said
it was one of four designs that officials are working on now to help set
up the new department. The other three cover components of the
department's mission, including intelligence and warning, weapons of
mass destruction countermeasures and coordination of "first responders,"
such as fire and emergency workers. 



[2] House, Senate move toward passage of homeland bill
By Mark Wegner, Brody Mullins and Bill Ghent, CongressDaily 

House Republicans all but declared victory today on legislation to
create a Homeland Security Department Wednesday, predicting a strong
vote on a compromise bill that would propel the legislation through the
Senate sometime this week.

House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, who headed the House's select
homeland security panel, said the compromise was the result of "very
broad negotiations with the White House and the other body." He added
the final product "is fundamentally the House passed bill. ... We expect
it to be passed in the House and we expect it to be passed in the

Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, a member of the homeland security committee,
said the labor flexibility language is key for the success of the new
department. He highlighted a provision that would allow unions 30 day to
negotiate contracts before a second 30-day federal mediation period
would kick in, and language that requires the president to give Congress
10 days notice before limiting collective bargaining.



[3] Accused Pentagon Hacker's Online Life

Usenet posts show Gary McKinnon was a bit of a phone phreak, knew where
to buy lock picks, and had an early interest in defense computers. A
former employer says he was bored at work. 

By Kevin Poulsen, SecurityFocus Nov 13 2002 6:06PM

The British man accused of the most ambitious hack attacks against
Defense Department computers in years was also a fine network
administrator, according to a former co-worker. 

A manager at the London-based telecom equipment seller Corporate
Business Technology Ltd. recalls Gary McKinnon as a friendly -- if
unremarkable -- presence at the company, where he provided IT support
for an office of about 50 people. "He was personable, relatively happy
around the office," says the manager, who declined to give his name.
"You wouldn't have realized that he could do what he did."


See also:

Hacker Suspect to Fight Extradition 

'... But some civilian experts expressed astonishment that this many
U.S. military systems were so vulnerable to techniques derided by many
hackers as simplistic.

``I don't see this as a big win for the government,'' said Marc
Maiffret, co-founder of eEye Digital Security Inc., which sells security
software. Maiffret said measures the military should have taken to
prevent such break-ins were a ``lesson 101-type thing.'' ...'


(A life sentence for a hacker??? So in the end you can kill someone and
get less of a sentence than
hacking into someone's computer. Below one of those great quotes by an
uninformed congressman:

(Republican Smith): "Until we secure our cyberinfrastructure, a few
keystrokes and an Internet connection is all one needs to disable the
economy and endanger lives. A mouse can be just as dangerous as a bullet
or a bomb."

It is scary that the Chairman of the Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland
Security Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee seems to belief
this FUD. But then anyone who gets the Cyber Champion Award by the
Business Software Alliance for leadership on high-tech issues should be
distrusted. Maybe he should have stayed managing his farm in Texas.
Well, at least he is a good crime fighter, but he should definitely
change his cyber security advisors. WEN)

[4] House considers jailing hackers for life 

By Declan McCullagh 
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
November 13, 2002, 5:57 PM PT

WASHINGTON--A last-minute addition to a proposal for a Department of
Homeland Security would punish malicious computer hackers with life in
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday evening voted 299 to 121
to approve the bill, which would reshape large portions of the federal
bureaucracy into a new department combining parts of 22 existing federal
agencies, including the Secret Service, the Coast Guard, and the FBI's
National Infrastructure Protection Center. 

During closed-door negotiations before the debate began, the House
Republican leadership inserted the 16-page Cyber Security Enhancement
Act (CSEA) into the Homeland Security bill. CSEA expands the ability of
police to conduct Internet or telephone eavesdropping without first
obtaining a court order, and offers Internet providers more latitude to
disclose information to police. 




[5] Florida: The cybersecurity state
BY Dibya Sarkar 
Nov. 13, 2002
As Florida information technology officials began preparing for the Year
2000 conversion, they also became concerned about cyberterrorism.

"We were going to have to worry about worms, viruses, hacking and other
acts of cybervandalism and cybersabotage forever, and we felt that we
needed a permanent presence to be able to deal with the issues," Scott
McPherson, who led the state initiative. "Nobody was thinking about al
Qaeda back in those days." 



