INVESTIGATIONS

Police Say Ring Preyed on AOL Subscribers

Three people are facing identity theft charges for duping America Online subscribers into divulging financial information then using it to go on a spending spree, according to police in Ontario, Calif. Investigators arrested Jeffrey Brett Goodin, Mila Stroschein and Christina Beeson after tracing a string of hotel room bookings. Police said Goodin is suspected of flooding AOL subscribers with e-mails asking them to update their personal billing information.

Investigators allege the three used the financial information to book hotel rooms, make online purchases and withdraw cash from bank accounts. Police were trying to pin down how many people were tricked into providing information. An America Online spokeswoman said the company would be looking into the matter.

COURTS

German Teen Reiterates 'Sasser' Confession

A German teenager reiterated his confession to creating last year's "Sasser" computer worm as he went on trial yesterday on computer sabotage and related charges, a court official said. The trial of Sven Jaschan, 19, was being held behind closed doors in the northwestern town of Verden because he was a minor at the time of the offense. After proceedings began, Jaschan "admitted to the alleged offenses in every detail," court spokeswoman Katharina Kruetzfeld said.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Shareholders Urge Retention of T-Mobile USA

Deutsche Telekom, Europe's largest telephone company by sales, was urged by some shareholders to keep its U.S. cell phone unit because it is the company's fastest-growing division. Some executives want to sell the T-Mobile USA business and use the money to make European acquisitions rather than spend billions of dollars to build a faster network, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

COMPUTER SECURITY

Minimize Risk From Internet Explorer Flaw

Hackers have published instructions on how to exploit a newly discovered flaw in Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser. A patch has not yet been issued, but Microsoft has published tips for minimizing the risk. Go to www.washingtonpost.com/securityfix for details.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.