Security Web Digest: Auction Fraud, Security Trends, VPN Hardware... and More
Dissent and the Internet in Vietnam... Is intrusion detection oversold?... Is hardware security acceleration a good idea?... and more from around the web.Internet Robert Beck suspended his distrust of online auctions and went for a top-of-the-line speaker system. He cast a winning bid of $1,900, paid by credit card and waited for his first eBay purchase. The speakers never arrived. Last week, detectives confirmed to the 25-year-old engineer that the sellers, an Arizona couple, had cashed out their bank account and fled. The couple allegedly stole more than $100,000 from more than 500 bidders. The case has cast suspicion on eBay Inc.s anti-fraud software, which the San Jose-based company installed nearly a year ago to counter complaints about fly-by-night sellers. Beck and other victims say the software--which ostensibly gets better the longer its in use--should have alerted eBay to cancel the auction long before hundreds of people parted with their money. EBay maintains that less than one-one-hundredth of 1 percent of all listings are fraudulent. One of Vietnams best-known dissidents was arrested recently for trying to post documents on the Internet, in a sign of the regimes growing fear of losing control of the Web. Pro-democracy activist Dr Nguyen Dan Que, a thorn in Hanois side for the past three decades who was released from nearly 20 years jail sentence in 1998, was arrested at his home in southern Ho Chi Minh City. The foreign affairs ministry confirmed that the veteran campaigner would be prosecuted. "Que was caught at an Internet cafe handing over documents criticizing the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to a US-based organization called High Tide humanist movement," the official Vietnam News (VNA) agency reported. About a million Vietnamese have regular access to the Internet, according to estimates by foreign agencies, but many sites are blocked.
Legislation that aims to provide prosecutors with the tools they need to win convictions against child pornographers passed the House of Representatives as an amendment to the Child Abduction Prevention Act of 2003 (H.R. 1104) Thursday afternoon by a 406-15 vote. The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith (R.-Tex.), hopes to address last years Supreme Court decision in Ashcroft v. the Free Speech Coalition that struck down a 1996 law written to combat computer-generated pornography. The Court rejected a Congressional ban on "morphed" or "virtual" child pornography on free speech grounds. Smiths amendment bans any digital image, computer image or computer-generated image that depicts child pornography.