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by CSO Contributor

FTC Takes a Close Look at Spyware; Open Source Vulnerability Database Open to Public; Fears Return over Homegrown Terrorists; Southwest Detroit Residents to Install Cameras to Deter Crime

Apr 19, 20043 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

FTC Takes a Close Look at Spyware

The Washington Post reports that the Federal Trade Commission today is hosting a daylong workshop in Washington to discuss the effects of hidden software that may be used to control or spy on a computer without its user’s knowledge. According to the report, the FTC is watching to see if criminals start making widespread use of this technology to steal credit-card and Social Security numbers of unwitting computer users.Open Source Vulnerability Database Open to Public reports that the Open Source Vulnerability Database (OSVDB), which was developed to catalog and describe the Internet’s security vulnerabilities, has opened for public use. According to the report, the OSVDB group said it wants to promote greater, more open collaboration between companies and individuals, eliminate redundant work and reduce the costs associated with the development and maintenance of in-house vulnerability databases.


Fears Return over Homegrown TerroristsGreenwich Time, FBI agents searched a rented storage locker in a small east Texas town in April last year, and were alarmed to discover a huge cache of weapons and the ingredients to make a cyanide bomb capable of killing thousands. The arsenal, including nearly half a million rounds of ammunition and more than 60 pipe bombs, belonged to William Krar, a 63-year-old Texan with an affinity for anti-government militias and white supremacist views. The FBI stumbled upon Krar in 2002 after he sent a package containing numerous forged identification documents to a member of the New Jersey Militia. The package was mistakenly delivered to a resident of Staten Island, N.Y., who turned it over to police. Mark Pitcavage, director of fact-finding for the Anti-Defamation League, told the Tribune that criminal acts by right-wing extremists “remain at a very high level,” including the slayings of three law enforcement officers last year.

With the nation focused on terrorist threats from abroad in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, experts wonder if a startling Texas case, which FBI agents discovered only by accident, could be a harbinger of homegrown attacks to come. According to a Chicago Tribune story appearing in todays

Southwest Detroit Residents to Install Cameras to Deter CrimeThe Detroit Free Press today, residents and city officials alike say illegal dumping has been a problem throughout Detroit for years. Now a southwest Detroit community policing organization plans to install six hidden video cameras in high-crime areas to catch illegal dumpers and criminal acts. Because it doesn’t want to tip its hand, the group won’t say where the cameras will be. The wireless video cameras would be on 24 hours a day and monitored by volunteers via a password-only Internet network. The hope is that the presence of the cameras will deter open-air drug trafficking, illegal dumping and other street crimes that degrade the quality of life for southwest Detroit residents. The Free Press says Wendy Waggenheim, director of communications for ACLU Michigan, said concerns remain about how video records might be kept, who would have access to the tapes and the potential misuse of cameras by volunteers with minimal training.

According to a story in