Our picksU.S. cyber defenses fall short; flood maps & insurance rates; “swatting” hoaxes, and more

Published 7 February 2019

·  The teams who test U.S. cyber defenses aren’t being tough enough: Pentagon report

·  Measles is spreading in Washington state. Medical misinformation continues to spread too.

·  Why don’t some Texas cities have outdoor warning sirens? Curious Texas investigates

·  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims terror threat as cause for U.S. action in Venezuela

·  Department of Homeland Security releases its “Remain in Mexico” plan

·  Arizona city officials want border wall’s razor wire removed

·  Diplomats sue Canada government over mystery illness in Cuba

·  A proposed flood map will triple resident’s insurance rates

·  Senators reintroduce rotational cyber workforce bill

·  Rash of “swatting” hoaxes on East End costly and dangerous

The teams who test U.S. cyber defenses aren’t being tough enough: Pentagon report (Patrick Tucker, Defense One)
Overworked trainers and penetration testers can’t properly simulate the worst real-world threats, leaving operators “overconfident.”

Measles is spreading in Washington state. Medical misinformation continues to spread too. (Haider Warraich, Vox)
Measles, anti-vaxxers, and the spread of medical misinformation on the internet.

Why don’t some Texas cities have outdoor warning sirens? Curious Texas investigates (Jesus Jimenez, The Dallas Morning News)
The city of Dallas has 162 sirens to warn residents about an imminent weather emergency. Fort Worth has 153. But Austin, Houston and San Antonio have gone a different route.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims terror threat as cause for U.S. action in Venezuela (Matthew Rozsa, Salon)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News’ Trish Regan that he believes Hezbollah has a presence in Venezuela

Department of Homeland Security releases its “Remain in Mexico” plan (Andrew Patterson, Lawfare)
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently released memos roughly outlining its plan to make asylum seekers wait in Mexico for immigration court hearings, which it calls the Migrant Protection Protocols. On Jan. 25, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen released her initial memo directing Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to publish implementation guidance. Those agencies obliged her on Jan. 28, with two separate documents issued from CBP and another from the USCIS. For now, implementation is limited to the San Ysidro border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego.
Taken together, the memos describe a policy that gives CBP officials broad discretion to refer people who are in removal proceedings under Section 240 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) for deportation to Mexico, pending their immigration court dates. Those non-Mexican nationals who do not want to be involuntarily removed to Mexico based on a fear of return to that country will receive a limited screening from a USCIS asylum officer, during which applicants will have to clear an unprecedentedly high burden of proof to show they are “more likely than not to face persecution or torture in Mexico.”

Arizona city officials want border wall’s razor wire removed (AP)
Officials in a small Arizona border city passed a resolution Wednesday night condemning the installation of new razor wire that now covers the entirety of a tall border wall through downtown.
The City Council in Nogales, which sits on the border with Nogales, Mexico, wants the federal government to remove all concertina wire installed within the city limits.
Otherwise, Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino said the city will sue.
City officials say Army troops installed more horizontal layers of the wire along the border wall last weekend.

Diplomats sue Canada government over mystery illness in Cuba (BBC)
A group of Canadian diplomats is suing the country’s government for US$21.1 million after they succumbed to a mysterious illness in Cuba.

A proposed flood map will triple resident’s insurance rates (Kavahn Mansouri, Belleville News-Democrat)
FEMA periodically updates its flood maps to take into account new developments, changes in topography, etc.

Senators reintroduce rotational cyber workforce bill (David Johnson, FCW)
A bipartisan group of senators have reintroduced legislation that would make it easier for cyber specialists in the federal government to detail at other agencies and lend their expertise.

Rash of “swatting” hoaxes on East End costly and dangerous (Vera Chinese, Newsday)
‘Generally they involve a report of a murder, or a kidnapping or both. These events trigger a significant and serious response.’