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by CSO Contributor

Despite Critical Report, Ashcroft Wants to Expand Powers; Ridge Says Alert System Needs Refinement; BugBear Cousin Wreaking Havoc

Jun 06, 20032 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Despite Critical Report, Ashcroft Wants to Expand Powers

Attorney General John Ashcroft told Congress yesterday that he would like to strengthen the USA Patriot Act to allow capital punishment for all terrorist acts that result in fatalities and to prevent suspects accused of terrorism from being released on bond, according to a story in the Washington Post. The Post points out that Ashcroft’s request came just three days after the Justice Department’s inspector general suggested that law enforcement agencies had mistreated hundreds of immigrant detainees taken into custody after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Ridge Says Alert System Needs Refinement

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge acknowledged that the government’s much-criticized color-coded terrorism alert system needed adjustment and said his department would try to create a system that allowed for the level of alert to be raised for specific regions or industries, rather than for the whole country, according to a story in today’s New York Times. The story reports that Ridge suggested that at this time the intelligence on terrorist movements was still too vague to allow for the sort of state-by-state or industry-by-industry breakdown.

BugBear Cousin Wreaking Havoc

ComputerWorld reports that a new version of the Bugbear virus is spreading quickly on the Internet, according to alerts posted by leading antivirus companies. The story reports that like its predecessor, Bugbear.B attempts to exploit known vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Outlook, Outlook Express and Internet Explorer products that enable attachments to be automatically opened when the e-mail containing them is opened.