Cybercrime-fighting guidelines have FBI support
The first set of FBI-approved cybercrime-fighting guidelines for businesses were released Monday, offering corporate technology chiefs a common starting point for handling intrusions into their networks. The Secret Service has also approved the guidelines, which advise businesses not to report minor intrusions and provide contact points and recommendations on how to proceed if a significant attack occurs. Businesses have been reluctant to report cyberattacks because they fear possible bad publicity or revenge attacks. Officials say there are ways to change that attitude -- the new guidelines, for instance, recommend that corporate technology managers develop trusted contacts at federal agencies that they can call after intrusions. Ronald L. Dick, the FBI official who heads the government's National Infrastructure Protection Center, told the New York Times: "They'll share information with us every time if they have an inkling we can prosecute successfully." CIO magazine helped with creating the guidelines, and they can be found at cio.com.
Microsoft offers fixes to Internet Explorer holes
Microsoft released a software patch Monday for Internet Explorer that is designed to fix six different security holes in the Web browser. At least one of the fixes had not been addressed by Microsoft for at least two months. A representative for the software giant told CNET News.com: "We have said that the issue is under investigation." The hole in question has to do with the way Internet Explorer opens external documents -- at the end of last week, security experts found that the flaw could be combined with a separate security flaw in Microsoft's MSN Messenger program to hijack MSN accounts. The six-part patch also fixes flaws in the way the browser handles HTML files, opens files and executes certain Web scripts.
Slate editor Kinsley to step down
The editor of one of the Web's oldest magazines is stepping down after a six-year run that saw the publication last through the dot-com collapse. Michael Kinsley said he is leaving Microsoft-backed Slate to pursue other interests. He disclosed in 2001 that he had Parkinson's disease, but he said the ailment wasn't a direct reason for his decision. "I feel I need a change, and I think Slate could use a change as well," Kinsley wrote in an e-mail to Slate staff obtained by the Wall Street Journal. Kinsley said he would continue to write a weekly column and make other contributions to the news site.
Report: Pro-anorexia message spreads on Web
Web sites that promote eating disorders as desirable choices are turning up more and more, according to the Los Angeles Times. Pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia sites are using the anonymity of the Internet as a way to make eating disorders "a unifying badge and, ultimately, a way to bond in a dangerous pursuit," according to Times reporter Lynell George. Janice Saunders, a Canadian activist who offers assistance to people fighting anorexia and bulimia, told the Times: "They see this as something (to be) cherished. They tell one another that it is going to give them happiness. It's a place where they can make friends." People who frequent the sites refer to anorexia as "Ana" and bulimia as "Mia," Saunders said, and they share tips on how to better perform the starving and purging associated with the disorders. Saunders said she was so bewildered by the sites that she initially thought they were a joke. She runs the Web site eating-disorder.org.
Internet bank shuttered by government
NextBank, an Internet bank with no actual branches, has been closed by federal regulators who determined it was operating without sufficient assets or controls. Phoenix-based NextBank was "operating in an unsafe and unsound manner and had experienced a substantial dissipation of assets and earnings through unsafe and unsound practices," a statement from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said. The bank primarily issued credit cards to higher-risk customers who usually would have been turned down by many banks. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was appointed receiver and was to handle reimbursements to NextBank's remaining customers. The OCC found that NextBank's operating practices were "likely to deplete all or substantially all of the bank's capital, and that there was no reasonable prospect for the bank to become adequately capitalized without federal assistance."
Chinese police raid prostitution Web site
Local police in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang have shut down a members-only Web site that was the online presence of a prostitution ring, according to the South China Morning Post. Local reports said police raided the home of a Yang Lin, a 31-year-old mechanic and detained him after he confessed to posting 5,000 pornographic pictures, 400 novels and 100 movies on the site. But authorities had been watching the site, www.cncall-girls.com, because its name so brashly advertised its information on prostitution: Yang had posted data on 300 prostitutes including their Internet identities, ages, heights, physical features and contact numbers. Yang charged about $6 for 10 months of access to the site, and had signed up about 300 members. Shenyang authorities said Yang could get life in prison, but convicting him could be difficult because Chinese law does not specifically address his type of online business.
(Compiled by Joe Warminsky in Washington, D.C.)