Identity theft has long been a concern in RISKS, where we have reported numerous cases. (For example, see my Illustrative Risks compendium, http://www.csl.sri.com/neumann/illustrative.html for browsing — click on Identity Theft — or .ps and .pdf for printing.) In the early days, most of the cases involved one-on-one usurpation or masquerading as a particular individual, going back even further than the infamous Terry Rogan case. More recently, identity theft is becoming an industry in its own right, with massive acquisition of personal data sufficient to do serious damage on a large scale. In the most recent cases, billed as probably the largest yet in the U.S., at least 30,000 people have been victimized as a result of an employee of a Long Island NY software company using a Ford Motor Credit Company code to access Experian. He obtained credit histories on people at the request of an identity theft ring operating in Brooklyn and the Bronx, to whom he sold that information for $60 a pop. Together with information the ring had already obtained, this enabled them to clean out the victims' bank accounts, make bogus loans, max out existing and newly obtained credit cards, etc. This operation had apparently been going on for three years, until — in response to numerous complaints — the FBI was able to arrest three people, who appeared in court yesterday in Manhattan. Victims are asked to call the Federal Trade Commission hot line at 1-877-IDTHEFT, or access www.ftc.gov. [Source: Benjamin Weiser, *The New York Times*, beginning on the front page, 26 Nov 2002; PGN-ed] [Also noted by Alan P. Burke http://www.msnbc.com/modules/exports/ct_email.asp?/news/839678.asp PGN]
Paul Festa, CNET News.com, 22 Nov 2002 When Deborah Fraser's credit card number was stolen, the thief didn't use it to buy a new car or a high-end laptop. Instead, the number was used to buy something potentially much more valuable--a domain name with the word "ebay" in it. In Fraser's case, that was the domain name "change-ebay.com," a scam Web site where an unknown number of eBay users may have been tricked into handing over their eBay username and password. ... http://news.com.com/2100-1017-966835.html
I went to change my password for eBay after seeing the article "What's real, what's a scam? eBay users wondering", (http://www.msnbc.com/news/837882.asp). There are significant security issues with eBay's password changing mechanism. When a user changes their password using the method provided by eBay, the new password is sent over the Internet unencrypted! This is especially bad given that there are a large number of users changing passwords given the scammers and legitimate eBay change requests mentioned in the above article. EBay's security policy states that they always encrypt your password. It's true that they do perform a lightweight encryption for sign-in. If you click the "Secure sign in (SSL) " link on the login screen, your login information is passed via SSL. This is a good thing. However, when you go to change your password, only the old password is encrypted. That is, YOUR NEW PASSWORD IS SENT UNENCRYPTED OVER THE INTERNET. You can log in securely once your password is set, but there's no way to securely set your password in the first place. I've used a packet sniffer (Ethereal) to verify this. When you change your password via the method eBay provides you, (My eBay, Preferences, Change My password) and enter your information into the form, the following string is sent unencrypted over the Internet: MfcISAPICommand=HandleNewPassword&from=###&userid=EBAYUSERNAME &pass=ENCRYPTED_OLD_PASSWORD&npass=UNENCRYPTED_NEW_PASSWORD &rpass=UNENCRYPTED_NEW_PASSWORD Note that the username and new password are plainly visible. Encrypting the old password doesn't help at this point as it's about to be changed. We want the _new_ one encrypted. So exactly how can I feel secure on eBay? An unscrupulous person at an ISP could take advantage of this by sending out faked ebay change-password e-mails and sniffing for password changes coming through. While the user would think everything is secured, they've just given away the new password. All kinds of personal data is then available within the user knowing the account has been compromised.
Subsequent analysis has now uncovered evidence that the Drexel frat buddies were apparently also able to collect on winning bets that had not yet claimed by the intended winners. (Over 14 years ago, we reported a lottery scam in RISKS-6.77, 4 May 1988, in which someone with insider access to the Pennsylvania lottery system had fabricated a ticket for an unclaimed winning combination and attempted to collect before the expiration date. Unfortunately for him, he had used the wrong card stock from the would-be winning ticket — each region had a different stock — and thus he was caught.)
