Archive for January, 2009

Tough Times for the City of San Francisco

I attended the ISSA-LA meeting last Wednesday. While I was eating lunch there, someone first told me about the nasty insider incident that occurred recently in San Francisco. A city of San Francisco computer engineer, Terry Childs, allegedly reset all network administrators’ passwords in the city’s network, which then became inaccessible for an extended period of time. The total loss resulting from this incident was estimated to be $250,000. Childs, who has since been arrested and charged with computing tampering, was allegedly unhappy about a law enforcement investigation that ensued after tampering activity within the network had been discovered. Read more…

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Flores-Figuroa vs. United States

An extremely interesting case that may affect cybercrime-related court rulings in the US for years to come is currently before the US Supreme Court. The case, “Flores-Figueroa vs. United States” (No. 08-108), concerns Ignacio Carlos Flores-Figuroa, a Mexican citizen who has been a steel plant worker in Illinois since 2000. He was hired under a fake name; he also had a bogus Social Security number (SSN) and Resident Alien card. In 2006 Flores-Figuroa tried to start working under his real name; he gave his employer a new but still fake SSN as well as a forged permanent Resident card with his real name. His employer reported his application to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which determined that he had been using fake documents. Flores-Figueroa was charged with using a false document, entering the US illegally, and aggravated identity theft, because the SSN he presented to his employer two years ago turned out to be the SSN of a minor living in the US. He pleaded guilty to the first two charges and pleaded not guilty to an additional charge of aggravated identity theft under 18 US Code (U.S.C.) § 1028A(a)(1). The US District Court for the Southern District of Iowa found him guilty of aggravated identity theft. He was sentenced to 51 months of prison time for misusing immigration documents and illegal entry into the US and to.two consecutive prison terms of 24 months for aggravated identity theft. Read more…

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Obama and Cybersecurity in the US

Barack Obama will soon be inaugurated as the 44th President of the US. He promised change, something that struck a chord with the US public. One thing is for sure—much change is needed in areas such as the US economy, military intervention, and health care. In the midst of all the clamor for change, will cybersecurity get its fair share of attention in the Obama administration? Read more…

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Why Purdue’s CERIAS Program Has Dropped out as a “Center of Academic Excellence”

In 1998 the US National Security Agency (NSA) started a special program in response to Presidential Directive 63, which stated that there was a shortage of well-trained information assurance professionals and advocated national standards in IA/IS educational programs. This program gives US universities and colleges with information assurance (IA) or information security (IS) programs recognition as “Centers of Academic Excellence (CAEs)” for meeting Committee on National Security Systems (SNSS) requirements regarding IA/IS course curriculum and library holdings. Read more…

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