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by CSO Contributor

New Anti-Spam Strategy; New E-mail Worm Spreads; Security Outlook for 2003; New Luggage Screening Rules in Effect

Jan 02, 20033 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

New Anti-Spam Strategy

According to a story in the New York Times today, a researcher at AT&T Labs suggests a new method for fighting spam. John Ioannidis suggests adopting something he calls “single-purpose addresses” rather than continuing to refine software filters that try to sort the good from the bad. Under the system, users would generate single-purpose addresses with special software. Single-purpose addresses wouldn’t replace permanent e-mail addresses, but would be used when the senders have no continuing relationship with the other parties and fear that their e-mail addresses might be sold or given to spammers. Online purchasing or newsgroup postings are obvious examples. A user would select how long the address would exist and to have the address work only when sent from a specific domain. The software then generates an address of 26 characters that appear to be a jumble of numbers and letters. Lobbyists still insist that legislation is the only way to really kill the spam problem.New E-Mail Worm SpreadsBBC News today, the Windows e-mail worm called Yaha.K has now been reported in 100 countries, predominantly in the U.K. and the Netherlands. Anti-virus companies are calling it high risk. The worm raids the Windows address book to e-mail itself to contacts, forging e-mail addresses. It may also try to shut down security-related software, such as firewalls and anti-virus programs, or launch a denial of service attack against a Pakistani government site.

According to the

Security Outlook for 2003Business Week predicts that 2003 will pose some daunting challenges to CSOs and the organizations they protect. At the same time, improvements in software and technology will elevate computer security to another level. The story, called Toward a More Secure 2003, foresees trends for the coming year: more spam, identity theft, hardware developments and more.

The Dec. 31 issue of

New Luggage Screening Rules in EffectOrlando Sentinel, hundreds of new government screeners took their posts at Orlando International Airport (OIA); hourlong lines at check-in counters snaked across the carpeted floor; and most folks resigned themselves to a long wait. Congress has also required that 90 percent of all checked luggage be electronically screened with multimillion-dollar bomb-detecting machines, but the TSA couldn’t fully meet the Jan. 1 deadline because machines couldn’t be made fast enough. Some of the machines are vehicle-sized, requiring renovations at some of the 424 airports where they are being required. Specifics about how many bags would be electronically screened or hand-searched weren’t available from OIA officials, and TSA workers referred all questions to officials in Washington, D.C., who are keeping mum for security reasons. In Connecticut, Bradley International Airport began operating the giant X-ray machines known as InVision CTX 5500 scanners, according to the Hartford Courant today. The $1 million scanners use computerized tomography X-ray technology to create a three-dimensional picture of any bombs or explosives and highlight them in red on a color monitor. Dan Lee, a member of Bradley’s TSA team, said everything went as expected early Wednesday. “We implemented 100 percent baggage screening at 11:59 p.m. [Tuesday],” Lee said. “We were prepared and we met the deadline. “

New Year’s Day was the deadline for the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) stepped-up screening of all checked luggage. According to an article in the