Daily Report Thursday, December 28, 2006

Daily Highlights

The New Castle News reports two Pennsylvania men were arrested Monday, December 25, when police caught them stealing $10,000 worth of copper pipes from a Penn Power electrical substation. (See item 5)
The Houston Chronicle reports about 70 pieces of luggage were found inside a trash bin on Tuesday, December 26, most probably came from international flights arriving at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. (See item 15)

Information Technology and Telecommunications Sector

27. December 27, IDG News Service — Earthquake disrupts Internet access in Asia. A pair of powerful earthquakes (magnitude 6.7 and 6.4) off the coast of Taiwan damaged undersea cables and disrupted telephone and Internet access in Asia on Wednesday, December 27. "All of the ISPs in Singapore are affected," said Michael Sim, a spokesperson for Starhub Internet Pte. Ltd. Japan's NTT Communications Corp. said 84 leased lines were out of service as a result of the problems and international toll.free calling was being disrupted. Conventional international calling was in operation albeit with limited capacity. Taiwan's telecommunications infrastructure was hit hard, with just 40 percent of international calling capacity to the U.S. functioning normally. Calling capacity to Japan and China was also affected, with 11 percent and 10 percent of capacity operational. Damage to the cables also disrupted Internet access in China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Source: http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/12/27/HNearthquake_1.html

28. December 27, IDG News Service — Microsoft sees botnets as top '07 Internet threat. If there's one thing that Aaron Kornblum would like to quash, it's the botnet armies. Symantec Corp. counted more than 4.5 million of them during the first six months of the year, and according to Kornblum, they are the backbone of today's cybercrime. "Botnets are really where it's at for serious cybercriminals, because of their concentrated power," said Kornblum, a senior attorney with Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Safety Enforcement team. "That power can be used for all sorts of malicious conduct on the Internet." These armies of compromised computers are behind such scourges as spam, phishing and denial.of.service attacks. Botnets are changing the economics of cybercrime, according to Daniel Druker, executive vice president of marketing with Postini Inc. The botnet networks have emerged as the number one source of spam over the past year, giving spammers access to virtually unlimited bandwidth, he said. There typically are about 50,000 computers sending spam and malicious content at any given moment, Druker said. Usually, these computers will pop up and operate for about 45 minutes, and then go silent, making it hard for them to be identified.
Source: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9006818&source=rss_topic85

29. December 26, eWeek — Interest in SOA, SAAS expected to grow in 2007. For companies that use enterprise applications from the leading vendors, 2007 to some degree won't offer many surprises. The top vendors .. SAP, Oracle and to some degree, Microsoft .. will continue investing in service.oriented architectures (SOA) and will grow their investments in software as a service (SAAS), according to industry observers. All three companies will continue their investments in their respective next.generation enterprise resource planning suites, with an underlying middleware platform. On the spending front, North American enterprises will significantly increase their cash outlay for new software initiatives and projects, said Ray Wang, an analyst with Forrester Research. In his report "The State of Enterprise Software Adoption," Wang states that enterprises plan to spend an average of 30 percent of their total IT budget of software related costs in 2007 .. licenses, maintenance, operations and development. The top software priorities for next year will be improving integration between applications, upgrading security environments, and adopting SOA. SAAS spending will continue to increase among enterprises. Although medium and small companies lead as the current users of SAAS, 45 percent of Global 2000 and 32 percent of very large enterprises remain "somewhat interested" in adopting SAAS in 2007.
Source: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2074659,00.asp

30. December 21, VNUNet — Spam a lot worse in 2006: Report. This year has been categorized by a "relentless escalation" of spam activity throughout the year as annual average levels of unsolicited junk e.mail reached 86.2 percent, security watchers have estimated. According to the 2006 Annual MessageLabs Intelligence Report, this hike in spam volumes has been driven largely by new targeted techniques and an increase in the sophistication of botnets. The report adds that adoption of new levels of ingenuity has changed the focus of the threat landscape significantly, with spam overtaking viruses as the dominant menace over the past 12 months, a trend which is predicted to continue through 2007. The study noted that corporate and industrial espionage attacks are also on the rise through targeted Trojans intended to steal intellectual property and confidential information. MessageLabs reports intercepting two attacks per day, compared to a much lower rate of one per week at the same point in 2005.
Report: http://www.messagelabs.com/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_0_434_462_.462_43/http%3B/0120.0176.CTC1%3B8080/publishedcontent/publish/threat_watch_dotcom_en/intelligence_reports/2006_annual_security_report/2006_annual_security_report_5.pdf
Source: http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/analysis/2171429/christmas.spam alot.worse.2006