Biggest computer virus attack on Mircrosoft
A new strain of one of the most virulent email viruses ever spread
quickly worldwide Tuesday morning, causing fresh annoyance to users
worn out by last week's outbreak of the Blaster worm.
The new virus, named "Sobig.F" by computer
security companies, attacks Windows users via email and file-sharing
networks. It also deposits a Trojan horse, or hacker back door,
that can be used to turn victims' PCs into senders of spam email.
MessageLabs Inc, a company that filters email
for corporations, had blocked more than 100,000 copies of Sobig.F,
making it by far the most active virus of the day. The previous
Sobig.A and Sobig.B variants are both on MessageLabs' list of the
biggest 10 email viruses of all time.
The email message that carries Sobig.F has the
subject line "Re: Details" and the message "Please
see attached file for details." If a recipient clicks on the
attachment, which can have multiple names ending in the .pif file
extension, the computer will be infected.
The virus will then send itself out to names found
in the victim's address book and will use one of these names to
forge a return address. As such, the infected party may not quickly
learn of the infection, while an innocent party may get the blame
for helping to propagate it.
Like all the other Sobig viruses, this version
is programmed to self-destruct after two weeks, in this case on
Sept 10. It uses a published flaw in Microsoft's Windows operating
systems to spread via network connections, without using email.
Toyota releases hybrid version of Alphard
Toyota Motor Corp. on July 30 released the gasoline-electric
hybrid version of its Alphard minivan introduced
in May last year, Alphard Hybrid.
The Alphard Hybrid features a system made up of
a 2.4-liter high-efficiency gas engine, front motor and continuously
variable transmission. The G Edition in the Alphard Hybrid series
is priced at 4.12 million yen, about 1.1 million yen more than the
The locally based station went online May 30.
abominable snowman draws yet another seeker
The arrival of a seven-man Japanese expedition
in Kathmandu to search for Nepal's elusive abominable snowman, has
renewed interest in the history, or lack of it, of the fabled yeti.
'Blaster' worm hits police computers 10,000
times in 24 hours
A computer virus targeting Microsoft operating
systems made about 10,000 attempts to access Japanese police computers
last month, the National Police Agency said. About 3,300 attempts
were made from Japan, 2,500 from the United States and 2,000 from
Gov't eyes using gardens to combat rising temperatures
A building complex in Tokyo's Roppongi district
has been built with a garden on its roof. Govern-ment officials
said in Aug. 13 they have submitted a bill to the Diet requiring
structures that will be built mainly in urban areas to allot space
on their premises for gardens to combat excessive warming.
The "heat island phenomenon" occurs when temperatures
in the center of large cities are higher than surrounding areas
due mainly to concentrated development and massive energy consumption.
Japan admits to Chinese chemical spill
Japan has admitted chemicals involved in an accident
in China were left in the country by its soldiers withdrawing at
the end of the Pacific war. At least 36 people are ill in hospital,
two "close to death," after metal drums containing what
is thought to be mustard gas were found on a construction site in
the city of Qiqihar in China's Heilongjiang province. A Japanese
spokesman called the incident "extremely regrettable"
and said Japan would dispose
of the chemicals swiftly in accordance with a chemical weapons agreement
between the two countries signed several years ago.
Japan regrets China accident caused by abandoned
Japan on Tuesday acknowledged that a poison gas
accident in China's Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province, earlier this
month was caused by chemical weapons abandoned by the former Imperial
Japanese Army at the end of World War II, and expressed regret over
World Heritage brand draws too many tourists
Areas surrounding the UNESCO World Heritage site
on the Shirakami Sanchi mountains, one of the world's largest virgin
beech forests in northeastern Japan, are suffering from the increasing
number of visitors since the designation 10 years ago. The mountains
spanning Aomori and Akita prefectures have become a popular tourist
spot since becoming a World Heritage site in 1993, and the large
number of visitors walking around the forest has been causing more
damage to the trees than experts had expected.
Blood flow to brain changes with radio-wave exposure
Japanese researchers said they have found that
blood flow in the brains of people who complain of irritation from
electromagnetic waves changes when they are exposed to such waves
from appliances such as cell phones and power lines. The research
group measured the changes in the amount of blood flow in
10 people, five of whom have symptoms of hypersensitivity to electromagnetic
Aparent suicide by a mother
A woman drove herself and her children into the
sea in Kobe's Nada Ward in an apparent suicide after disappearing
from home days earlier. Her eldest son, 10, survived.
Suspected arrestment for Kumagaya murder case
A 26-year-old gangster and his 16-year-old girlfriend
were arrested for suspected ties with the Kumagaya abduction-murder
case where a man and a woman were found dead with stab wounds to
Japanese soldiers wrote antiwar letters from
Japanese soldiers at the front line during the
1937-1945 war with China wrote antimilitary letters to their families
and friends, even though they knew their correspondence would be
censored by the Imperial Japanese Army, scholars said.
