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Computer Viruses

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 16, 1988
That a 23-year-old graduate student can break into computer networks and wreak havoc is frightening. Financial, medical, and other personal information stored on computer files would cause many problems if someone changed or released it. Are we all subject to computer viruses? Can these computer hackers be stopped? Will our privacy be invaded? Hopefully, computers will be secured against computer hackers and viruses quickly. Then we can use computers to help, not hurt, us. WILLIAM S. COOK Torrance
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2013 | By Maeve Reston
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department issued a warning Friday about an uptick in complaints about an Internet virus that locks computers and demands payment after falsely alleging the user is guilty of a crime. The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center first issued an alert in August about the virus known as Reveton ransomware virus, a malware program that can engage as soon as a victim clicks on a compromised website. The virus then locks the victim's computer and displays a message claiming that there has been a violation of federal law. The computer often displays a fake message purporting to be from the FBI or Department of Justice, claiming that the user's Internet address has been associated with child pornography sites or other illegal activity.
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NEWS
October 12, 1989 | From Times staff and wire service reports
Dozens of personal computers in Swiss government offices have been infected with rogue viruses a day before Friday the 13th, when experts fear a worldwide outbreak. Using special software programs, computer sleuths found 75 of the Swiss government's 3,500 personal computers had been infected, a spokesman for the Federal Office for Organization said today.
BUSINESS
January 23, 2013 | By Andrew Tangel, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - Federal prosecutors said they had foiled an international cyber-crime ring that targeted bank accounts in the U.S. and around the globe. The criminal charges, disclosed Wednesday, highlight the vulnerabilities of online consumer banking, which has become more popular in the digital age. It also comes just months after most every major U.S. bank suffered a relentless round of online attacks by Middle Eastern hackers. In the case unveiled Wednesday, three men - a Russian, a Latvian and a Romanian - allegedly created and spread a virus they called "Gozi" that infected more than 1 million computers around the globe, including at least 40,000 in the United States.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2010 | By Geraldine Baum and Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
More than 60 people have been charged in international schemes that used computer viruses to steal millions of dollars from bank accounts throughout America, state and federal prosecutors said Thursday in New York. "The modern, high-tech bank heist does not require a gun, a mask, a note or a getaway car," U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara said. "It requires only the Internet and ingenuity. And it can be accomplished in the blink of an eye, with just a click of the mouse. " The cyber attacks began in Eastern Europe and included malware known as the Zeus Trojan, which was typically sent in an e-mail to computers at homes, businesses and government offices in the United States.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 1997
Elvira, who appears on television as "Mistress of the Dark," took on the name Elvirus on Wednesday when she haunted about 100 students from the Southern California International Business Academy at Gardena High School with high-tech horror stories at a Halloween-themed seminar about computer viruses. The event was sponsored by the Symantec Antivirus Research Center, a Santa Monica-based facility that works to destroy computer viruses on the Internet.
NEWS
October 13, 1989 | CARLA LAZZARESCHI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The rumors started vibrating in late August: A new electronic virus, capable of crippling the operations of millions of personal computers, had been unleashed in Europe and was triggered to begin exploding throughout the United States on Oct. 13. By early September, "virus busters" across the nation were mobilized.
NEWS
November 5, 1988 | CARLA LAZZARESCHI, Times Staff Writer
Despite ongoing efforts to protect computers against unauthorized invasion by "viruses," experts agree that they have been about as successful as doctors seeking to ward off the common cold. And there is little on the horizon to offer much hope. "We will have vaccines in the future to prevent against the known strains.
NEWS
November 17, 1988 | BARBARA KOH, Times Staff Writer
The computer virus that is now wreaking havoc at Cal State Northridge may have come from UCLA, where it has been isolated and controlled, campus officials said Tuesday. The virus, known as nVIR, is a computer program that is spread from machine to machine by a common computer disk and disrupts functions, such as word processing and printing. It was discovered at UCLA 2 months ago and appeared last week at Cal State Northridge, where officials say it is rapidly spreading.
