New Zealand teenager arrested as Botnet Leader

A New Zealand teenager was arrested and then freed of charges today for allegedly being the Leader of a Bot/Spybot network. The New Zealand E-crime unit arrested the teenager on suspicion of stealing over 9.7 Million Pounds from bank accounts around the world and breaking into an estimated 1.3 Million computers. The full quote from the Guardian..

A New Zealand teenager was arrested and then freed of charges today for allegedly being the Leader of a Bot/Spybot network. The New Zealand E-crime unit arrested the teenager on suspicion of stealing over 9.7 Million Pounds from bank accounts around the world and breaking into an estimated 1.3 Million computers. The full quote from the Guardian..

The 18-year-old, from Hamilton, North Island, was taken into custody and several computers were seized, said the head of the country’s police e-crime unit, Martin Kleintjes. The teenager cannot be named for legal reasons, but uses the online identity "Akill". He was later released without charge, but police said they expected to interview him again.

He is suspected of being the ringleader of an international network of hackers who allegedly assumed control of thousands of computers and amassed them into centrally controlled clusters known as botnets. The hackers could then use the computers to steal credit card information, manipulate stock trades and even crash industry computers, authorities alleged. The teenager was the "head of an international spybot ring that has infiltrated computers around the world with their malicious software", Kleintjes told New Zealand national radio. Eight people have been charged, pleaded guilty or have been convicted since the investigation started in June. Thirteen arrest warrants have also been served in the US and overseas in the investigation. The FBI estimates that more than 1m computers have been infected, and puts the combined economic losses at more than $20m (£9.7m).

Spybot and botnet are jargon for infiltrating a group of computers and infecting them with malicious software that allows them to be used to collect information – mainly credit card and bank account details. Kleintjes said the teenager had written software that evaded normal computer spyware systems, then sold his skills to hackers. "He is very bright and very skilled in what he’s doing," Kleintjes said. "He hires his services out to others." Authorities allege that the New Zealand suspect and Ryan Goldstein, a 21-year-old who was charged earlier this month in the US, were involved in crashing a University of Pennsylvania engineering school server in February last year. Officials said the server, which typically handles about 450 daily requests for internet downloads, instead got 70,000 requests from the account of an unsuspecting Penn student over four days.

The FBI followed an electronic trail from that student’s account which allegedly led to Goldstein’s screen name, "Digerati", and the New Zealand hacker. Goldstein denies the charge and is due to go on trial in March.


Original article at guardian.co.uk

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Plans for Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) revealed

Another Ubuntu Release in the works!
To give you the rundown on the notable changes. The desktop version will be shipping with a new default windows manager that looks kinda like Mac OSX:


We are aiming for Ubuntu to be one of the first distributions to ship
the newly merged Compiz and Beryl projects (compcomm/OpenCompositing);
and enable it as the default window manager on systems with a supported
combination of hardware and drivers.



http://compiz.org


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And the addition of AppArmour to the Server version of Ubuntu:




For increased security, the AppArmor security framework will be
available as an option for those that want it.

The following is the original statement by the Ubuntu Development Manager.


Now that the set of feature goals planned for Ubuntu 7.10 ("Gutsy
Gibbon") has been largely finalised, it seems like an appropriate point
to announce the plan to the world.
While this is based on the approved blueprints for gutsy[0], which are
expected to be implemented in time, we do release according to a
time-based schedule[1] rather than a feature-based one. It is not
unusual for some planned features to be delayed to later releases;
happily it is also not unusual for our developers to introduce neat
features we weren't expecting either.
[0] https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/gutsy/
[1] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/GutsyReleaseSchedule
Desktop
-------
Ubuntu 7.10 will ship with the latest edition of the GNOME desktop,
2.20, released a few weeks before our own release. Kubuntu 7.10 will
ship with KDE 3.5.7, and should also include packages of KDE 4.0 rc 2
available for optional side-by-side installation.
We are aiming for Ubuntu to be one of the first distributions to ship
the newly merged Compiz and Beryl projects (compcomm/OpenCompositing);
and enable it as the default window manager on systems with a supported
combination of hardware and drivers.
Systems which do not support compositing, or those with it disabled by
user option, will use the existing metacity window manager.
Hardware Support
----------------
Ubuntu 7.10 will use the 2.6.22 Linux kernel, along with our usual
selection of updated and additional drivers.
We will also use Xorg 7.3, giving better graphics hardware support and
the option of hotplugging monitors (RandR 1.2) and input devices
(xserver 1.4).
As well as the easier configuration for hotplugging-supported drivers
("no xorg.conf"), we also aim to have better configuration for other
drivers and fallback settings for when there is a problem.
Some "winmodem" chips will be supported out of the box, where drivers
are available; though this may rely on the use of restricted drivers.
Improvements to the Restricted Driver Manager are expected, allowing
drivers to be disabled by default and proposed by the manager. As
previously announced, an edition of Ubuntu without restricted enabled by
default is in the works.
Mobile
------
As announced, Ubuntu 7.10 will be first release to include a new Mobile
and Embedded edition targeted at hand-held devices and other
mobile/embedded form factors.
This integrates the Hildon UI components developed by Nokia into Ubuntu,
on top of the existing Ubuntu platform.
Server
------
Development of the Ubuntu 7.10 Server Edition has received a new boost
with a dedicated development team at Canonical working on it. Features
aiming to improve the experience for new and hobbyist administrators are
expected, as well as features desirable for small businesses and
organisations.
For increased security, the AppArmor security framework will be
available as an option for those that want it.
Stability and Performance
-------------------------
Ubuntu 7.10 should function significantly better when the filesystem is
full or otherwise not writable, allowing the user to make room and then
continue working without undue interruption.
Improvements to our "apport" bug and crash reporting infrastructure are
planned, in particular integration with our software installation and
upgrade tools so that problems installing or upgrading packages can be
easily reported with relevant information attached. Kernel crashes will
also be intercepted on reboot, and may be reported using the tool.
Our efforts to improve boot reliability and performance continue;
unlimited and reliable stackability of software raid (MD) devices, LVM
volumes and software-managed (devmapper) devices will be supported with
no runtime ordering issues.
Ubuntu 7.10 will ship with Upstart 0.5, which will provide flexible and
reliable service supervision. We expect to harness this for suitable
core services, and some boot process tasks, as appropriate.
Scott
--
Scott James Remnant
Ubuntu Development Manager
scott at ubuntu.com
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“Hulu” a join venture of NBC and NewsCorp debuts this month

Although this is the first time I've heard of Hulu, I'm sure its not the first time most readers have heard of Hulu. A joint venture by NBC and NewsCorp provide its tv shows, moves and mashups of AOL (TWX), Comcast (CMCSA), MSN (MSFT), MySpace, and Yahoo (YHOO). Some of the shows and movies that will be available are shown on Hulu's main page of their site. Some include Hero's, Conan, Arrested Development, 24hrs and Battlestar Galactica. I've already signed up to be apart of their beta, you can too by visiting their main page at http://www.hulu.com Read the full article at newteevee.com