The Month: Global snapshots – Nigerian comedian arrested

July 30, 2007

Nigerian comedian arrested for online fraud; mobile phone worm stopped.

UK A "vicious, vitriolic and vindictive" cyber stalker has beensentenced to six months in prison and given an ASBO. Felicity Jane Lowdewas convicted of harassing Rachel North, a survivor of the July 2005London bombings, through threatening messages on North's blog and answerphone. Lowde accused North of exploiting her survivor status to makemoney.

- Spain Police have arrested a man in Valencia they think wasresponsible for a string of mobile phone virus attacks, following aseven-month investigation. The 28-year-old is accused of infecting up to115,000 Symbian mobile phones with 20 variants of the Commwarrior andCabir worms. Each worm apparently contains a reference to Leslie,alleged to be the suspect's fiancee.

- Italy Police in Milan have arrested a gang of 26 people following aseries of phishing attacks. The group is accused of conducting awidespread phishing campaign targeting postal operator Poste Italiane'shome-banking services. A clone of the website in a spam email convincedvictims to enter their details, which were then used to empty theiraccounts.

- Czech Republic TV viewers in Prague got a shock when a mountain beautyspot became the apparent site of a nuclear explosion. Early-morning showPanorama normally displays calming countryside scenes. Czech Televisionsaid hackers had gained access to a system operated by a sub-contractorand that its lawyers had been instructed to take appropriate action.

- US Two men have been convicted for their role in an international spamgang. James Schaffer and Jeffrey Kilbride's porn spam campaign generatedearnings of more than $2 million (£1 million), and over600,000 complaints from AOL users. The two face up to five years inprison for each spam act and obscenity offence, along with a fine of upto $500,000 (£245,000).

- Nigeria More than 100 West Africans have been arrested in Amsterdamafter a seven-month investigation into online fraud. The arrests includeNigerian comedian and actor Nkem Owoh, who found international fame withhis anthem for 419 scammers, "I go chop your dollar", which waseventually banned in Nigeria after numerous complaints.

- Romania A hacker accused of breaking into federal US networks hasappeared in court. Victor Faur faces 12 years in prison if convicted,according to reports. He has also been indicted by US authorities, whoclaim $2 million in damages occurred during the attacks onservers owned by NASA, the department of energy and the US Navy betweenNovember 2005 and September 2006.

- China AV firm Rising Tech and Russian rival Kaspersky Labs havecontinued their war of words ahead of a pending lawsuit from Kaspersky.Rising Tech has alleged Kaspersky made 'six serious mistakes' involvingAV definition files in recent weeks. The row began in May when Kasperskyallegedly issued an anti-virus update that misidentified Rising softwareas potentially malicious.

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