• Quakeproofing ItalyCalls in Italy for quake-proofing the country’s buildings, infrastructure

    More and more Italians are urging the government to invest more funds to make buildings in the country earthquake resistant. Earlier today (Thursday), Italy was dealing with the cost of two quakes which reduced villages in the Apennines to rubble and left thousands homeless. Geologists have been saying that Italy is such seismically active country that the only option is to strengthen buildings to the extent possible and learn to live with the threat.

  • RadicalizationThe “blind spot” in extremist Web content

    In order better to understand the process of on-line radicalization, researchers examined the average monthly number of global searches and regional search frequencies conducted in Google for 287 Arabic and English keywords relating to violent and non-violent extremism. Further analysis was then conducted within the search results for forty-seven of the relevant keywords to understand placement of extremist and counter-narrative content.

  • RadicalizationRisk of student radicalization in Quebec low

    A new survey of CEGEP students found that the risk of violent radicalization among Quebec youth remains “very weak,” while incidents of racism and hate speech remain common. CEGEP is a network of publicly funded pre‑university colleges in the province of Quebec’s education system – similar to U.S. community colleges.

  • Fashion terrorParis venue of Victoria's Secret December show kept secret for fear of terrorism

    Victoria’s Secret officials admitted they were worried about a possible terrorist attack during their 5 December 2016 Fashion Show in Paris. The lingerie company typically announces its annual runway show in the spring of each year — but this year the company waited until Monday, 24 October, to announce this year’s location. Several venues in Paris were considered, until one was selected because the French security services concluded it would be easier to secure.

  • PrivacyCan you be anonymous on the Internet? No, you cannot

    If you still think you can be anonymous on the Internet, a team of Stanford and Princeton researchers has news for you: You cannot. Researchers say most people do not realize how much information they are leaving behind as they browse the Web. Online privacy risks are not new, but the researchers say their research is “another nail in the coffin” to the idea that the average person with the average Web browser can be private online.

  • CybersecurityInternet of Things vulnerability: Analyzing the 21 October DDoS attack

    The Friday, 21 October 2016 Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) has been analyzed as a complex and sophisticated attack, using maliciously targeted, masked TCP, and UDP traffic over port 53. Dyn has confirmed that Mirai botnet was the primary source of the malicious attack traffic. The attack generated compounding recursive DNS retry traffic, further exacerbating the attack’s impact. Dyn says it will not speculate on the motivation or the identity of the attackers, but suggests that, but says that the attack has opened up an important conversation about Internet security and volatility. The attack has not only highlighted vulnerabilities in the security of Internet of Things (IOT) devices that need to be addressed, but it has also sparked further dialogue in the internet infrastructure community about the future of the Internet.

  • Foreign invasionFirst in-port insect discovery by CBP in San Juan

    An entomologist from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed recently that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists made a first in port discovery of an insect within an imported air cargo shipment of cut flowers arriving from Bogota, Colombia. CBP says that the Guayaquila pallescens, commonly called treehoppers or thorn bugsis the first of its species intercepted in Puerto Rico.

  • Zika virusBacteria-infected mosquitoes to combat Zika spread in South America

    Mosquitoes infected with naturally occurring Wolbachia bacteria will be released in large urban areas in Colombia and Brazil. The new field trials will assess the effectiveness of the method for reducing new cases of Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases. Transferring the bacteria into Aedes mosquitoes reduces their capacity to transmit viruses to humans.

  • Water securityMapping corrosive groundwater across the U.S.

    Approximately 44 million people in the United States rely on groundwater from wells as their water source. A new study found that untreated groundwater from twenty-five states could be potentially highly or very highly corrosive, a recent study finds. Corrosive water, while itself not dangerous, can dissolve lead and other metals from pipes, plumbing, and other metal surfaces into drinking water. While the quality of municipal water supplies is regulated and treated, domestic well owners are responsible for the treatment of their personal water supplies.

  • SurveillanceWe are watching you: U.K. CCTV strategy

    There are over six million CCTV cameras in the United Kingdom – one CCTV camera for every ten citizens. This number does not include body-cam footage, unmanned aerial vehicles, or the automatic number plate recognition system. Britain has 20 percent of the world’s cameras despite being home to less than one percent of its population. In 2015, turnover for the video and CCTV surveillance sector topped £2.12 billion in the United Kingdom. The government has just released a draft national surveillance camera strategy for England and Wales.

  • Hate groupsBavaria wants tighter monitoring of Reichsbürger movement extremists

    The government of the state of Bavaria wants the German federal government to monitor the far-right Reichsbürger movement more closely. The movement resembles the American sovereign citizen movement: It does not recognize the authority of the government in Berlin, and challenge the legality of the German political structure. The Reichsbürger claims that the last legitimate German government was the one elected in November 1932 – and which made Hitler chancellor on 30 January 1933 – and that all German governments since the surrender of Germany on 7 May 1945 have been illegitimate.

  • Hate groupsGermany's far-right, populist, xenophobic movements on the rise

    There have been many extremist right-wing, nationalist, populist, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-immigration groups and movements in Germany (and, earlier, West Germany). Currently, the German intelligence and law enforcement agencies are monitoring about three dozen groups, associations, fellowships, movements, open networks, and organized political parties. The German authorities say there are 22,600 registered members of right-wing extremist groups in Germany, and that 8,000 of them have proven themselves ready to use violence.

