A trial date has been set for a 16-year-old youth from Montreal, who is accused of being responsible for denial-of-service attacks on sites such as Yahoo.com and Amazon.com. The youth, known as “Mafiaboy,” can’t be named due to his age. The accused allegedly used a series of computers from various U.S. universities to cause the attacks, which hit last February. He pleaded “not guilty” to more than 60 charges in a juvenile section of the Court of Quebec in Montreal last month. Previous statements made by Mafiaboy’s lawyer indicated that he would be pleading “not guilty.” The youth was released on bail after promising a judge that he will keep a job full-time, and he will also reportedly stop attending his regular high school. Instead he will take private or evening classes beginning this month to complete grade 10. A trial date for Mafiaboy has been set for March 5.
Britney is a hit on Lycos
Lycos Inc. recently announced its “Lycos 50” list, which reveals the most searched people, places or things on the Web site’s search engine. Right at the top of the list in the number one spot is teen singer Britney Spears, followed by Japanese cartoon sensation Dragonball Z, which ranked fourth on last year’s list. Pokeman is next on the list, which placed first in 1999, but the highest newcomer is Napster, which came in eighth place. Other winners included: Canadian actress Pamela Anderson in sixth place; actress and singer Jennifer Lopez in ninth; the Summer Olympics in 10 th place; and the term “election” in 12 th place. Lycos said the list is hand-filtered, so general terms such as “car” and “news” were disregarded. Plurals and misspellings were also combined. The list was formed based on the most-entered queries from Jan. 1 until Nov. 25.
Seattle hospital gets hacked
The University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle last month admitted that it had been hacked last summer, and that the hacker made off with files containing information about approximately 5,000 patients. The hacker -who calls himself “Kane” – reportedly made his way into the hospital’s network through the pathology department, stole user passwords and copied thousands of files. The hospital suspected that its network had been hacked, and cut off Kane’s access, not knowing that files had been accessed. To demonstrate that he had accessed hospital data, Kane shared information about the hack with SecurityFocus.com, a site that focuses on security issues. A spokesperson for the Web site said that Kane did not have any malicious intentions, but instead just wanted to demonstrate the vulnerability of the hospital’s network.
Sappy couple takes Web battle to court
A couple from Quebec has decided to ask the courts to rule on whether the province’s language laws apply to Web sites. Stanley and Muriel Reid, of Godmanchester, Que., sell maple syrup through an English-only Web site, and were charged and fined by language officials, who decided that their Web site does not comply with provincial language laws. The law requires companies based in Quebec to use French in advertising. While other languages are permitted if French is given prominence, the French lettering must be twice as large as the English on commercial signs. The case is expected to be the first one that challenges whether the Charter of French Language applies to the Internet. The Reids apparently only make 10 on-line sales per year.
On-line banking a hit with Canadians
An annual report on banking services conducted by Canadian Facts, a division of marketing research form CF Group Inc., found that the number of Canadians that have signed up for Internet banking has doubled since last year. The findings indicate that 20 per cent of Canadians have signed up for on-line banking services, and of those, 59 per cent of respondents reported accessing their accounts at least once a week. Another 77 per cent said they do banking via the Internet at least once a month. Of those planning not to sign up for on-line banking, the main reason was cited as not having a computer and/or an Internet connection. Security was another concern, cited by 20 per cent of people not registered and by 33 per cent of people with Internet access at home. Canadian Facts interviewed 2,003 Canadian adults at home by telephone between Oct. 5 and 19.