Computer Hacker Fugitive Extradited for Cybercrimes Relating to VOIP Telephone Services
… A 20-count Indictment charges Pena with conspiracy to secretly hack into the computer networks of unsuspecting Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone service providers; conspiracy to commit wire fraud by transmitting telephone calls over the victim’s networks; and individual hacking and wire fraud counts.
… Pena was first charged on June 6, 2006, in the District of New Jersey in a criminal Complaint that set forth the scheme described in the subsequent indictment. He was arrested on that Complaint on June 7, 2006, and released the next day on $100,000 bail set by a federal magistrate judge in Florida. Pena appeared in Court in New Jersey on June 29, 2006, and on approximately Aug. 12, 2006, Pena allegedly fled the country to avoid prosecution.
Pena was indicted on fraud and computer hacking charges for his role in a scheme to defraud Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone service providers. Pena, who purported to be a legitimate wholesaler of these Internet-based phone services, allegedly sold discounted service plans to his unsuspecting customers. The Indictment alleges that Pena was able to offer such low prices because he would secretly hack into the computer networks of unsuspecting VoIP providers, including one Newark-based company, to route his customers’ calls.
Through this scheme, Pena is alleged to have sold more than 10 million minutes of Internet phone service to telecom businesses at deeply discounted rates, causing a loss of more than $1.4 million in less than a year. The victimized Newark-based company, which transmits VoIP services for other telecom businesses, was billed for more than 500,000 unauthorized telephone calls routed through its calling network that were “sold” to the defendant’s unwitting customers at those deeply discounted rates, according to the Indictment.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erez Liebermann in the U.S. Attorney’s Office Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property group, within the Commercial Crimes Unit.
Local Probably a small breach, but some examples of good and bad things to say to the press.
Debit card breach is traced to Cheers Liquor Mart
Wayne Heilman reports:
A debit card breach affecting thousands of Colorado Springs area cardholders resulted from outside hackers gaining access to Cheers Liquor Mart’s computer system sometime last month, owners of the Springs-based retailer said Friday.
Cheers hired Cyopsis LLC, a Denver-based information technology forensics and investigations firm, to determine the source of the breach and prevent further breeches, said Jeff Robinson, one of four owners of one of the city’s largest liquor retailers. Cyopsis is working with Colorado Springs Police to determine who was responsible for the alleged theft of the store’s customer information, which appears to have been done by “an organized group,” he said.
Read more in The Gazette.
[From the article:
We don’t believe we are any more at risk now than any other merchant. I would use my own card there now,” Robinson said. [Best assurance that the breach has been patched I've read in many a year... Bob]
… Police spokesman Lt. David Whitlock said Friday no new information on the investigation is available. He said Thursday that “thousands” of customers from five financial institutions operating in the Springs area had their numbers stolen from an unidentified local merchant. He declined to identify either the merchant or the financial institutions. [The fact that only one merchant is involved kinda makes his “declining to identify” rather moot. Bob]
Ent Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union and Air Academy Federal Credit Union all began notifying affected cardholders of the breech last weekend after detecting suspicious transactions on their cards. [...and there are three of your five financial institutions. Bob]
I'll take a screen-shot of the pop-up message I got this morning so I'm ready to join the Class Action lawsuit. (There is more than one way to protect your browser monopoly.)
Sneaky Microsoft Add-On Put Firefox Users At Risk
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday October 16, @04:14PM from the bad-microsoft-no-donut dept.
CWmike writes to mention that the "Windows Presentation Foundation" plugin that Microsoft slipped into Firefox last February apparently left the popular browser open to attack. This was among the many things recently addressed in the massive Tuesday patch.
"What was particularly galling to users was that once installed, the .NET add-on was virtually impossible to remove from Firefox. The usual 'Disable' and 'Uninstall' buttons in Firefox's add-on list were grayed out on all versions of Windows except Windows 7, [I'll have to buy Windows7 when it's released in order to remove the malware the author of Windows7 installed on my machine? Bob] leaving most users no alternative other than to root through the Windows registry, a potentially dangerous chore, since a misstep could cripple the PC. Several sites posted complicated directions on how to scrub the .NET add-on from Firefox, including Annoyances.org."
(Related) Looks like Microsoft is trying to level the playing field the old fashioned way.
Microsoft Lets Safari Beat FireFox in Europe, FireFox Furious
By Alex Wilhelm on October 16, 2009
… Given the long term discomfort of the EU about the inclusion of Internet Explorer, notwithstanding their silence of the imperialism of Notepad, Microsoft has offered to include at the launch of Windows to provide options. When a user first fires up Windows, they will get to select a browser to install.
