Security Web Digest: Sober Worm Crawling The Net ... and More

VPN performance boost to come from new partnership UK hacker acquitted, claims he was hacked New PC-cillin blocks spam, spyware, monitors networks Convicted spammers on the lam


A new virus called Sober arrives as an email in English or German with the payload coming as an attachment. It uses a wide variety of headers, promising that the attachment contains everything from pornography to an antivirus patch. Once activated the malware installs itself as drv.exe, similare.exe or systemchk.exe. It then mails itself to any found addresses using its own SMTP engine.


Security processor vendor Cavium networks is partnering with embedded Linux OS provider MontaVista to develop an integrated platform the companies said will deliver a two- to three-fold performance boost for VPNs. The combined product achieves 150M bps of IPSec performance, the companies said. The combined solution can also be used for accelerating voice over IPSec, SSL and 802.11i wireless LAN security processing.


In one case that was being watched as a bellwether by computer security experts, Aaron Caffrey, 19, was acquitted earlier this month in the United Kingdom on charges of hacking into the computer system of the Houston Pilots, an independent contractor for the Port of Houston, in September 2001. Caffrey had been charged with breaking into a system. Although authorities traced the hack back to Caffreys computer, he said that someone must have remotely planted a program, called a "trojan," onto his computer that did the hacking and that could have been programmed to self destruct.


Trend Micro Inc. released the latest version of its PC-cillin anti-virus software Monday, which now offers spam-filtering capabilities and the ability to monitor networks for viruses. The program also tracks and eliminates spyware.

In a historic first, a California court has fined an Internet marketing company $2 million for sending millions of unsolicited junk e-mails. The case was brought against PW Marketing, a Los Angeles-based Internet advertising company owned by Paul Willis and Claudia Griffin. The court found the company liable for sending a large quantity of spam that sold a $39 "how to" book for spammers and provided extensive lists of e-mail addresses. But the court may not collect the fine. Willis and Griffin failed to make court appearances and the California attorney generals office has no knowledge of where the pair are living.