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SANS NewsBites is a semiweekly high-level executive summary of the most important news articles that have been published on computer security during the last week. Each news item is very briefly summarized and includes a reference on the web for detailed information, if possible.

Spend five minutes per week to keep up with the high-level perspective of all the latest security news. New issues are delivered free every Tuesday and Friday.

Volume XII - Issue #67

August 24, 2010

Tomorrow is the last day for savings on classes at SANS Network Security
2010 - September 19-27, in Las Vegas. 40 courses. Bonus evening
presentations include The Return of Command Line Kung Fu; and Cyberwar
or Business as Usual?; The State of US Federal CyberSecurity Initiatives.



Legislators Seek Answers From US Marshalls About Stored Body Scan Images


Microsoft Will Address DLL Issue in Service Packs, Not in Monthly
Patch Cycle
Four Arrested in Canada Over US $1.8 Million Payment Card Fraud Case
Researcher Arrested for Refusing to Divulge Who Gave Him Voting Machine
Police Confiscate Perfect Privacy Staff Computers
Blogetery Back Online
Google Updates Chrome
Google Privacy Lawsuits Consolidated
US Cyber Challenge Competitions

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Legislators Seek Answers From US Marshalls About Stored Body Scan Images (August 20, 2010)

US legislators want to know why US Marshalls Service stored images of body scans taken at a Florida courthouse. Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) sent a letter to the agency expressing their concern that citizens' privacy may have been violated. The letter was also signed by Senators Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Thomas Carper (D-Delaware), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) and Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia). The images stored were not accessed until the agency received a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). The Marshalls service says the images are not available without an administrative password. Despite the Marshall Service assurance that details were fuzzy enough so that people could not be identified, even by gender, the legislators want to know why the images were saved, if there are any other locations where full body imaging technology is being used, whether images from those locations are being stored, and if so, why.

**************** NEW COURSE AND FREE RESOURCES FROM SANS *****************

(1) "Combating Malware in the Enterprise" course at SANS (SEC569). How do you fight off malware when you have thousands of hosts? Course debut in Las Vegas (Sept'10) and Washington DC (Dec'10): http://www.sans.org/security-training/combating-malware-enterprise-1482-mid

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Microsoft Will Address DLL Issue in Service Packs, Not in Monthly Patch Cycle (August 23, 2010)

Microsoft says it will not issue patches to fix the critical DLL (dynamic link library) flaw in multiple applications, but will instead address the issue in future Windows and Office service packs. Microsoft also noted that "the root causes
[of the vulnerabilities ]
are in other vendors' products," and said it would work with those companies to help fix the flaws. The flaw was disclosed last week by researchers, one of whom presented a paper on the issue at a conference in February 2010. Internet Storm Center:


[Editor's Note (Hoelzer): When a developer is calling functions in your DLLs it's really hard to say that the root cause of a flaw is in that other developer's code.
(Northcutt): This is an increasingly interesting problem. The major software vendors are becoming more and more interconnected. Adobe is now working very closely with Microsoft to release patches. All large scale software will have vulnerabilities, but now what we see is one vendor's vulnerabilities can effect one or more other vendors.

Four Arrested in Canada Over US $1.8 Million Payment Card Fraud Case (August 23, 2010)

Four people have been arrested in Calgary in connection with a payment card fraud scheme. The group allegedly stole US $1.8 million from an unnamed short-term credit and financial services company by increasing the value of prepaid debit cards from that company and withdrawing funds from ATMs in Canada, the US and other countries. Those arrested are Ehud Tenenbaum, Priscilla Mastrangelo, Jean Francois Ralph, and Spyros Xenoulis. Tenenbaum has a history of criminal charges, first as "Analyzer" in the Solar Sunrise exercise, and later for credit cardfraud. All face charges of fraudulent use of credit-card data as well as additional counts of fraud.

Researcher Arrested for Refusing to Divulge Who Gave Him Voting Machine (August 23, 2010)

Police in India have arrested researcher Hari Prasad for refusing to name the individual who provided him with an electronic voting machine that had been used in recent elections. Prasad had pressed India's election commission to prove the voting machines' trustworthiness, but they refused to allow an independent security review of the machines. An insider allegedly obtained the machine for Prasad, and he and two other researchers made a video demonstrating several ways the machine could be compromised to affect election results.



Police Confiscate Perfect Privacy Staff Computers (August 20 & 23, 2010)

Police in Germany have confiscated five PCs and associated storage media while serving a search warrant for the house of an administrator who works for Perfect Privacy, a VPN (virtual private network) provider. The basis for the search warrant was the allegation that unnamed persons had sent criminal communications through Perfect Privacy servers in Erfurt, Germany. Perfect Privacy says the police did not take the VPN servers. The organization says that the servers are running but that they have disabled all services. The confiscated machines were used for administrative and other purposes, and are encrypted.