Children Under Threat
A 13 year old boy was detained in Morioka City,
Iwate prefecture for threatening to kill 23 children on the Internet.
The boy was taken in to custody by the police on suspicion of threatening
children on a website. According to the police, the boy posted a
message on an Internet discussion board on July 15 saying, "Tomorrow,
I will kill 23 elementary school students in Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture."
"I only did for fun, as a joke," the police quoted the
boy as saying.
Peru Formally Requests Former President's Extradition
The Peruvian government asked Japan to extradite
former President Alberto Fujimori to face charges that he authorized
massacres in Peru in the early 1990s. "At this moment, the
diplomatic note request-ing the extradition of former President
Alberto Fujimori, accompanied by the extradition file compiled by
the supreme court, is being handed over in Japan," said Peruvian
Foreign Minister Allan Wagner at a press conference. The Peruvian
office of Amnesty International (AI) and other non-government organizations
(NGO) presented the Japanese Embassy here a document signed by 22,000
citizens demand-ing the extradition of former President Alberto
Welcome party for riot police officers
Mangyongbong-92, the North Korean ferry that makes
occasional port calls to Niigata, found a welcome party of 1,900
riot police officers, ship inspectors and coast guard personnel
when it docked in late August.
Pilot in A-bomb mission of 1945 is dead
George William Marquardt, the man who took photos
of the first atomic explosion over Hiroshima and then flew the Enola
Gay on its last combat mission has died in Utah at the age of 84.
He is quoted as saying "I have never for one moment regretted
my participating in the dropping of the A-bomb".
While they may not be famous four Canadians have
netted a collective $25,000 to change their surnames from Goodyear
to Dunlop. The Dunlop Tires campaign targeted Canadians with the
last names of tire companies - Goodyear, Firestone and Michelin,
for example. Participants had until August 12 to legally drop their
surname and walk away with a share of the $25,000 prize. It was
a co-incidence that only Goodyears took the bait. "I thought
about it, spoke to my wife and figured the money that's involved,
I could use it," said 28-year-old Brian Dunlop, formerly Brian
Goodyear, and a building superintendent in Toronto. For Jackson
Dunlop, also of Toronto, giving up the name Goodyear was a no-brainer.
Goodyear was the name she took when she married a man she has now
'Human shield' faces $10,000 fine
A Sarasota, California woman who served as a "human
shield" during the war in Iraq faces thousands of dollars in
civil penalties. According to a letter dated March 20 from the federal
Department of the Treasury, Faith Fippinger broke the law by crossing
the Iraqi border a violation of U.S. sanctions that prohibit
American citizens from engaging in "virtually all direct or
indirect commercial, financial or trade transactions with Iraq."
62, owes the United States at least $10,000, which is $10,000 more
than she says she will pay.
U.S. Unclear on Afghan Opium Situation
The United States has no ready answer to calls
for action to reverse the upward trend in opium production in Afghanistan,
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday. "It is
a whale of a tough problem. And I'm afraid that the ultimate solution
for that is going to be probably found by attacking it in all directions,
not just the supply side, but the education and the demand side
as well," Rumsfeld said.
Bobby Brown arrested
Bobby Brown was arrested on a probation violation
while dining with his wife, Grammy winner Whitney Houston. Brown
was picked up at a restaurant in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta
after an unidentified caller tipped authorities. He was taken to
the DeKalb County Jail. Last January, Brown was sentenced to eight
days in jail and ordered not to drive for a year after pleading
guilty to a 1996 drunken driving charge in DeKalb County.
Extreme runners tackle London landmarks
Stars of a new extreme sport called free running
will be shown on TV leaping between buildings and across rooftops
determined to let nothing get in their way. The trio are shown scaling
a dozen London landmarks, including the National Theatre, HMS Belfast,
the Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern, Globe Theatre, the Saatchi Gallery
and the Albert Hall. They are seen somersaulting, vaulting, tumbling,
taking a thrilling journey across the capital using some of its
most famous buildings as their stepping stones.
French health boss quits in heat row
France's surgeon-general has resigned in the wake
of the heatwave crisis which has left thousands dead and in hospital.
News of his resignation came hours after the French health minister
confirmed the extreme temperatures could have killed up to 5,000
Student takes up war orphans' plight at U.N.
Yumi Nakai, a fourth-year law student at Ryukoku
University, visited Geneva, Switzerland in August to ask the U.N.
Human Rights Commission to look into Japan's policy of deporting
Chinese relatives of wa r- displaced Japanese nationals that are
not related by blood. She said the practice violates human rights.
Protests against the military government in Burma
have taken place in several countries to mark the 15th anniversary
of the crushing of pro- democracy demonstrations. Protesters in
Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, Bangladesh
and the UK called for democratic change and the immediate release
of the opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been in detention
for two months.
A 20-year-old Marine from Anoka County in Minnesota
shot himself to avoid being deployed to Hawaii, and confessed to
making a false statement about being shot while helping a man in
a disabled black rusted pick up truck after midnight.