  • CybersecurityDHS S&T awards UCSD $1.4 million to measure Internet vulnerabilities

    DHS S&T has awarded $1,356,071 to UCSD to develop new capabilities better to enable cyber security researchers to measure the Internet’s vulnerabilities to cyberattacks. The award is part of S&T’s Cyber Security Division’s (CSD) larger Internet Measurement and Attack Modeling (IMAM) project.

  • CybersecurityCould your kettle bring down the Internet?

    By Ansgar Koene and Derek McAuley

    How could a webcam help bring down some of the world’s most popular Web sites? It seems unlikely but that’s what happened recently when hackers attacked the Internet infrastructure run by U.S. firm Dyn, knocking out services including Paypal, Twitter, and Netflix. More accurately, the attacked involved potentially hundreds of thousands of surveillance cameras and digital video recorders connected to the Internet that had been weaponized by the hackers. Such a high-profile attack demonstrates just how serious the security flaws are in the tech industry’s current approach to the Internet of Things. Without a significant change in the way these devices are designed and used, we can expect to see many more instances of Internet-enabled cameras, TVs, and even kettles used for nefarious purposes. It is time for developers to grow up and take responsibility for their designs or risk interference from regulators.

  • Chem/bio weaponsShark antibodies for chemical, biological threat detection, treatment

    New research shows that shark antibodies offer new alternatives to chemical and biological threat detection and treatment tools. In an era of Department of Defense belt-tightening, the goal is to find more innovative, cost-effective approaches to protecting our warfighters.

  • Public healthUnvaccinated adults cost the U.S. economy more than $7 billion a year

    Vaccine-preventable diseases among adults cost the U.S. economy $8.95 billion in 2015, and unvaccinated individuals are responsible for 80 percent, or $7.1 billion, of the tab. The flu was the most costly disease with a vaccine available, accounting for nearly $5.8 billion in health care costs and lost productivity in 2015.

  • First responseLessons learned in U.S.-Canada cross-border experiment

    DHS S&T First Responders Group (FRG) and Canadian partners held the CAUSE IV experiment on the Michigan-Ontario border. The two territories are connected by the Blue Water Bridge spanning the St. Clair River, which is the second-busiest transit point between the United States and Canada. The goal of the CAUSE experiment series is to stage emergency scenarios to prepare first responders and communities on both sides of the U.S./Canada border for a potential natural or manmade disaster.

  • Border securityMexico fights illegal immigration on its own southern border

    By Jay Root

    The United States isn’t the only country — nor Texas the only state — with a long history of illegal immigration over a porous southern border. Where the Mexican state of Chiapas touches Guatemala, undocumented immigrants and smugglers don’t have to worry about a border patrol, customs agency, or immigration authorities of any kind.

  • Chemical weaponsISIL uses toxic chemicals in its defense of Mosul

    In the run up to the U.S.-led coalition campaign to liberate Mosul, U.S. officials warned that ISIS would likely use chemical weapons to slow down the progress of coalition forces and terrorize the residents. Last Thursday ISIS took the first step in its chemical strategy by setting ablaze the Mishraq Chemical plant and sulphur mine, located thirty km south of Mosul. The toxic cloud includes lethal sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide. When combined with residue from burning oil wells, it is deadly for people caught in the open or without gas masks. Military experts say health effects from the toxic fumes from oil and sulphur will likely subside in about eighteen months, but the toxic clouds could harm much of the plant and animal life in the area and make it difficult for local farmers to return to their fields until then.

  • Chemical weaponsAssad regime used chemical weapons: UN

    The White House on Saturday sharply condemned the use of chemical weapons by the government of Bashar al-Assad, after an international inquiry found that Syrian government forces used toxic gas in spring 2015 in attacks on two rebel-held towns. The fourth report from the 13-month-long inquiry by the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the UN chemical weapons watchdog, blamed Syrian government forces for a toxic gas attack in Qmenas in Idlib governorate on 16 March 2015.

  • AviationInnovative technologies sought for aviation security

    A £2 million competition to help find new ways to protect air passengers has been announced by the U.K. government’s Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) team. The Home Office and Department for Transport team have jointly launched a competition through the Center for Defense Enterprise (CDE) as part of its wider FASS program worth £25.5 million until 2021. Suppliers are being asked to develop truly innovative technologies, with a focus on people, baggage, and cargo security.

  • CybersecurityIs someone really trying to find out if they can destroy the Internet?

    By David Glance

    A prolonged Internet outage prevented access to major sites like Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, and the New York Times on Friday. Because of the increase in number and intensity of DDoS type attacks in recent years, security analysts have theorized that some of the attacks are masking the probing of vulnerabilities. The Internet remains incredibly vulnerable to attacks on its infrastructure and right now, there are few ways of avoiding them. It does bring into question the ability of governments to put even more of its interface with the public online since as soon as it does, it becomes a potential target for malicious actors. Governments in particular need to become more adept at dealing with this possibility.