How Windows deleted all the files in my Unix home directory. My department has a typical distributed computing environment. Unix/Linux workstations anywhere can remotely mount the file systems from central Unix servers. By the magic of Samba, Windows systems can also remotely mount file systems from the same servers. Not long ago, I logged into an NT machine that I'd never used before and was pleased to find that I was already a registered user with my customary login directory. How convenient! At logout, NT announced "Saving your settings" and stayed in that state for a remarkably long time. Back at Linux on my desk, I found my home directory curdled. The directory structure remained, but the files were gone throughout the directory tree. In their place was Microsoft boilerplate, such as "Favorites", to help me enjoy the good things of life like MSN and ESPN. What had happened was that my NT account had mistakenly been configured to set a "roving profile" to be my remote home directory. In the course of "saving your settings", Windows evidently assessed the profile as weird and quietly cleaned it up. Thus Windows, which is usually reluctant to remove even one file locally without asking for confirmation, blasted away 6000 files on a remote machine with impunity. Why not? They were mere Unix files.
Article by Robert Lemos, CNET News.com, 21 Nov 2002 The questionable handling of a fix for a recent widespread software vulnerability has some administrators worried that developers can't be trusted to make security a top priority. Last week, the Internet Software Consortium withheld the patch for a critical flaw in the domain name system (DNS) software from a large number of researchers, asking instead that each person send the organization an e-mail request in order to get the fix. The software, known as the Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) program, performs a critical function as the address book for the Net. The delay, coupled with messages sent to several administrators urging them to pay to become part of an early-warning group run by the ISC, has some security experts worried that security is taking a backseat to secrecy and money. ... http://news.com.com/2100-1001-966666.html
As seen in *The Register*: RIAA orders US Navy to surrender By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/28263.html In a timely reminder of who's really in charge here, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has mounted a daring raid on the US Navy. Acting unilaterally at the behest of the RIAA, Navy officials confiscated 100 computers on suspicion of harboring illegally downloaded MP3s, The Capital, an Annapolis, MD daily reports. A Naval official quoted confirms the raid, adding that punishment ranges from "court martial to loss of leave and other restrictions". For the RIAA, there are no half measures: you're either with them, or against them. So even if you're risking having your ass blown off for your country, there's no mercy. ... and in the Capital-Gazette Newspapers (Annapolis): http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/live/11_23-19/NAV and on slashdot: http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/02/11/24/2010223.shtml?tid=103 Archives at: http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/
It is ingenuous to suggest that the Bellingham, Washington pipeline rupture was a result of a computer/software fault. The NTSB accident report clearly attributes the failure to a combination of quality assurance lapses and operational errors. Although some of these are related to the SCADA environment, they are strongly overshadowed by: * multiple errors in the configuration and installation of a pressure relief valve upstream from the rupture, * physical damage by excavators to the pipeline during construction work, and * failure of the pipeline operator to act on inspection reports suggesting damage in the vicinity of the construction area. The report states that had the pipeline not been damaged, the pressure surge allowed even by the faulty relief valve would most likely not have resulted in a rupture. In this case, it seems that process-wide safety controls were in place and would have protected the pipeline from failure if the human factors of management and operational procedures had connected the reported system anomalies with a potential failure. A classic combination of multiple independent failures occurring within sufficiently close proximity where any single event would not have compromised the overall system integrity. Regulatory bodies will rightly bring up this incident when organisations involved in hazardous operations complain about the level of regulatory compliance procedures to which they are required to comply. Pekka Pihlajasaari <email@example.com> Data Abstraction (Pty) Ltd
In RISKS-22.09, Chris Brady reported on a BBC News article concerning readability problems of the controllers' display screens at the UK's New En-Route Centre (NERC), now the London Area Control Centre (LACC), for the London Flight Information Region, which came on-line in January 2002 after nearly a decade of development. Brady said "Obviously no-one thought to ask the controllers if they could actually read the screens clearly". I replied in Risks 22.12: "On the contrary, controllers were evaluating and training on the system for at least two years before it went live in January, and it is public knowledge that they were very active with their feedback......." I followed it up. It appears that the Head of Human Factors at National Air Traffic Services (NATS, the UK ATC service provider) identified a legibility problem with the size of text on the screens already in January 1997. It seems indeed that this problem was not adequately addressed before the NERC went live five years later, as the BBC and Brady reported. The source of this information is a letter which