Homeland Security Newswire |

  • Bridge collapseQuestions and anxiety in Italy over Genoa bridge collapse

    In the wake of the deadly Morandi Bridge collapse in Genoa, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has called for “all infrastructure” in Italy to be checked. Investigators is still trying to determine the cause of the collapse. Italian rescue workers worked through the night and into the morning in search for survivors. A 100-meter section of the Morandi Bridge, affectionally called Genoa’s “Brooklyn Bridge,” collapsed during a heavy rain storm on Tuesday causing dozens of vehicles to plunge some 45 meters.

  • TerrorismCorbyn pressed on wreath laying at the grave of a Black September terrorist

    In 2014, Jeremy Corbyn, now leader of the Labor Party but then a back bencher, was invited to Tunisia to attend a conference on the Middle East. He used the occasion to visit the cemetery where several PLO terrorists are buried (the PLO had moved its headquarters from Beirut to Tunisia in 1982). Corbyn claims that he laid a wreath at the grave of a PLO leader who was killed in an Israeli commando raid in 1985 – but pictures show that he laid a wreath about 20 meters away, at the grave of a Black September terrorist who took part in the killing of 11 Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympics.

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  • Considered opinion: Election questionsWhy political scientists aren’t writing about Russian hackers

    By Robert G. Boatright

    Political scientists who study election mechanics — — campaign finance, what polling data have to do with voting, how different population groups vote, how effective political advertisements are — are yet to come to grips with the role Russian government agents played in the 2016 election. Clark University political scientists Robert Boatright writes that “We don’t have the ability to track exactly what went on over Twitter or Facebook in the election, which accounts were real and which were fake. And … we may not regain the sort of transparency that enabled us to study elections with the precision we once did. We don’t really have any precedent for studying what a foreign government might do to influence an American campaign in this way because it hasn’t been done before in the United States. Maybe we’ll get there in a few years, but for now, all we know is that our research is more likely than usual to be incomplete.”

  • Election security11-year old took 10 minutes to hack a replica of Florida's election reporting website

    DEFCON, the world’s largest hacking convention, took place in Las Vegas over the weekend. Emmett Brewer, one of about 40 children between the ages of 8 and 16 who were taking part in the event, took less than 10 minutes to hack into a replica of Florida’s election reporting website. An 11-year old girl also managed to break into the site, tripling the number of votes for one of the candidates. Several 8-year old kids managed to tamper with vote tallies and change candidates’ names.

  • The Russian connectionRussian spy software in U.S. home and office routers

    The Russian government hackers known as APT 28 or Fancy Bear – the operatives who were behind information attacks against the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton Campaign, among others – have infiltrated hundreds of thousands of home and office routers worldwide. The presence of Russian malware on the routers could enable the Kremlin to steal individuals’ data or enlist their devices in a massive attack intended to disrupt global economic activity or target institutions.

  • CybersecuritySecurity gaps identified in internet protocol IPsec

    Researchers have demonstrated that the Internet protocol “IPsec” is vulnerable to attacks. The Internet Key Exchange protocol “IKEv1,” which is part of the protocol family, has vulnerabilities that enable potential attackers to interfere with the communication process and intercept specific information.

  • CybersecurityIntel processor vulnerability could expose millions of PCs at risk

    A newly discovered processor vulnerability could potentially put secure information at risk in any Intel-based PC manufactured since 2008. It could affect users who rely on a digital lockbox feature known as Intel Software Guard Extensions, or SGX, as well as those who utilize common cloud-based services, a new report says.

  • WildfiresWildfires are inevitable – increasing home losses, fatalities and costs are not

    By Max Moritz, Naomi Tague, and Sarah Anderson

    Wildfire has been an integral part of California ecosystems for centuries. Now, however, nearly a third of homes in California are in wildland urban interface areas where houses intermingling with wildlands and fire is a natural phenomenon. Just as Californians must live with earthquake risk, they must live with wildfires. Focusing on traditional approaches like fighting fires and fuels management alone can’t solve the wildfire problem. Instead, California must become better prepared for inevitable fires and change how it develops future communities.

  • Our picksReporting political violence; giving bots a bad name; quantum computing & the military, and more

      Using common social media tactics to subvert U.S. elections

      DOD unveils ‘Hack the Marine Corps’ bounty program

      ‘Patchwork’ system leaves some Californians out of emergency alerts

      End the double standards in reporting political violence

      DARPA wants to explore practical tech impact of quantum computing

      Here’s how to actually stop Google from tracking your location

      Trump is the first president to get Turkey right

      Russia gave bots a bad name. Here’s why we need them more than ever.

  • The Russia watchPutin targeting three DHS agents; Putin’s billionaires’ club; hunting Russian trolls, and more

      Handler of alleged spy Butina tied to suspicious U.S.-Russia exchange program

      This is why Putin is targeting three DHS agents

      Exclusive: Hacked emails take us inside the billionaires’ club around Vladimir Putin

      How a likely Kremlin pawn courted U.S. conservatives

      How Bill Browder became Russia’s most wanted man

      History’s lesson regarding Russian cyber warfare

      Meet the Indiana dad who hunts Russian trolls

      Padilla: “I assume California is a target” of Russian hacking

  • TerrorismUN: Up to 30,000 Islamic State extremists in Syria, Iraq

    Despite the military defeat of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and most of Syria, the extremist group still has around 20,000 to 30,000 militants in the two countries, according to a United Nations report. The report says that Al-Qaeda’s global network also “continues to show resilience,” with its affiliates and allies much stronger than the IS group in some spots, including Somalia, Yemen, South Asia, and Africa’s Sahel region.

