Security Web Digest: New Weapons Against Software Piracy ... Earthlink Takes On Spam


A California judge cleared eBay in a libel suit that alleged the Web auctioneer was legally responsible for one of its sellers negative comments about a bidder, the company said Monday. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Thomas Willhite on April 28 dismissed the libel claim, finding eBay immune under the federal Communications Decency Act of 1996, or CDA. Roger Grace, an attorney who publishes seven legal newspapers in California, in January sued eBay and Hollywood memorabilia dealer Tim Neeley after Neeley posted unflattering feedback about Grace and eBay refused to remove the comments. Grace bought six vintage entertainment magazines from Neeley.

A module of the latest release of GenuOnes Internet monitoring software, GenuNet 3.0, allows companies to protect their brands by patrolling online distribution channels, including online trading sites such as eBay and business-to-business trade boards, to watch out for suspicious activities. Through an agreement with eBay, the GenuNet Marketplace Tracking module queries eBays back end, extracting key pieces of information for the auction listings of a particular company, according to Suneer Maheshwary, product manager at Boston-based GenuOne. Then the company can contact eBays verified-owner-rights program and ask to have an auction ended if it feels its license is being infringed on, Maheshwary said.

Two UK men, both alleged members of The Brotherhood, a worldwide child porn ring, were arrested Wednesday in an "International Day of Action". The UK men were among 21 board owners, senior administrators and administrators of a complex Internet pedophile network. The Brotherhood pedophile ring was unearthed at the beginning of this year when the FBI arrested a man in Colorado for grooming a young child in a chat room and meeting her for a sexual purpose. The UKs National Hi-Tech Crime Unit office identified the man as Wizard, a board owner, and senior administrator of other boards and a member of The Brotherhood.

A district court in Atlanta on Wednesday awarded EarthLink $16 million in damages against a New York man that it alleged used illegal means to send out more than 825 million unsolicited e-mail messages. In a statement Wednesday morning, the Internet service provider said a ring led by Howard Carmack obtained Internet accounts using stolen credit cards, identity theft and bank fraud, then used those accounts to send out reams of spam.

Software Vulnurabilities

Six security vulnerabilities in America Onlines free ICQ Pro instant messaging client give attackers a number of new ways to gain remote control over machines running the software, according to an advisory published Monday by Core Security Technologies. The vulnerabilities affect all versions of the Mirabilis ICQ Pro instant messaging client up to and including the Mirabilis ICQ Pro 2003a release. ICQ Lite, another free version of the product, is not affected by the vulnerabilities, according to Ejovi Nuwere, lead security engineer at Core Security. The most serious of the vulnerabilities were found in a POP3 mail client that is integrated with the ICQ Pro product. A format string vulnerability and a buffer overflow vulnerability in the client could enable a malicious hacker to remotely attack a machine running ICQ and execute malicious code on the system. Attackers could use improperly formatted e-mail messages to deliver the attack, according to Nuwere.


The software industry has a new weapon in its fight against software piracy -- a cartoon ferret. Decked in baggy jeans and a tight T-shirt, the grinning critter is the mascot of, the centerpiece of a campaign by the Business Software Alliance to teach kids as young as 8 years old "safe and responsible" computing practices. The site includes games featuring the cartoon ferret that seek to teach kids about software licenses, computers and pirated CD-ROMs. It also features a list of the usual safety tips for children online, including not engaging in online chats with strangers who could be sexual predators.