News summary...

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jan 20, 2004

Blaster (variant) author charged, AhnLab warns against complacency, India launches CERT-In, more on monoculture, and what's new in the spam world...

In much the same way that the 'Feds [allegedly] sexed up' the case against the MS Blaster suspect, various news sources are reporting that the 'MSBlast virus writer faces 15 years behind bars'. On closer inspection, though, it transpires that this is not the creator of the original Blaster worm but the Romanian author of a Blaster variant (.F) which infected a grand total of 27 machines on a local intranet. Under Romania's computer crime laws the young man faces a potential sentence of between three and 15 years imprisonment. It's a good job VB never resorts to such sensationalist tactics (like, say, 'Is BitDefender really staffed by Romanian vampire hackers...?')!

South Korea is proving to be a security-enlightened nation, with Ahn Chul-soo, president of AhnLab, warning that Koreans should not become complacent about the threat of viruses, despite impressive movements by the government to improve cyber-security in the country.

India too has launched its own Computer Emergency Response Team, that will 'guard the Indian computer networks, particularly those representing the "accupuncture points of the economy," against potential threats such as hacking and virus attacks'.

Channel Asia, meanwhile, reports some denziens of Tokyo turning to Shinto rituals to protect their computers against viruses - VB recommends up to date anti-virus software and well-patched machines.

Apparently VB wasn't alone in questioning the role of monoculture in the spread of malicious mobile code - Mike Gunderloy presents his own rebuttal to the monoculture arguments. Unfortunately the article is slightly marred by a mini 'political' rant at the end, making it quite clear where the author's loyalties lie.

In the anti-spam world, Habeas is encountering problems with spammers using compromised computers to send email bearing the Habeas mark, Australian poets are being inspired by spam, the Danish get tough on spam, and Computer World has a report on the MIT Spam Conference.

Posted on 20 January 2004 by Virus Bulletin

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