  • TerrorismMan arrested in London for “terrorist offenses” after crashing car near Parliament

    The London police have arrested a man on suspicion of “terrorist offenses” after he crashed a car into security barriers outside Britain’s Parliament, injuring several pedestrians. London’s Metropolitan police said that they are treating the car crash as a terrorist attack, and that the Met’s Counter-Terrorism Command was leading the investigation.

  • Election securityNew bill to help protect security of U.S. elections

    On Friday, four members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) introduced the Secure Elections Act, which would provide local communities and state governments with the resources needed to strengthen election systems against cyberattacks. “Hostile foreign actors have attempted and will continue to attempt to undermine the fundamentals of our democracy by attacking our electoral process,” said Representative Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina), one of the bill’s sponsors. “It is our responsibility to take every precaution necessary to safeguard our elections and ensure no vote count is ever interfered with.

  • Truth decayFake news is not just bad news: It is bad for the bottom line, too

    Note to Mark Zuckerberg: Beware of misinformation. Research makes a case that misinformation is a business risk for social media platforms, and proposes informational methods to alleviate the phenomenon of “fake news.” The research also suggests that Facebook users who help expose falsehoods should be compensated.

  • Border securityUsing data analytics to target human smugglers

    Human smuggling is big business. The financial cost can be as high as a few thousand dollars to cross the border from Mexico to the United States, while immigrants from China might pay tens of thousands for their cross-Pacific journey. Some estimates put illegal crossings at 350,000 per year—and that’s just coming over the U.S.-Mexican border. DHS S&T’s Igloo data analytics software program is currently in use by select units of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

  • Urban violenceViolence in U.S. cities: Mixed, but optimistic, picture

    Violence has fallen in nearly all major U.S. cities since 1991, but recent fluctuations in violence in selected cities point to temporary disruptions in this 17-year decline. “American cities are much safer than they were in the early 1990s,” says one researcher. “While violence rose in many cities from 2014 to 2017, the most recent data indicate that, overall, cities have turned a corner and this recent rise in violence may have come to an end.”

  • EbolaCongo Ebola total grows to 52 as security concerns hamper epidemic containment efforts

    The World Health Organization (WHO), following a visit by top WHO officials to the latest outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), called for free and secure access for responders working in the affected conflict-affected area. A range of armed groups are active in the North Kivu province, creating challenging security issued for health teams who need to go deep into communities to identify and monitor possible cases, the WHO said. Conflict settings can also discourage community members from coming forward for treatment.

  • WildfiresClimate change and wildfires – how do we know if there is a link?

    By Kevin Trenberth

    Once again, the summer of 2018 in the Northern Hemisphere has brought us an epidemic of major wildfires. These burn forests, houses and other structures, displace thousands of people and animals, and cause major disruptions in people’s lives. To many people, it has become very clear that human-induced climate change plays a major role by greatly increasing the risk of wildfire. There is huge complexity and variability from one fire to the next, and hence the attribution can become complex. The way to think about this is from the standpoint of basic science – in this case, physics: Global warming does not cause wildfires, but it exacerbates the conditions which make wildfires more likely, thus raising the risk of wildfire.

  • Our picksChina’s U.S. spies; the next Calif. wildfires; automating cyber-threat information sharing, and more

      Chinese cops now spying on American soil

      U.S. House candidates vulnerable to hacks: researchers

      The fake-news fallacy

      No, you can’t vote via text or tweet

      The next record-breaking fire will happen soon. So how will California pay for it?

      Trump administration’s terrorism claims omit crucial available data

      Will your kid’s school be safer this fall? Here’s what educators did after mass shootings

      California is automating cyber-threat information sharing

  • The Russia watchRussian military malware in home routers; Russia targets energy companies; voting machines flaws, and more

    •  Document: Court upholds constitutionality of Mueller appointment in Russian troll farm case

    •  Russian military spy software is on hundreds of thousands of home routers

    •  Lessons from Europe’s fight against Russian disinformation

    •  “We have a tape of Donald Trump!” Ex-KGB spy claimed In 2016 before dossier “pee tape” story, CIA veteran says

    •  SA congressman warns of Russian hackers targeting oil and gas companies

    •  Experts: Americans vulnerable to malign social media messaging

    •  Inside the poisoning of a Russian double agent

    •  Tensions flare as hackers root out flaws in voting machines

    •  Is Russia really trying to sway the midterm elections?

  • Space weaponsHacked satellite could launch microwave-like attacks

    The satellite communications which ships, planes, and the military use to connect to the internet are vulnerable to hackers which, in the worst-case scenario, could carry out “cyber-physical attacks,” turning satellite antennas into weapons which operate, in effect, like microwave ovens. An expert speaking at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, said that a number of popular satellite communication systems are vulnerable to such attacks, which could also leak information and hack connected devices.

  • SpooksMaria Butina's well-connected money contact highlights the breadth of her support network

    In an exclusive reports, the Daily Beast reports that suspected Russian spy Maria Butina had a point of contact for the cash she was getting from Russian oligarch Konstantin Nikolaev, and that man is a public relations professional with some interesting and wide-ranging connections.