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by CSO Contributor

Treatment of Detained Immigrants Under Investigation; Ship Captain Says He Didnt Know of Violation; Virus May Be Spammers Attempt to Send Mail from New PCs

Jun 26, 20034 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Treatment of Detained Immigrants Under Investigation

In the face of continuing criticism from their own inspector general, Justice Department officials yesterday defended their treatment of foreign visitors who were detained after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a story in todays Washington Post. At a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday Glenn A. Fine, the department’s inspector general, said the government made a key mistake when it adopted a policy of holding the detainees without bond until they were cleared by the FBI. In New York, the situation was exacerbated because the bureau devoted few resources to determining whether the detainees were linked to terrorism and focused on investigating other leads while the detainees languished in custody. According to The New York Times, Fine also said his office was investigating possible abuses by federal prison guards in Brooklyn against illegal immigrants. Fine told members of the Committee that investigators found that some guards slammed inmates against walls, dragged them by their arms, stepped on the chains between their ankle cuffs and made slurs and threats like “you will feel pain” and “you’re going to die here,” the Times reports. The head of the federal prison system vigorously defended his agency’s handling of the inmates, as did officials from the F.B.I. and the Justice Department, saying the extraordinary circumstances after Sept. 11 demanded that they err on the side of caution in dealing with suspects.Ship Captain Says He Didnt Know of ViolationBalkan Sky, said he and his crew had no idea they were breaking the law when they entered Greek waters and sailed straight into a team of waiting commandoswho had been tipped off about the ship by a NATO antiterrorist task force. (See story summary from Mondays news.) An AP story today in The Boston Globe reports that the crew faces charges of entering Greek territorial waters without informing officials of its load of 750 tons of ammonium nitrate-based explosives and detonators. Baltak’s chronology of the ships voyage could answer some questions about the ship and its cargo. But new mysteries also emerged. For example, the story says, Baltak identified the vessel’s ”real owners” as Cristian McNulty of Ireland. Shipping documents say the vessel is controlled by a company in the tiny Pacific Island nation of Marshall Islands. Officials speculate that money issues were to blame for the ships bizarre course.

Anatoliy Baltak of Ukraine, captain of the cargo ship

Virus May Be Spammers Attempt to Send Mail from New PCsCnet story today, a new variant of a mass-mailing computer worm, called Sobig.E, started spreading yesterday. Initial analysis by antivirus companies indicated that the doesn’t have a malicious payload. However, e-mail service provider MessageLabs believes spammers will use the virus’s mail program on victims’ computers to send anonymous messages. reports that while there is no concrete proof that Sobig.E has been created and released by a spammer, many bulk e-mailers are already using computers infected with a previous variant of the computer virus to avoid leaving traces. Moreover, Mark Sunner, CTO at MessageLabs told that the fact that Sobig.E has an expiration dateit will stop spreading on July 14suggests that the creator doesn’t want its infection to turn into a full-blown epidemic. The program is spreading quite successfully, nonetheless. Copies have been seen in 16 countries, including the United States, the U.K. and the Netherlands. It appears in a recipient’s in-box with the subject line “Re: Movie” or “Re: Application.” The body of the message states, “Please see the attached zip file for details.” The malicious program, contained in an 80KB attachment, infects any PC running a Microsoft Windows operating system when the attachment is opened.

According to a