[6] Back to the Insecure Future
Web services, such as Microsoft's .NET platform, represent a return to
centralized computing. They also pose some serious security issues.
By Richard Forno Nov 13, 2002  
Each month, I present a lecture to senior military officers here in
Washington, DC. The lecture, entitled "The Red Pill", takes an
unconventional look at information technology, security, and policy, and
imparts to the class the need to take a macro view of these items
instead of rushing to blindly embrace the latest and greatest quick fix.

One of the major portions of the lecture is what I call "Back To The
Future" in which I discuss the history of computing and how we are going
back to the days of centralized computing and the security implications
of that dynamic. 

In the early days of computing, users accessed centralized mainframes
through terminals that were physically wired to the mainframe. User data
and applications were stored remotely and the security (or permissions)
governing its access and use was dictated by a third party. The
mainframes were brilliant, but the terminals were just dumb machines,
unable to do anything except provide a conduit to the centralized
server. Information on those servers was generally kept private from
other users, but the server administrators - and their vendors - always
had the means to access it. 



[7] New Tools a Spying Boss Will Love  

By Michelle Delio  |   
02:00 AM Nov. 13, 2002 PT

CHICAGO -- Malicious hackers can occasionally ruin a network
administrator's day, but it's the lazy or disgruntled employees who are
constant threats to security and sanity. 

By promiscuously downloading any files that happen to catch their fancy,
employees open big security holes in networks. And when they blithely
purloin copyrighted material, they also open companies up to lawsuits.



[8] MS hires national security advisor
By Lisa M. Bowman 
Special to ZDNet News
November 13, 2002, 10:53 AM PT

Hoping to play a larger role on the homeland security scene, Microsoft
has created a new position to advise U.S. policymakers on information
technology issues. 

The company said Wednesday it has tapped Thomas Richey, a retired U.S.
Coast Guard officer, to fill the new post of federal director of
homeland security at the company. After serving for 20 years in the
Coast Guard, Richey retired in 2001 and became policy adviser to Sen.
John Kerry, D-Mass., in whose office he worked on homeland security and
other issues. 

Microsoft said it created the post in order to help the government
manage its IT systems and to make sure the different systems work



[9] Ballmer: 'A new era of partnership' 

By Lloyd Batzler 
GCN Staff

Microsoft Corp. and the entire IT industry "are on the verge of a new
era of partnership with the government" to improve security and address
privacy concerns, the company's chief executive officer said today. 

"There are issues that need more public and private cooperation," Steve
Ballmer said in remarks at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think
tank. "Government realizes that an innovative technology industry is the
key to economic growth. This forms the basis of a new partnership." 

Without discussing specifics, Ballmer said the company is working with
authorities to curtail identity theft, reduce the chances of
debilitating attacks on the Internet, curb spam and provide privacy
protections. Citing industry estimates, Ballmer said identity theft
costs consumers $1 billion a year while spam accounts for two of every
three inbox messages.



[10] British Web designer charged over viruses
16:09 Wednesday 13th November 2002

A Web designer has been charged with sending viruses and having indecent
images of children after a tip-off from the FBI 
A Web site designer has been charged with sending computer viruses
around the globe, including one rated the world's third most prolific,
according to Scotland Yard. 

Simon Vallor, 21, from Llandudno, in Wales, was arrested in February
following a tip-off from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.



[11] Defense officials outline top research priorities
By Molly M. Peterson, National Journal's Technology Daily 

Developing "modeling and simulation" technologies to predict, evaluate
and test responses to potential terrorist threats is a top research
priority for federal counterterrorism agencies, officials from the
Pentagon and the White House Office of Homeland Security said on

"Modeling and simulation [applications] with a degree of precision we've
never had before would be most helpful to us," Tom Hopkins, director of
technology development for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA),
said during a homeland security summit sponsored by Silicon Graphics

Hopkins said those technologies could help national security officials
combat "asymmetric" threats posed by terrorist groups that might use
unconventional devices as weapons of mass destruction. 



[12] Hopes raised for Internet grooming ban
14:23 Wednesday 13th November 2002
Graeme Wearden   

The British government plans to update the laws on sexual offences,
including taking account of the way that paedophiles are using the
Internet to contact children 

Internet grooming, the practice by which paedophiles use the Web to
cultivate relationships with children with the aim of making contact and
abusing them, could soon be made illegal.

