U.S. biodefense strategy; protecting U.S. dams; coastal states worry, and more | Homeland Security Newswire

Our picksU.S. biodefense strategy; protecting U.S. dams; coastal states worry, and more

Published 14 June 2018

  Here’s how that $380 million in election security funding is being spent

  White House preparing bio-defense strategy as germ warfare fears rise

  Pandemics: spend on surveillance, not prediction

  New “fire hydrant” for water-dropping helicopters may cut response time for remote wildfires

  Apple confirms that it will seal up law enforcement’s favorite iPhone cracking method

  Two companies picked to protect nation’s 600 dams from cyberattacks

  From earthquake’s destruction, a new San Francisco rises three decades later

  As storms worsen, many coastal states aren’t prepared

Here’s how that $380 million in election security funding is being spent (Joseph Marks, Defense One)
State election officials are mostly using new election security money to shore up the basics.

White House preparing bio-defense strategy as germ warfare fears rise (Loren Thompson, Forbes)
The National Security Strategy released by the Trump Administration in December makes deterring and/or defeating “weapons of mass destruction” a top priority for U.S. policymakers. In the past, that phrase has almost always been used as a euphemism for nuclear weapons. But in a break with tradition, the administration is putting increased emphasis on combating bio-threats and pandemics. In fact, the National Security Council staff is preparing a dedicated bio-defense strategy.

Pandemics: spend on surveillance, not prediction (Edward C. Holmes, Andrew Rambaut and Kristian G. Andersen, Nature)
Trust is undermined when scientists make overblown promises about disease prevention

New “fire hydrant” for water-dropping helicopters may cut response time for remote wildfires (Kelly Puente, The Orange County Register)
Firefighters hope it will be a game-changer in areas where open water sources are scarce.

Apple confirms that it will seal up law enforcement’s favorite iPhone cracking method (Taylor Hatmaker, Techcrunch)
A new version of iOS will block a controversial loophole that law enforcement agencies have leveraged in order to crack into locked iPhones. In an upcoming version of iOS (likely iOS 12), Apple will include a feature known as USB Restricted Mode which limits access to a locked iPhone through its USB port.

Two companies picked to protect nation’s 600 dams from cyberattacks (Aaron Boyd, Defense One)
The Interior Department awarded spots on a five-year, $45 million contract to manage IT risk for more than 600 dams nationwide.

From earthquake’s destruction, a new San Francisco rises three decades later (Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times)
The new $1-billion Salesforce Tower, which dwarfs any other skyscraper in the city, is getting the most attention. But it’s only part of the story.

As storms worsen, many coastal states aren’t prepared (Elizabeth Daigneau, Governing)
Lax building codes and poor enforcement are a big problem in some places.