Tuesday, October 28, 2003


Prosecutors in computer hacking cases are facing a new defense strategy that likely will become more prevalent in the age of hijacked PCs: the computer did it. Defense lawyers in three cases recently tried in the U.K. successfully argued that the crimes committed by their clients were, in fact, the results of 'Trojan' programs placed on their computers without their knowledge. While it is relatively easy to trace a hack back to a particular computer, it's much more difficult to prove that the owner of that computer committed the crime. 'On the one hand, this is 100% correct that you can not make that jump from computer to keyboard to person,' says Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer for Counterpane Internet Security. 'On the other hand, this defense could be used to acquit everybody. It makes prosecuting the guilty harder, but that's a good thing.' But computer security consultant Dave Morrell says the defense also gives the green light to hackers. 'It sets a precedent now in the judicial system where a hacker can just claim somebody took over his computer, the program vanished and he's free and clear.' The Trojan defense has not yet been put to the test in the U.S. (Reuters/CNN.com 28 Oct 2003) "

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Odd mishaps cause computer grief - Top 10 Data Disasters

BBC News - Odd mishaps cause computer grief: "TOP 10 DATA DISASTERS
Although machine failure is at fault for the majority of lost data disasters, humans are increasingly culpable as well, according to recovery experts at Kroll Ontrack. 'Despite being the easiest problem to prevent, we are seeing more cases where human error is to blame. Interestingly, we see a 15 to 20% increase in calls to recover lost data on Mondays. This could be a result of the rush to complete work and leave early for the weekend on Friday afternoons, as well as a lack of staff concentration on Monday mornings,' says a Kroll spokesman. The Top 10 list of unusual data loss stories includes laptops being shot or thrown against the wall in a fit of e-rage; laptops suffering spills of red wine or latte because users were 'drinking on the job,' laptops falling off mopeds or car roofs, then being crushed by oncoming traffic; and PCs being thrown out a window or into a river to destroy evidence of theft or fraud. Our favorite? The laptop that slipped into the bathtub with its owner while he was working on accounts. Amazingly, Kroll Ontrack says in all these cases, it was able to rescue and restore computer files. (BBC News 16 Oct 2003) "

How to Build Your Own Web Server Using Things You Probably Have Around the House

The Making of justbrewit.net: "How to Build Your Own Web Server Using Things You Probably Have Around the House" The Making of justbrewit.net

parts out of the garage and the corner to build a server! The wonders of how easy it really is to get a server online even with very old hardware. ddv

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Natural Voice Reader Free standard version

Natural Voice Reader Free standard version

Free Natural Voice Reader Standard 2.9 [Windows Operating System]

This handy program allows users to listen to emails, text selections, and other written materials via a number of voices included with the software. With this free edition, users can change the speed of reading, the voice of reading, the volume of reading, and can also read the text and have it saved to a .wav file. From the program's Web site, users can read a FAQ section, and view several screenshots. This edition of Free Natural Voice Reader Standard 2.9 is compatible with all systems running Windows 98 and higher.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Schneier.com: Twofish

Full level of detail about Twofish encryption code which was one of the 5 finalists (but not the winner) of the AES. There is an interesting set of links to numerous packages using Twofish for encryption (because it is free I guess!), including TreePad.

Schneier is also the author of the new book "Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World" from September 2003.

Schneier.com: Twofish: "Twofish: A New Block Cipher
Twofish is a block cipher by Counterpane Labs. It was one of the five Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) finalists. Twofish is unpatented, and the source code is uncopyrighted and license-free; it is free for all uses. "