Government | Homeland Security Newswire

  • Congress must adopt stronger safeguards for wireless cybersecurity: Expert

    Thanks to the advent of cell phones, tablets and smart cars, Americans are increasingly reliant on wireless services and products. Yet despite digital technology advancements, security and privacy safeguards for consumers have not kept pace. One expert told lawmakers that Congress should take immediate action to address threats caused by cell-site simulators by “ensuring that, when Congress spends about a billion taxpayer dollars on wireless services and devices each year, it procures services and devices that implement cybersecurity best practices.”

  • Intel director Coats: Russia interfered in 2016 election

    In Monday’s joint press conference in Helsinki, President Donald Trump sided with President Vladimir Putin’s “powerful denials” of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, and questioned the unanimous verdict of the U.S. intelligence community – a verdict based on national technical means, digital forensics, and human sources – that there is a mountain of incontrovertible evidence confirming Russia’s meddling. Shortly after the press conference, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats issued a terse statement defending the veracity of the intelligence community’s assessment.

  • Donald Trump’s fight with his own intelligence services will only get worse

    Those wanting a robust response by the United States to Russian foreign policy in Europe and the Middle East were worried about the Trump. But the worst was yet to come: in an extraordinary 46-minute joint news conference after the two men met, Trump refused to support the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia had intervened in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. While it’s foolhardy to predict the future at the best of times, never mind under the Trump administration, it’s certain that America’s spies and President Trump face a stormy future.

  • U.S. charges woman with links to Kremlin, U.S. politicians as covert Russian agent

    Maria Butina, a 29-year old Russian national in the United States on a student visa, cultivated ties with American conservative politicians and groups – especially the NRA – and was close to people around Donald Trump. She bragged at parties in Washington that she could use her political connections to help get people jobs in the Trump administration after the election. She was arrested on Monday and charged with being a covert Russian agent. The criminal complaint says that she reported to Aleksandr Torshin, a Russian oligarch who doubles as a cut-out for Russian intelligence. Torshin became a lifetime member of the NRA in 2012, and is now being investigated for allegedly steering millions of dollars from the Kremlin to the NRA in 2016, which the NRA then used to fund pro-Trump advertising and campaign events.

  • Iran sues U.S. at World Court for leaving nuclear deal

    The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has confirmed that Iran has filed a lawsuit against the United States over the re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, claiming the move violates the nuclear treaty Tehran signed with the United States and five other world powers.

  • Iranian nuclear archives show advances about which “international inspectors were unaware”

    Information contained in the Iranian nuclear archives extracted by Israel in a daring January raid contain more detailed information about the extent of Iran’s nuclear weapons program including specifics “about which international inspectors were unaware,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

  • Helping state, local election officials enhance cybersecurity

    The University of West Florida Center for Cybersecurity recently partnered with the Florida Department of State and election officials across Florida to provide training for supervisors of elections and key personnel to enhance cybersecurity resiliency ahead of the 2018 elections. In January 2017, DHS designated voting systems as critical infrastructure. In May 2018, DHS, the FBI, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence spoke to Congress about the importance of preparing state and local election officials for the coming Russian government cyberattacks on U.S. election systems, attacks which experts expect to be more sophisticated – and disruptive — than those the Kremlin launched in 2016.

  • Reports detail Israeli raid on Iran's nuclear documents

    Israel has revealed new details of how its spy agency smuggled out nuclear documents from Iran earlier this year, although the material does not appear to provide evidence that Iran failed to fulfill its commitments under the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers.

  • U.S. intel chief on Russia’s unrelenting cyberattacks: “The warning lights are blinking red”

    Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Friday that the U.S. digital infrastructure “is literally under attack” by Russia. “These actions are persistent, they’re pervasive, and they are meant to undermine America’s democracy on a daily basis, regardless of whether it is election time or not.” Coats emphasized that Russia’s hostile cyber activities go beyond targeting elections and sowing division, to attempts to target vulnerabilities in critical U.S. infrastructure, trying to infiltrate energy, water, nuclear, and manufacturing sectors. He compared today’s warning indicators related to Russian cyberattacks to the warning indicators in the run-up to 9/11. “It was in the months prior to September 2001, when according to then-CIA director George Tenet, the system was blinking red,” he said. “And here we are nearly two decades later, and I’m here to say the warning lights are blinking red again.”

  • U.S. Homeland Security chief: Russia sowing divisions among Americans

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said U.S. intelligence officials are seeing “persistent Russian efforts” to use social media and other resources to create divisions among the American people. She said the Russians are using social media, “sympathetic spokespeople, and other fronts to sow discord and divisiveness amongst the American people.” “Though votes were not changed” during the 2016 election, she said, “any attempt to interfere in our elections — successful or unsuccessful — is a direct attack on our democracy.”

  • 12 Russian intelligence operatives criminally charged for hacking, leaking DNC emails in 2016

    The U.S. Justice Department today (Friday) has criminally charged twelve Russian intelligence officers for the hacking and leaking emails of senior Democratic Party officials during the 2016 presidential campaign. The hacking and leaking of the emails were part of a broad and effective Kremlin effort to help Donald Trump win the November 2016 election. The 11-count indictment spells out in granular detail a carefully planned and executed attack on the information security of Democrats, planting hundreds of malware files on Democrats’ computer systems, stealing information, and then laundering the pilfered material through fake personas and others to try to influence voters’ opinions. The twelve Russian intelligence operatives indicted on Friday join thirteen other Russian individuals and three Russian companies who, in February, were criminally charged by Mueller’s team for interfering in the presidential campaign, using social media, and coordinating with low-level Trump campaign activists.

  • Argentina requests extradition of Iranian official implicated in AMIA attack

    An Argentine judge investigating the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires has requested that Russia extradite Ali Akbar Velayati, a close adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Velayati and seven other Iranian officials have been implicated for their role in the bombing, which killed 85 people and injured hundreds more.

  • Netanyahu sets out new Syria policy

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set out three specific demands regarding Syria when he met Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on Wednesday. The three specific demands were the withdrawal of Iranian and Hezbollah forces from the border with Israel; the removal of all Iranian long-range missiles in Syria; and that Syrian civilians must not be attacked in the zone near the Israeli border.

  • Fitness app Polar revealed military personnel’s sensitive location data

    The Flow fitness app produced by the Finnish sports activity tracking firm Polar has been found to reveal users’ sensitive location data, according to an investigation by several news organizations. The investigation found that it is possible to use Polar’s Flow app to track down the home addresses of military and intelligence personnel.

  • Soligenix receives European, Canadian patents for its ricin toxin vaccine (RiVax) formulation

    Soligenix, Inc., a late-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced that it has received notice of allowance for European and Canadian patent applications further extending protection around ThermoVax  including coverage of the company’s ricin toxin vaccine, RiVax. RiVax potentially would be added to the Strategic National Stockpile and dispensed in the event of a terrorist attack.