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by CSO Contributor

Computer Student on Trial for Aid to Muslim Websites; More Attack Code Surfaces for MS Security Holes; U.S. to Consider Alternatives to Air Marshals; Hundreds Isolated in Beijing on SARS Fears

Apr 27, 20043 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Computer Student on Trial for Aid to Muslim Websites

Sami Omar al-Hussayen, a graduate student pursuing a doctorate in computer sciences at the University of Idaho, is on trial in Boise, accused of plotting to aid and to maintain Islamic websites that promote jihad. According to a story in The New York Times today, Hussayen was webmaster to several Islamic organizations, helping to maintain Internet sites with links to groups that praised suicide bombings in Chechnya and in Israel. But he himself does not hold those views, his lawyers said. The Times reports, in fact, that he led a candlelight vigil in the college town of Moscow, Idaho, shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, to condemn the attacks as an affront to Islam. His lawyers say his role was like that of a technical editor, and that he could not be held criminally liable for what others wrote. He is charged with three counts of conspiracy to support terrorism and 11 counts of visa and immigration fraud. It is one of the few times anyone has been prosecuted under language in the USA Patriot Act, which makes it a crime to provide “expert guidance or assistance” to groups deemed terrorist.More Attack Code Surfaces for MS Security, just days after Microsoft Corp. warned its customers about the release of code that can exploit a hole in its Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) library, new code that claims to exploit another recently disclosed hole surfaced on a French-language website. The code could be used by a remote attacker to trigger a buffer overrun vulnerability in the Local Security Authority Subsystem. Microsoft issued a patch on April 13. The code was released on Saturday, according to the K-Otik website, which hosts the exploit. It was unclear today whether the exploit code works, but notes attached by its author say some modifications may be necessary before the code can be used by a remote attacker to compromise Windows machines.

According to an IDG News Service story on

U.S. to Consider Alternatives to Air MarshalsAirwise News, Asa Hutchinson, Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said yesterday that the United States is ready to consider measures other than armed sky marshals to ensure security on transatlantic flights because of resistance from some E.U. countries. Hutchinson, attending E.U.-U.S. talks on transport security cooperation, said, “There could be alternative security measures to be put in place.” He gave no details of any alternative security measures, but said they should allow the grounding of flights to be kept to an absolute minimum.

According to a Reuters report in

Hundreds Isolated in Beijing on SARS FearsThe Straits Times from Singapore reports today. Chinese authorities last week said a researcher at the Beijing-based Institute of Virology contracted SARS and infected a nurse who took care of her at a Beijing hospital. So far there are six suspected and two confirmed cases in Beijing and Anhui province.

More than 600 people have been isolated in Beijing as the city moved to prevent a SARS outbreak from spreading ahead of the busy Labor Day (May 1) holidays,