Homeland Security Newswire |

  • TerrorismUN Report: With aid from Iran, al Qaeda is resurgent

    A United Nations report found that although the threat of ISIS has diminished, as the terror group is transitioning from “a proto-State network to a covert network,” al Qaeda is newly resurgent with support from Iran. The report states, “the global Al-Qaida network continues to show resilience. Al-Qaida’s affiliates and allies are much stronger than those of ISIL in certain places, including Somalia, Yemen, South Asia and the Sahel.”

  • EbolaEbola cases mounting in Congo as region prepares for more

    The Ebola outbreak on the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) grew by nine more confirmed cases Thursday, and one death. Six of the new cases (including the death) are from Mandima health zone in Ituri province. Ituri borders North Kivu province, the outbreak’s epicenter. The cases expand the number of cases in neighboring Ituri province. Outbreak total now stands at 66, which includes 39 confirmed and 27 probable cases. Lab testing results have brought the suspected number of cases down to 36 from 58.

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  • Security clearanceFormer senior intelligence officials rebuke Trump for the Brennan security clearance decision

    In an unprecedented rebuke to President Donald Trump, more than a dozen former senior U.S. intelligence officials have signed a letter pointedly criticizing him for what they describe as his “ill-considered” decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan. “Decisions on security clearances should be based on national security concerns and not political views,” they write.

  • InfrastructureGenoa bridge collapse: maintaining these structures is a constant battle against traffic and decay

    By Marios Chryssanthopoulos

    As rescue workers look for survivors in the concrete rubble that used to be part of the Morandi bridge in Genoa, Italian authorities are starting their investigation into the possible causes behind this terrible tragedy. It is too early to determine what may have caused the catastrophic collapse of more than 100 meters of the multi-span, cable-stayed suspension bridge, completed just over 50 years ago. But it’s important to understand that bridge engineering does not end when construction finishes and traffic starts to flow. In fact, properly looking after a bridge during its long life is as crucial as having a good design, using high-quality materials, and ensuring sound workmanship during construction.

  • Document reliabilityMaking electronic documents more trustworthy

    Today, the expeditious delivery of electronic documents, messages, and other data is relied on for everything from communications to navigation. As the near instantaneous exchange of information has increased in volume, so has the variety of electronic data formats–from images and videos to text and maps. Verifying the trustworthiness and provenance of this mountain of electronic information is an exceedingly difficult task – especially since the software used to process electronic data is error-prone and vulnerable to exploitation through maliciously crafted data inputs, opening the technology and its underlying systems to compromise.

  • ExtremismInteractive map pinpointing extremism and hate across U.S.

    Last week, in advance of the first anniversary of the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released the ADL H.E.A.T.(Hate, Extremism, Anti-Semitism, Terrorism) Map — an interactive map detailing extremist and anti-Semitic incidents in the United States. The map is a visual reflection of select proprietary datasets developed by ADL experts in its Center on Extremism.

  • Hate crimesBlack Americans are still victims of hate crimes more than any other group

    By Lillianna Byington, Brittany Brown, and Andrew Capps

    James Byrd Jr., who was dragged to death in Texas 20 years ago, became one of the namesakes for a 2009 federal law expanding hate crime legislation. But just 100 hate crimes have been pursued by federal prosecutors between January 2010 and July 2018.

  • DetectionWiFi can detect weapons, bombs, chemicals in bags

    Ordinary WiFi can easily detect weapons, bombs and explosive chemicals in bags at museums, stadiums, theme parks, schools and other public venues, according to a new study. Researchers  demonstrated how this low-cost technology could help security screening at public venues like stadiums, theme parks and schools.

  • First respondersNew first-responder safety, efficiency systems on the way

    Two homeland security technologies will be developed jointly by American and Israeli companies to increase the safety and efficiency of first-responders — law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services —  after getting funding from the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation. The technologies will build advanced technologies for victim location and radio communication.

  • TsunamisClimate change, sea level rise to cause more devastating tsunamis worldwide

    As sea levels rise due to climate change, so do the global hazards and potential devastating damages from tsunamis, according to a new study. Even minor sea-level rise, by as much as a foot, poses greater risks of tsunamis for coastal communities worldwide.

  • Our picksChanging execution methods; Chinese surveillance; Texas students & drones, and more

    •  Ryan Zinke finally admits that climate change is making wildfires worse

      DHS holds election security exercise with states to prep for midterms

      ‘Man-in-the-disk’ attack took advantage of Android data security flaws

      China is going to new lengths to surveil its own citizens

      Thousands of miles of internet cables could be underwater by 2033

      Wildfire areas have high poverty and small tax bases. Will that affect future construction?

      Texas students undergo drone training for public safety use

      Fentanyl, gas, firing squad: Why execution methods are changing

  • The Russia watch“Putin’s favorite congressman”; Russian hackers & 2018 election apocalypse; bizarre Russian Instagram hack, and more

    •  Russian hackers could provoke an election apocalypse in the 2018 midterms

    •  Russian trolls amped up tweets for pro-Trump website’s content

    •  Research the revenge: what we’re getting wrong about Russia Today

    •  Cutting through the “fake news”: Proof that Russia is hacking everyone

    •  Bizarre Russian Instagram hack is locking users out of their accounts

    •  Four big targets in the cyber battle over the U.S. ballot box

    •  Somebody hacked a Democratic opponent of “Putin’s favorite congressman”

    •  Sauna with Russia spies shouldn’t bar U.S. deals, Kaspersky says

    •  The government’s revealing case against Paul Manafort

    •  Trump ties revoking Brennan’s clearance to the Russia probe

    •  Exclusive: Trump staffer says he recruited lobbyists for Russian oligarch

  • 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.

  • 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