appeared in The Ergonomist, the organ of The Ergonomics Society ( http://www.ergonomics.org.uk ) in June 2002 from Barry Kirwan, who was Head of Human Factors at NATS from September 1996 until March 2000. The letter says that Kirwan and two other NATS ergonomists visited the NERC in January 1997 and "identified a number of problems, including a significant one with the legibility of the text on the screens. Legibility... is a function of a number of factors.... but the main problem seemed to be simply the size of text, given the viewing distance afforded by the work-station layout. Since this text referred to all of the main information available to the controller, including flight levels, we considered this an important issue." The letter goes on to describe Kirwan's attempts to have the issue addressed, and some organisational difficulties he encountered. He considers his group's "impact on the NERC interface" to be "relatively unsuccessful" and suggests some organisational reasons for it. Concerning the issue Brady and I discussed, he says "There was also advice from controllers, but some controllers' advice was seen as more valid than others'." I recommend reading the letter in full. Peter B. Ladkin, University of Bielefeld, http://www.rvs.uni-bielefeld.de
[You may reproduce this article on condition that "eGov monitor Weekly www.egovmonitor.com/newsletter/signup.asp" is included at the top and "Copyright KAM 2002" is included at the bottom. Ian Cuddy, Chief Editor, eGov monitor www.egovmonitor.com T 020 7384 1551 F 020 7384 2551 E firstname.lastname@example.org] UK Publishes Security Requirements for e-Voting (eGov monitor Weekly) www.egovmonitor.com/newsletter/signup.asp The UK Government has released a new set of security requirements that will form the baseline for all future implementations of electronic voting systems. This first statement of technical requirements will apply to the second phase of electoral modernisation pilots taking place in local government elections next May. The document was drawn up following an "urgent" consultation with IT suppliers earlier this year. The security requirements are considered by the Government to represent the standard by which security measures for e-voting can be considered "adequate and acceptable". This working definition is expected to change as local councils and their IT partners gain more experience of the practical arrangements of running e-voting systems. The criteria for the main security controls have been based on a "best-of-breed" set of principles compiled from various sources, including those used by the California Internet Voting Task Force. These principles - dealing with issues such as system reliability, voter authenticity and data integrity - have been translated into 15 high-level "control objectives", such as guaranteeing the confidentiality of the vote until it is counted. If fully met, this should ensure that threats associated with the use of e-voting systems and services are properly countered, the document claims. The actions necessary to implement each of the 15 control objectives form the technical security requirements, outlining, for example, the mechanisms, systems or procedure that should be in place. The document does not explain how this will be achieved. http://www.local-regions.odpm.gov.uk/elections/pdf/evoting.pdf - Ian Cuddy, eGov monitor Weekly, Copyright KAM 2002
The United Kingdom and other European countries have begun initiatives to convert all or part of their voting to electronic balloting (kiosk/DREs and/or Internet-based) systems. Europe appears to be rushing ahead to deploy computer voting technologies with serious sociological and technological downsides, such as lack of auditability, and increased opportunities for vote selling, monitoring, coercion, and denial of service attacks. During mid-October, 2002 I visited England, on the invitation of the Foundation for Information Policy Research, to meet with and brief members of the UK Cabinet and Parliament regarding this subject, and to provide technical lectures at the Royal Academy of Engineering and Cambridge University. My comments to the Cabinet are on the Cabinet Office's official website at http://www.edemocracy.gov.uk — a mildly corrected version is posted *here. I also formally submitted an additional follow-up comment as part of their "In the Service of Democracy" consultation, which explains why Internet voting is not appropriate for UK democratic elections. [Links can be found on Rebecca's Web site www.notablesoftware.com/evote.html Her testimony and comments should be looked at to gain some perspective on the scope and extent of the problem of implementing Internet and electronic voting. In the light of that testimony, the uk decision to proceed seems very RISKY indeed. PGN]
BKPRVPAP.RVW 20020926 "The Privacy Papers", Rebecca Herold, 2002, 0-8493-1248-5, U$69.95 %A Rebecca Herold %C 920 Mercer Street, Windsor, ON N9A 7C2 %D 2002 %G 0-8493-1248-5 %I Auerbach Publications %O U$69.95 +1-800-950-1216 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org %P 679 p. %T "The Privacy Papers: Managing Technology, Consumer, Employee, and Legislative Actions" The preface asserts that this volume is intended as an introduction to privacy for C-level executives. (I assume that means "Chief" executive officers, security officers, information officers, and the like, rather than referring to the grades they made in school.) This assertion is a bit odd, both in terms of the enormous size of the volume, and in terms of the statement, in the foreword, that the papers are included based on the editors personal choice. The introduction gives a historical look at early US privacy law. Part one deals with business organization issues, including papers on the privacy of employee e-mail (case studies that are often unresolved), e-mail pornography policy (have one), computer