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Security Bytes: Courts get tough on digital miscreants

SearchSecurity.com Staff

Man fined, given probation for 'war driving'
An Illinois man received a $250 fine and year of court supervision for using someone else's wireless service without permission. David M. Kauchak, 32, admitted in a Winnebago County courtroom this week that he parked in a lot in the early morning hours to steal Wi-Fi service from a non-profit organization in the area. His presence drew the interest of local police and led Kauchak to become the first person in the state to be arrested for unauthorized computer access. "We just want to get the word out that it is a crime. We are prosecuting it, and people need to take precautions," said Tom Wartowski, assistant state attorney, according to the Rockford Register Star.

Israeli couple sent to jail for malware creation
An Israeli couple at the center of an industrial espionage case this week was given prison time for creating a Trojan horse and selling it to private investigators. Ruth Haephrati received four years in prison, while her husband, Michael Haephrati, was given two years for his role as an accomplice, according to published reports. The London-based pair were returned to Israel after being charged with creating a Trojan horse that PIs used to spy on Israeli companies' computing systems. Haephrati reportedly developed the malware to spy on his ex-wife's family, and the duo later tried to sell it to Israeli defense agencies. When that didn't work, they went after private detectives. In addition to prison,

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the two must pay $427,000 in victim compensation.

PIRT plus… you?
Members of the newly formed Phishing Incident Reporting and Termination (PIRT) Squad are seeking experienced security researchers, or "handlers," to help detect attacks and work with security organizations and law enforcement to shut down sites. The volunteers community will find the latest scams and help protect consumers against identity theft. "While there is a very active professional security community performing outstanding research and forensics on phishing sites, it's our experience that many of these phishing sites themselves aren't immediately reported to the ISP, or in the case of compromised sites, to the domain owners," said Alex Eckelberry, president of Windows security software provider Sunbelt Software Inc. Clearwater, Fla.-based Sunbelt has teamed with the privacy site CastleCops.com, based in New Jersey and staffed by Microsoft MVPs Paul and Robin Laudanski, to form the new group. More information on joining the team can be found on the CastleCops.com wiki.

Web analytics organization says no to spyware
The non-profit Web Analytics Association this week issued an anti-spyware statement of principles that it hopes will help consumers and businesses distinguish deceptive downloads and software from the types of browser cookies used to legitimately gauge Web site traffic. "Unethical spyware purveyors are giving honest Web analytics vendors a black eye," said CheetahMail Inc. privacy and compliance officer Ben Isaacson in a prepared statement announcing the company's support for the new policy. The Washington, D.C.-based organization is comprised of practioners, consultants, educators and vendors.

New PhishRegistry.org provides free online resource to stop online fraud
CipherTrust Inc. this week launched PhishRegistry.org, a free online resource in which registered members will be notified of online fraud attempts using the legitimate company's name. The site, to be managed and maintained by the Cambridge, Mass.-based messaging security provider, identifies instances of brand spoofing and then notifies the real organization so it can inform customers of phishing attacks using its branding. Consumers also may register to receive updates on financial institutions they patronize. The new service is part of the CipherTrust Research Portal that also includes TrustedSource.org and SpamArchive.org. It provides acces to research updates, events and statistics.

Freeware IDS/IPS now available as a VMware appliance
Superior, Colo.-based enterprise network security vendor StillSecure this week announced its Strata Guard Free IDS/IPS now comes as a VMware virtual appliance. This means customers can now access the ready-to-run version of Strata Guard Free in Linux environments, the company said in a news release. Virtual appliances aim to make deployment easier by eliminating installation and configuration hassles. By integrating Strata Guard Free, a pared down version of its Strata Guard, with VMware virtual infrastructure products, enterprises will be able to better leverage computing resources running on x86 servers or PCs.