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by CSO Contributor

New Activity Factors in Terror Alert; Senate, House Members Say Intelligence Director Must Have More Power; MyDoom Targets Yahoo

Aug 04, 20043 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

New Activity Factors in Terror Alert

New intelligence which pointed to a terrorist attack on either New York or Washington D.C. led to the raised threat alert, not just years old intelligence on specific buildings, government officials said Tuesday. According to a story in The New York Times, the new intelligence reached the White House only late last week. The disclosure comes one day after the Bush administration acknowledged that much of the intellilgence that led up to the alterts was three or four years old. In an appearance Tuesday, DHS Secretary Tom Ridge responded tersely to questions that election-year politics may have influence the warning. “We don’t do politics in the Dept. of Homeland Security,” Ridge said. “The detail, the sophistication, the thoroughness of this information, if you had access to it, you’d say we did the right thing.”

For the full story, read The New York Times.

Senate, House Members Say Intelligence Director Must Have More Power

Senior members of the Senate and House criticized the Bush administration’s plan for a national intelligence director, as recommended by the 9/11 commission, saying that the new director should have more power in budgetary and personnel decisions. According to a story in the Washington Post, critics in the House and Senate worried that without giving a new director authority over budgets and personnel, this person would be a mere figurehead. Said Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), a former chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: “If you don’t have the authority to pick the people, isn’t a national director just a shell game and a shell operation?” White House spokesman Scott McClellan said that the president would see that the new director has the power he or she needs to do the job.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s Washington Post.

MyDoom Targets Yahoo

A new variant of the MyDoom virus, MyDoom-Q, is spreading. Accordiing toa story in The Register, the worm spreads via e-mail, with a spoofed sending address. The body of the e-mail contains an attached Zip file that includes the viral code. Once opened, the payload installs itself on the users machine and uses a list of names that it puts through Yahoo’s “People Search” function in an attempt to find more names. MyDoom-Q is far less virulent than its predecessors, because it does not leave a backdoor on infected PCs, by which it could use the computer to create a network of zombie PCs. Most anti-virus firms rate MyDoom-Q in the medium-risk category.

For more details, read the full article in The Register.