Blogetery Back Online (August 22, 2010)

Blog platform Blogetery.com is back online one month after its provider, Burst.net, shut it down. Last month, the FBI notified Burst.net that Blogetery was being used by al-Qaeda to distribute terrorism information. Burst.net said later that it shut down Blogetery because of terms of service violations. Blogetery operator Alexander Yusupov found a new host and reopened Blogetery on August 10.


Google Updates Chrome (August 20, 2010)

Google has released an updated version of its Chrome browser, 5.0.375.127, that fixes 10 vulnerabilities, two of which are considered critical and six of which are considered high risk. Google did not release any details about the vulnerabilities. It blocked public access to its bug-tracking database to prevent the flaws from being exploited before most people were upgraded to the latest version of the browser. One of the critical flaws could be exploited to cause memory corruption; the other could cause a crash on shutdown.



Google Privacy Lawsuits Consolidated (August 20, 2010)

Eight class action lawsuits filed against Google over its Street View wireless data collection have been consolidated and transferred to a California judge. Five additional cases may join the already consolidated case. The suits allege that Google violated federal and state privacy laws when it collected snippets of wireless data from unencrypted wireless networks while gathering data for Street View.
Consolidation Decision:

US Cyber Challenge Competitions (August 18, 2010)

Three states - California, Delaware and New York -- sponsored US Cyber Challenge security treasure hunts this summer. Before the challenges, participants attended a training camp. In the video of the event at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University in Brooklyn, Efstratios Gavas describes the importance of having a "venue to do good things,
[otherwise ]
you're going to end up doing bad things" and Director of the US Cyber Challenge Karen Evans "the path of how you can do really cool things and do the right thing and then have a job and ... contribute positively to society."


The Editorial Board of SANS NewsBites

Eugene Schultz, Ph.D., CISM, CISSP is CTO of Emagined Security and the author/co-author of books on Unix security, Internet security, Windows NT/2000 security, incident response, and intrusion detection and prevention. He was also the co-founder and original project manager of the Department of Energy's Computer Incident Advisory Capability (CIAC)

John Pescatore is Vice President at Gartner Inc.; he has worked in computer and network security since 1978.

Stephen Northcutt founded the GIAC certification and currently serves as President of the SANS Technology Institute, a post graduate level IT Security College, www.sans.edu.

Prof. Howard A. Schmidt is the Cyber Coordinator for the President of the United States

Dr. Johannes Ullrich is Chief Technology Officer of the Internet Storm Center and Dean of the Faculty of the graduate school at the SANS Technology Institute.

Ed Skoudis is co-founder of Inguardians, a security research and consulting firm, and author and lead instructor of the SANS Hacker Exploits and Incident Handling course.

Rob Lee is the curriculum lead instructor for the SANS Institute's computer forensic courses (computer-forensics.sans.org) and a Director at the incident response company Mandiant.

Rohit Dhamankar is the Director of Security Research at TippingPoint, where he leads the Digital Vaccine and ThreatLinQ groups. His group develops protection filters to address vulnerabilities, viruses, worms, Trojans, P2P, spyware, and other applications for use in TippingPoint's Intrusion Prevention Systems.

Tom Liston is a Senior Security Consultant and Malware Analyst for Inguardians, a handler for the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center, and co-author of the book Counter Hack Reloaded.

Dr. Eric Cole is an instructor, author and fellow with The SANS Institute. He has written five books, including Insider Threat and he is a senior Lockheed Martin Fellow.

Ron Dick directed the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) at the FBI and is the incoming President of the InfraGard National Members Alliance - with 22,000 members.

Mason Brown is one of a very small number of people in the information security field who have held a top management position in a Fortune 50 company (Alcoa). He is leading SANS' global initiative to improve application security.

David Hoelzer is the director of research & principal examiner for Enclave Forensics and a senior fellow with the SANS Technology Institute.

Mark Weatherford, CISSP, CISM, is Chief Information Security Officer at the North American Energy Reliability Commission (NERC).

Alan Paller is director of research at the SANS Institute.

Marcus J. Ranum built the first firewall for the White House and is widely recognized as a security products designer and industry innovator.

Clint Kreitner is the founding President and CEO of The Center for Internet Security.

Brian Honan is an independent security consultant based in Dublin, Ireland.

David Turley is SANS infrastructure manager and serves as production manager and final editor on SANS NewsBites.

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