Here comes the problem, the browsers will be listed alphabetically. When you test the user selections, the votes come in: IE, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and then Opera. This is a horror show for Firefox, a great bump for Chrome and Safari, and a free boost for the oft ignored Opera.
[I think that should read: Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft IE, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera Software's Opera Bob]
Bob's short and twisted course on Copyright Law: First, you don't get to express your opinion on Copyright Law, you aren't a lobbyist and therefore can't pay large bribes.
Secret ACTA Treaty May Sport "Internet Enforcement" Procedures After All
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday October 16, @01:11PM
"Ars Technica writes about the recent work on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, and reveals that while the public does not have access to the text of the agreement, a handful of lawyers representing Big Content and numerous companies and organizations do. 'Turns out that... ACTA will include a section on Internet "enforcement procedures" after all. And how many people have had input on these procedures? Forty-two. ... Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) found out in September that the US Trade Representative's office had actually been secretly canvassing opinions on the Internet section of the agreement from 42 people, all of whom had signed a nondisclosure agreement before being shown the ACTA draft text.'"
Canadian Copyright Lobby Fights Anti-Spyware Legislation
Posted by Soulskill on Saturday October 17, @12:09AM from the stop-being-jerks dept.
An anonymous reader writes
"New Canadian anti-spam and anti-spyware legislation is scheduled for a key vote on Monday. Michael Geist reports that the copyright lobby has been pushing to remove parts of the bill that would take away exceptions which currently allow spyware to be installed without authorization. 'The copyright lobby is deeply concerned that this change will block attempts to track possible infringement through electronic means.' There have also been proposals to extend the exemptions granted to telecom providers to include the installation of programs without the user's express consent, which Geist says will 'leave the door open to private, surreptitious surveillance.'"
Third: Never listen to the content creators. They are artistes, and therefore have no concept of business. (And whatever you do, ignore publishers like Baen Books, who found that giving away their e-books increased sales every time. Just pretend this is a statistical anomaly.)
Author Encourages Users to Pirate His Book
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday October 16, @03:28PM from the listen-to-the-content-creator dept.
"Peter Cooper, the author of Beginning Ruby, breaks down how he gets paid for the book, including the advance and royalties, giving a nice clean explanation of how authors get paid for their books. He also describes the negotiations over the second edition of the book, in which he begged his publisher, Apress, to offer the ebook version for free, believing (strongly) that it would promote sales of the paper book. He even notes that the original version's ebook barely had noteworthy sales, so it seemed reasonable to offer up the ebook for free to drive more attention. No dice. Even though Apress has done that with other similar titles, it wouldn't agree. As he retains the copyright for the actual text, he encourages people to buy the book and create an online version of it without covers, contents table and indexes, promising not to enforce his copyright over the new work."
Interesting stats, including: 40% of those surveyed blocked social networks.
October 16, 2009
Fulbright’s 6th Annual Litigation Trends Survey Report
News release: "Companies are seeing a litigation wave that corporate counsel expect to swell in the coming year, according to respondents of Fulbright’s 6th Annual Litigation Trends Survey Report. Corporate counsel say they are steeling themselves for a big year of litigation with 42% of U.S. respondents anticipating an increase in legal disputes their companies will face in the next 12 months. That is up from 34% of last year’s respondents. The expectation comes during a year when 83% of U.S. respondents reported that new litigation has been commenced against their companies in the past year, up from 79% last year... More than one-third of companies say the economic downturn has resulted not only in an increase in their litigation caseloads, but also their use of alternative fees. Tighter cost control, more than anything else, is the most important way in which the economic crisis has affected litigation management, respondents say."
I expected their costs to be low, but I hadn't actually calculated how low.
YouTube’s Bandwidth Bill Is Zero. Welcome to the New Net
By Ryan Singel October 16, 2009 2:10 pm
Is this really a good idea? Should we allow manufacturers to bid for the supply contracts? Can schools compare Apples to non-Apples?
Laptop for every pupil in Uruguay
By Verónica Psetizki Montevideo, Uruguay
… Uruguay is part of the One Laptop Per Child scheme, an organisation set up by internet pioneer Nicholas Negroponte. His original vision was to provide laptops at $100 (£61) but they proved more expensive.
The Uruguay programme has cost the state $260 (£159) per child, including maintenance costs, equipment repairs, training for the teachers and internet connection.
I'm sure I'll find a use for these. My sense of humor is that strange.