FRAUD E-MAIL DISGUISED AS CAMPAIGN SOLICITATIONS



Fraud e-mail disguisedas campaign solicitations
NEW YORK -- In what appears to be a first, fraudsters are trying to steal debit card numbers by circulating e-mail disguised as a legitimate request for donations to John Kerry's presidential campaign.
An actual message the Kerry campaign had sent earlier was modified so links to donate go instead to a Web site believed to be in Asia, said Andrew Klein, anti-fraud product manager for MailFrontier Inc., a vendor of anti-spam software.
Scammers have commonly disguised their messages to look as if they come from banks, e-commerce sites or Internet service providers, often lifting text and logos from legitimate messages. The idea is to trick recipients into submitting account numbers, passwords and other details to sites run by fraudsters.
Klein said he thinks this was the first of the so-called phishing scams to mimic a campaign message, "and I expect we'll see more of them."
Microsoft takes stepinto the blogging game
SEATTLE -- There's been plenty of talk about how blogging has gone mainstream, but here is perhaps the ultimate sign: Microsoft Corp. is getting into the game.
The software giant is launching in Japan a test version of a free blogging service in conjunction with the Japanese company, T.O.S. Co. Ltd. The service lets users update their personal Web diaries from a computer or mobile phone.
Microsoft is mum on when similar offerings may be available in the United States, saying only that the Japanese test site will help the company plan future, broader services.
"We're investing in rich communications," said Brian Arbogast, a corporate vice president in Microsoft's MSN online division. "You'll certainly see more from us."
The blogging test site comes as Microsoft plays catch-up with rival Google Inc., the Internet search giant whose holdings also include the popular service Blogger.
Internet dependence cutsservice short for some
HELSINKI, Finland -- Military service is mandatory in Finland, unless you can prove that the Internet makes you unfit.
Net dependence has allowed some conscripts in this country's armed services to shorten their tours, said Cmdr. Capt. Jyrki Kivela, who heads the Finnish Defense Force's recruiting efforts.
Kivela couldn't provide exact figures but noted that slightly more than 9 percent of conscripts are allowed to forgo the compulsory service because of medical conditions.
He said he's heard that other countries where service is mandatory have experienced similar problems, but he didn't name them: "Maybe we're the first to say that we have this kind of problem."
More than 44 percent of Finland's 5.2 million residents use the Internet daily, either through mobile phones, Internet cafes or the numerous Wi-Fi wireless access points that dot the country.
The country's defense forces consist of nearly 50,000 full-time soldiers and officers and some 27,000 conscripts, who serve six months to a year, depending on their preference.
Associated Press
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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