US county treasurer arrested over fraud links; Nigeria adopts biometrics.

US: A Michigan county treasurer has been arrested after allegedly investing more than $1.2 million (£615,000) of county funds in Nigerian 419 fraud scams. Thomas Katona has been charged with forgery and multiple counts of embezzlement. Co-workers became suspicious after being warned that Katona had made unauthorised transfers to accounts linked with Nigerian 419 scams.

NETHERLANDS: A man has been found guilty of conducting a 14-month spam campaign involving more than 9 billion spam emails. The country's telecoms watchdog, OPTA, has fined the unnamed Dutch national EUR75,000 (£50,000) for the campaign. Much of the spam was advertising on behalf of foreign companies, according to Dutch authorities.

TURKEY: Police in Izmir have arrested 17 alleged members of a gang that stole £154,000 from online bank accounts. Turkish media report that complaints from hundreds of bank customers about unexpected withdrawals from their accounts, promped an investigation. Authorities claim the gang worked with three Russian hackers, who used spyware to steal usernames and passwords.

RUSSIA: A court has thrown out criminal proceedings against a rural head teacher accused of using copied Microsoft software in his school. The trial has been seen as a reaction by authorities to increased international pressure to get a grip on piracy in Russia. The court, however, dismissed the case of Alexander Ponosov as "trivial". following the decision.

NIGERIA: The country has turned to biometrics to help tame election fraud. The Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission has incorporated Digital Persona's biometric fingerprint technology into the voter-registration process, ahead of next month's general elections. The move is aimed at ensuring that Nigeria's 58 million eligible voters only vote once each.

GERMANY: Police have been banned from using covert computer spying techniques until proper legislation covering them has been introduced. The German Federal Court of Justice ruled that a police request to use a Trojan to spy on a suspect's PC should be refused, as data stored on a computer differed considerably from live telephone conversations.

CHINA: Police in Hubei Province have arrested six people for virus creation. The men allegedly wrote and spread the W32/Fujacks virus, dubbed the "Panda burning joss sticks" virus, according to news agency Xinhua. It's thought the virus was designed mainly to steal online gaming data. Chinese media initially hyped it as a "top computer killer", but western AV companies downplayed the threat.

SOUTH KOREA: Two men have been arrested in relation to one of the country's biggest spam incidents. The men are alleged to have sent 1.6 billion spam emails between September and December 2006, according to Sophos. Officials claim the pair of computer programmers obtained personal and financial information from 12,000 victims, which they then sold to other firms.