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by CSO Contributor

Lovegate Worm Spreading; Terror Threat to Americas Cup Regatta; Patriot Act Expansion Debated; Fears of Terror Complicate Art Exhibits

Feb 25, 20034 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Lovegate Worm Spreading

According to an IDG News Service report on the Computerworld website, theres been an outbreak of the Lovgate.C worm, a variant of an earlier worm with the same name. It propagates itself by replying to e-mail in a user’s in-box with an attachment containing the bad code. It then installs a backdoor port that allows a remote user to access and modify files on an infected user’s system. The worm is affecting users of Microsoft Corp.’s Outlook and Outlook Express e-mail programs. The overall risk of the worm is currently classified as “medium.” A Reuters story on today reports that the worm spread quickly through Asia and Europe on Monday but slowed down as U.S. companies updated their anti-virus software, a computer security researcher said. Terror Threat to Americas Cup RegattaNew Zealand Herald. Letters warning that an escalation of events in Iraq could trigger terrorist action were sent to the United States Embassy and the British and Australian High Commissions at the same time last week. Two of the three letters were harmless but one (which officials have not revealed) contained cyanide. The New Zealand Herald received a copy of the letter as well, which included a powder that analysis showed to be harmless. New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark did not comment, but Foreign Minister Phil Goff said: “This is, I think, the action of a disturbed person using a political pretext for taking the action he or she has.” Nonetheless, the Herald says police and health chiefs have made a rare public warning for all New Zealanders to be vigilant when taking public transport, eating in restaurants and public places or eating packaged foods.

A national security alert has been sparked in New Zealand after the discovery of a letter containing cyanide which makes a terrorist threat to the America’s Cup, according to a story in todays

Patriot Act Expansion quotes displeased lawmakers and policy experts. Many members of Congress and the Senate Judiciary Committee say the Justice Department repeatedly denied it was developing a bill to expand the government’s spying authority outlined in the Patriot Act, which was rushed through Congress shortly after September 11, 2001. The story, from Medill News Service, reports that lawmakers question the process of introducing the legislation and the timing, suggesting the department has been secretive in order to release the bill at a more propitious time, namely in the wake of heightened security concerns subsequent to a possible attack on Iraq. At Saturday’s meeting of the Democratic National Committee, presidential hopeful Senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) said, “We need to have the backbone and courage to say that we will not let [U.S. Attorney General] John Ashcroft, in the name of the war on terrorism, take away our rights, take away our liberties, and take away our freedom.”

A secret domestic security plan to expand electronic surveillance power treads too heavily on individual privacy, a story on

Fears of Terror Complicate Art ExhibitsNew York Times, concerns over terrorism are complicating the business of large international loan exhibitions that have long been the lifeblood of museums. Since 9/11, European institutions have become reluctant to lend their prize works of art, particularly to New York museums, without new assurances of beefed-up security and increased terrorism insurance. For example, the Times says, after much negotiation with officials at museums like the Louvre, the Picasso Museum and the Pompidou Center, the heads of New Yorks Metropolitan Museum and Museum of Modern Art promised to pay for additional commercial insurance that covers the effects of terrorism, including fire. They also said both museums have added security. But the cost of such insurance has escalated so dramatically that it threatens to break budgets just as these institutions are struggling with dwindling sponsorships and cutbacks in public funds.

According to a story in todays