forensics and privacy (almost no content), policies for secure personal data (random security topics), security awareness (good program, but generic and not tailored for privacy), the case for privacy (vague thoughts, no case), attorney-client privilege and electronic data transmission (careless use of communications technology may void privilege), computer crime and analysis of computer evidence (you can get evidence from computers), a tale of two spies (spies may use computers), (US) federal laws affecting information systems auditors (more politics than details), computer forensics (*extremely* vague), the dangerous precedent set in the use of electronic identifiers (various cases linked *only* by the fact that *none* have been tested in court and therefore no precedents have been set), jurisdictional issues (almost irrelevant to privacy), anonymity on the net (generic), erosion of confidentiality (anecdotal reports), export regulations for cryptography (irrelevant to privacy), security awareness training (irrelevant), security standards (irrelevant to privacy), chief medical information officers (oddly irrelevant), information security management in healthcare (interesting and detailed), criminal activity on the Internet (clear but not much detail), identify theft (interesting but undetailed), identity theft (US-centric and not always helpful), obtaining information from ISPs (information service providers) (detailed content on a complex topic). Part two reviews tools and related technology. The first paper not only does not advise on its stated topic, selecting a cryptographic system, but it demonstrates essentially no understanding of cryptographic concepts, and a truly astonishing range of errors. (There definitely are inherent differences between symmetric and asymmetric encryption, asymmetric encryption does not use digital signatures, but provides for them, and the electronic codebook mode of DES [Data Encryption Standard] is not less able to provide authentication than the chaining modes.) Other essays deal with new paradigms for steganography (pointless), cookies and web bugs (a brief and limited apologia), online profiling (a political report on online business), intrusion detection systems (a review of a conference on the topic), Internet acceptable use policies (banal and unhelpful), ethics and the Internet (a brief take, only marginally about privacy), security of wireless LANs (long out of date), customer relationship management and data warehousing (little about privacy), anonymity, privacy, and trust (brief and random), Web certification (promotional piece for ICSA Labs), and an exhortation to get people to sign a confidentiality agreement. Part three is about US laws and issues. The pieces in this section are primarily either documents prepared by government departments, or prepared testimony before legislative committees (and sometimes both). There is a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions list) on the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) privacy rule prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services, testimony on HIPAA, a non-detailed description of the provisions of the Financial Services Modernization Act, a list of US laws with privacy provisions and another of proposed laws as of July 2001, testimony about privacy in wiretap laws, and a report on the Carnivore system. Part four turns to international laws and issues. The European Union directive on privacy is attacked as a barrier to trade, there is a detailed (but not very interesting or helpful) review of the EU directive and how it is implemented by some of the member states, a Department of Commerce description of the Safe Harbor program, and a list of international privacy laws. While isolated articles in this volume are interesting, the reader would have to be rather ignorant about privacy issues in order to get much out of the text overall. copyright Robert M. Slade, 2002 BKPRVPAP.RVW 20020926 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade
BKSIDSAL.RVW 20021012 "Security, ID Systems and Locks", Joel Konicek/Karen Little, 1997, 0-7506-9932-9, U$39.99 %A Joel Konicek %A Karen Little %C 225 Wildwood Street, Woburn, MA 01801 %D 1997 %G 0-7506-9932-9 %I Butterworth-Heinemann/CRC Press/Digital Press %O U$39.99 800-272-7737 www.bh.com/bh/ email@example.com %P 244 p. %T "Security, ID Systems and Locks: The Book on Electronic Access Control" This is an easy to read, illustrated, quick guide to a lot (not all) of physical security. Chapter one introduces electronic access control, primarily access cards and sensor systems. Then we got back to ancient history: chapter two looks at old fort and defensive technology, which lives on both in concepts and in terms still used. Credentials, such as identification and authentication systems, cards, and biometrics, are reviewed in chapter three. Chapter four deals with barriers like doors and locks, concentrating on electronic systems. Oddly, the issue of power failure is not addressed, although there is a good section on fire exits. Sensors, as the input part of an alarm or control system, are discussed in chapter five. There is a simple guide to (mostly Wintel) computers in chapter six. Cabling and other technology that may be used for communications in a security system is examined in chapter seven. Systems design, in chapter eight, scrutinizes a variety of aspects, some of which have been previously covered. Chapter nine, entitled system integration, is actually more system design. Chapter ten looks at how a number of companies are using electronic access. While limited to electronic systems, the book is a very reasonable guide to a lot of physical security technology. copyright Robert M. Slade, 2002 BKSIDSAL.RVW 20021012 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Please report problems with the web pages to the maintainer