Security Web Digest: Telecom Security, Bioagent Detection, Domain Thievery Appeal... and More

The music industry uses IM spam to fight piracy... Student song thiefs settle... Klez.H still the king of the viruses... and more from around the web

Homeland Security

President Bush this week chose Lucent Technologies CEO Patricia Russo to join a panel looking at ways to better secure the nations telecommunications infrastructure. The panel provides the president with analysis and recommendations related to making the nations telecommunications infrastructure better able to withstand disasters.

After operating for several years in a quiet mode, Integrated Nano-Technologies released information about its upcoming nanotechnology-based BioDetect system, a portable pathogen and biological agent detector. The complete system consists of a briefcase-sized analyzer and disposable test cards. A single test card can be used to simultaneously test for hundreds of pathogens. Different cards can be developed to test for different biological agents, including anthrax, smallpox, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Digital Music

The music industry started sending the first of a million instant messages Tuesday to computer users it suspects of trading pirated music. The Recording Industry Association of America joined three other groups representing songwriters, music publishers and artists in what it described as an educational campaign directed at millions of Kazaa and Grokster users. The first 200,000 messages went out Tuesday. It expects to send a million in the first week. The automated messages warn individuals that what theyre doing is illegal and could get them sued.

Four university students on Thursday agreed to pay thousands of dollars each to settle online music piracy charges, ending the record industrys most aggressive thrust yet against individual file swappers. The RIAA sued four students separately last month for running services that searched computers connected to their college networks for MP3 song files. The settlements will see each student making payments to the RIAA totaling between $12,000 and $17,000, split into annual installments between 2003 and 2006. The lawsuits as filed could have entailed damages (in theory) of up to $100 million.


A survey from antivirus software maker Sophos on the most reported computer viruses placed Klez-H, a year-old piece of code, on top, accounting for almost 13 percent of customer reports to the company. A variant of Lovgate-E and the Bugbear-A viruses were second and third respectively.

Domain Dispute

The man found guilty of fraudulently stealing domain continued his legal fight with a plea to the US Supreme Court Wednesday. Stephen Michael Cohen filed the appeal after both a San Francisco court in 2001 and the US Court of Appeals last year rejected his arguments. Mr Cohen has never disputed that shortly after his release from jail for the third time in 1995, he forged a document purporting to authorize the handing over of from Gary Kremen to himself. This was sent to Internet company VeriSign in order to defraud them into handing him control of the domain.