The Security Blotter

Boston police change crowd-control tactics after fatality. When thousands of baseball fans poured into Boston's streets on the night of Oct. 21 to celebrate the Red Sox's American League pennant win over the New York Yankees, police attempting to control the crowd fatally injured a 21-year-old woman with a pepper-spray pellet gun advertised as nonlethal. On the night of Oct. 27, after the Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series for the first time in 86 years, Boston police deployed more than 700 officers

a few hundred more than the previous weekto control an estimated 70,000 fans celebrating in the streets, The Boston Globe reported. Police also worked to keep several crowds from joining into one mob. And instead of pellet guns, officers used an aerosol pepper spray in trouble spots. The night's revelry resulted in 63 injuries, mostly minor, and 39 arrests for disorderly conduct and similar offenses, police said.

Infosec tools adopted to prevent consumer ID fraud. In Britain, 28.4 million credit and debit cardholdersabout two of every three in the countrynow own cards armed with a new chip and personal identification number. The new cards are being issued to combat rising fraud trends: Credit and debit card fraud grew nearly 20 percent between January and July, and crimes involving cards lost or stolen in the mail increased 51 percent, according to the Association for Payment Clearing Services, a British trade group. More than 438,000 retail outlets have adopted cashier equipment to read the new cards.

In Massachusetts, officials unveiled a new driver's license with a hologramlike security feature and embedded ultraviolet state seals to prevent ID theft and underage drinking.

After Russian massacre, a soft-target warning to U.S. schools. Federal law enforcement authorities and the Education Department issued two security warnings in October, including one sent to officials from eight districts cited on a computer disk found in Iraq. That disk contained photos and floor plans about schools in Georgia, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon and California, The Associated Press reported.

The Department of Education e-mailed a second nationwide warning to school police, state school officers, school boards and groups representing principals advising school leaders to watch for people spying on their buildings or buses. The warning follows an analysis by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security of the September siege of a school in Beslan, Russia, that killed nearly 340 people, many of them children.

Wardriving spammer convicted. A 28-year-old Hollywood man was the first person convicted under the Can-Spam Act of 2003for using other people's wireless Internet accounts to send thousands of unsolicited adult-themed e-mails. In a California court on Sept. 27, Nicholas Tombros pleaded guilty to violating the federal law that prohibits breaking into someone else's computer to send spam. He admitted that he went "wardriving" around Venice Beach, Calif., with a laptop seeking unprotected wireless access points so that he could send the e-mails, according to U.S. Attorney Debra W. Yang. Tombros, to be sentenced Dec. 6, faces up to three years in prison.

Rocket warning gives Israelis 20 seconds to find cover. Israel Defense Forces have developed a system to give residents of towns like Sderot, near the Gaza Strip border, a 20-second warning that a Palestinian rocket attack is under way. The towns have been targeted by more than 325 rocket attacks in the past four years, killing four people between July and mid-October, The Washington Post reported. Israel launched a military operation in Gaza on Sept. 28 to try to stop the attacks. Residents told the paper the loudspeaker warnings could give schoolchildren time to find cover.

Police showed up in force in Boston as the Red Sox clinched the World Series.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 hot cybersecurity trends (and 2 going cold)