Security Web Digest: Gartner Advises To Cancel Passport, Another AOL Password Scam... and More

Feds conduct big technology fraud bust... Security exec says that attacks are getting faster... Symantec Enterprise Firewall runs on IBM Linux midrange system... and more from around the web


Gartner is advising businesses using Microsofts Passport authentication service to pull the plug on it. The move is a response to a serious security flaw discovered May 7 that placed at risk the identities of roughly 200 million users of the online single-sign-on user-identity service. The flaw made it possible for an attacker, knowing little more than the identity name of the targeted user, to hijack the users Passport account and log in as if he were that user. Gartners report said Microsofts Passport woes wont bode well for other single-sign-on identity services, which have not yet succeeded in getting the consumer E-commerce market to accept identity services of this type.

Three U.S. government agencies arrested more than 130 people and seized $17 million worth of property in an Internet fraud sweep. The sweep, announced last week by the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), included arrests for credit card fraud, Internet auction fraud, theft of satellite TV signals, identify theft and the operation of a bogus Internet investment service. A Justice Department spokeswoman said the announcement is designed to show Internet scammers that cyber crime is a priority for U.S. law enforcement agencies.

Scammers are sending out invitations targeted at AOL members asking them to click on a link, which states that recipients have seven unread email messages. These invitations, although they are been sent via spam messages from dodgy sounding addresses like to world+dog, link to a plausible Web site ( This page, which is reached through Russian redirection service InstaKiss, prompts potential victims for their AOL usernames and passwords.


Symantec chief technology officer Robert Clyde is warning that theres a growing gap between the speed at which security attacks are being launched and the industrys ability to respond. Speaking at the Global E-Commerce Summit at the United Nations on Thursday, Clyde said that, historically, most attacks on Web sites are classified as Class III threats because they tend to take several hours and even days to execute. But in recent months, the industry has seen the emergence of Class II attacks--also known as Warhol attacks--that manifest themselves in minutes. "Over 90% of hosts that came under attack from SQL Slammer were hit in under 10 minutes," Clyde said.

Symantec on Monday announced the availability of Symantec Enterprise Firewall for IBM eServer iSeries 270 running Linux. By integrating full application inspection, application-layer proxies, stateful inspection and packet filtering into a hybrid architecture, the firewall ensures that the information entering and exiting the corporate network is thoroughly inspected at all levels, the company said in a statement. The Firewall includes a hardened Linux operating system, with the application, designed to provide users with a virtual firewall appliance to run directly on one of the logical partitions (LPAR), specific to the iSeries.