NEWS
November 6, 1988 | MELISSA HEALY, Times Staff Writer
A 23-year-old Cornell University graduate student who has emerged as the prime suspect in the spawning of a computer virus returned Saturday to his parents' home in the Washington area and was fending off potential FBI interviewers until he could consult a lawyer. Meanwhile, Cornell University officials said the student, Robert T. Morris Jr.
NATIONAL
November 22, 2012 | By Ken Dilanian, Washington Bureau
TULSA, Okla. - Jim Thavisay is secretly stalking one of his classmates. And one of them is spying on him. "I have an idea who it is, but I'm not 100% sure yet," said Thavisay, a 25-year-old former casino blackjack dealer. Stalking is part of the curriculum in the Cyber Corps, an unusual two-year program at the University of Tulsa that teaches students how to spy in cyberspace, the latest frontier in espionage. Students learn not only how to rifle through trash, sneak a tracking device on cars and plant false information on Facebook.
BUSINESS
April 3, 2012 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Beauty queen — Prosecutors in Santa Clara County have accused a former Mrs. Pakistan World of enticing desperate homeowners to pay her tens of thousands of dollars in a loan-modification scam. The Santa Clara County district attorney's office charged Saman Hasnain and her husband, Jawad, with 17 counts of grand theft, accusing them of bilking 17 homeowners, the San Jose Mercury News reported. In the scheme, prosecutors allege, Hasnain and her husband told homeowners that for an advance fee of at least $4,500, they would negotiate with banks to reduce the homeowners' mortgages and forgive overdue payments.
BUSINESS
December 12, 2011 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Computer virus — The Federal Trade Commission has started mailing refunds to 300,000 consumers who were victims of a scam in which they were tricked into buying unnecessary software to remove nonexistent viruses and spyware from their computers. The perpetrators of the scheme caused ads to appear on victims' computers, informing them that a "system scan" had detected viruses and other threats that needed to be removed immediately.
BUSINESS
October 14, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Concerns last week that combat drone aircraft were compromised by a computer virus were dismissed by the U.S. Air Force. In a rare disclosure, the Air Force revealed that computer systems involved in its drone program were infected with a virus, but it did not hinder flight operations in any way. "It's standard policy not to discuss the operational status of our forces," Col. Kathleen Cook, spokeswoman for Air Force Space Command, said in...
BUSINESS
March 15, 2011 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. ? Restaurants targeted ?- A man posing as a health inspector has been trying to get credit card information from Los Angeles County restaurant owners, county Supervisor Don Knabe said in a news release. The man has directed restaurant owners to call a telephone number, which has a recording that asks them to input banking information, Knabe said. Los Angeles County health inspectors always present a county-issued photo identification card upon request and will never accept payment for an inspection or charge a fee for a county letter grade, Knabe said.
WORLD
February 25, 2011 | By Julia Damianova, Los Angeles Times
Iran increased its stockpile of low-enriched uranium in recent months despite intense international pressure and claims that a computer virus had slowed its program, a report Friday by the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency indicates. At the beginning of February, according to the report prepared for the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran had nearly 8,000 pounds of uranium enriched to 3.5%, a quantity sufficient for about three nuclear weapons if further enriched to 90%. The U.S. and its allies suspect Iran of seeking to develop atomic weapons; Iran contends that its program is for peaceful purposes only.
WORLD
October 26, 2010 | By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Iran began loading fuel rods into the core of its first nuclear power plant Tuesday, bringing the facility a step closer to producing electricity, Iranian state television reported. The start of the weeks-long process lends credence to Iranian assertions that a high-profile computer virus attack earlier this year did not significantly postpone the operation of the plant near the southern city of Bushehr. After years of delay, the power plant, built in part by Russian engineers, is scheduled to produce electricity early next year after all 163 of its fuel rods are moved into the reactor core and tested.
WORLD
October 5, 2010 | By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times
Iran's atomic energy chief said that a delay in the launch of the nation's first nuclear power plant was not caused by a powerful computer virus that has crippled data management systems around the world ? but his explanation may not have reassured Persian Gulf residents. Ali Akbar Salehi blamed a leak in the pool now holding the fuel rods for the Bushehr nuclear power plant. "A small leak was observed in a pool next to the reactor and was curbed," he said in comments over the weekend that were reported Monday by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
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