The Queen's Speech, which was delivered on Wednesday morning and lays
out the government's legislative agenda for the next 12 months, included
a commitment to bring forward a bill to review the laws on sexual



[13] The first hopeful moment since Sept. 11  
Thomas L. Friedman IHT 
Thursday, November 14, 2002  
Confronting Iraq I
WASHINGTON For a brief, shining moment last Friday, the world didn't
seem like such a crazy place. When all 15 members of the UN Security
Council voted for a UN demand that Iraq submit to unrestricted
inspections of its weapons arsenal or else face "serious consequences,"
it was the first hopeful moment I've felt since Sept. 11.

It was the first time since then that the world community seemed to be
ready to overcome all of its cultural, religious and strategic
differences to impose a global norm - that a country that raped its
neighbor and defied UN demands that it give up its weapons of mass
destruction not be allowed to get away with it.



[14] Spammers receive Government threat
Wednesday 13th November 2002
by Jack Of Hearts

The UK Government this week has taken the unusual step of warning the
country about the flood of text message, email and fax scams that seem
to be plaguing the business and consumer world. The Department for Trade
and Industry this month said that the practice of Spam, through whatever
medium, was a danger to business and consumers alike but children, in
particular, are being targeted which is causing outrage amongst parents
and family groups.



[15] Return of Bin Laden 
As long as he can't be proven dead, he lives. 

By Richard Cohen
Thursday, November 14, 2002; Page A33 

Ever since the Pentagon blew the battle at Tora Bora last year and
apparently allowed Osama bin Laden to slip the noose, the administration
has been busy playing down his importance. "We've tried hard not to
personalize it," Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said of bin Laden
and his Taliban sidekick, Mohammad Omar. "This is a lot more than bin
Laden and Omar," she said.



[16] Top court to review online-porn law 
By Frank J. Murray 

Justices will hear arguments early next year on an order striking down
the Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000 (CIPA) as
The case was decided by a special three-judge District Court in
Philadelphia, and the Bush administration used an unusual fast-track
provision to appeal directly to the Supreme Court.



[17] Powers to ban online racists

As promised the Council of Europe has added a protocol to its landmark
convention on cybercrime that requires future signatories to criminalise
the use of the internet to spread racist or xenophobic content. The US
is expected to opt out, citing constitutional rights to free expression,
but for those who do sign up next year, new laws will be backed up by
cross-border powers to drive online racists off the web. 
The Council of Europe has added a protocol to its Convention on
Cybercrime that clears the way to the criminalisation of internet 'hate
speech'. The update is intended to ban "modern and powerful means to
support racism and xenophobia" facilitated by the internet. 



[18] More Telemarketers During Dinner? 
Industry Lobbyists To Push For Freedom To Exploit Customer Data 
Tarun Reddy 

When Congress convenes in January, Wall Street lobbyists will make a
strong pitch for new legislation to give financial services companies
greater freedom to use customer information to market products. The
Financial Services Coordinating Council (FSCC), an umbrella group that
lobbies on behalf of the Securities Industry Association and four other
trade groups on privacy issues, wants 'opt-out" legislation that would
allow brokerage firms and other institutions to use client information
freely unless a client signs a form prohibiting such action, said a
lobbyist who is crafting the legislation. Supporters of a liberalized
privacy law say it will reduce marketing costs because companies will
make better use of their client databases to drum up new business. Jim
Pitts, FSCC's executive director, declined to comment. 



[19] Maintaining Credible IIS Log Files 

by Mark Burnett 
last updated DATE 

Many network administrators by now have encountered serious Web server
intrusions that have resulted in legal action. Often IIS logs are the
primary evidence used to track down Web intruders. But what would happen
if the credibility of your IIS logs was challenged in court? What if the
defense claimed the logs were not reliable enough to be admissible as

I once investigated a serious intrusion as part of a criminal
investigation. An intruder broke into an IIS server, uploaded some
tools, and then accessed the company's internal database. We knew
approximately when the intrusion occurred, but we did not know which of
several hundred Web sites on a dozen servers was compromised. 

As I mined through hundreds of log files stored on the Web servers, I
came across one log file that had, among the thousands of log entries, a
single blank line. I checked the last modified date of that file and
found that it had been modified two days after the log file was closed.
Hundreds of megabytes of log file evidence suddenly became useless due
to a single blank line. Because the log files were stored on the same
server that was compromised, the intruder could have easily removed
evidence or, worse, replaced it with false evidence pointing to someone
else. The modification of one log file is compelling reason to question
the validity of every log file on that server. 




The source material may be copyrighted and all rights are
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Copyright 2002, IWS - The Information Warfare Site

Wanja Eric Naef
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IWS - The Information Warfare Site


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