• Senator Cochran’s earmark savvy benefits Mississippi biodefense center

    Republican Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi is famous for his support of federal earmarks and regularly ranks near the top among senators for the number and size of his annual earmark haul; on Sunday the Senate passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus federal spending bill for the 2010 fiscal year, and Cochran managed to insert $150 million worth of earmarks for Mississippi; among the beneficiaries is Jackson State University’s National Center for Biodefense Communications, which conducts research and compiles data on bioterrorism threats to agriculture, and which is slated to receive $750,000 through the bill

  • Israel tests biometric database

    Israel will start a 2-year biometric database pilot; citizens applying for various identification documents will, on a voluntary basis, have their fingerprints taken along with a picture of their face; after two years the government will decide whether to make the biometric information collection mandatory

  • Bio espionage: New threat to U.S. economy

    In January, DHS warned of an increased cyber attack threat by activists/hacktivists and extremist groups; these groups are known to target life sciences and biotech companies; life sciences sector, pharmaceutical sector, and biotech sector are areas where we should expect information security challenges to increase exponentially for the foreseeable future

  • U.S. organize an international meeting on bolstering nuclear plant security

    The fluctuation in oil prices and concerns about climate change have renewed interest in building nuclear power plants; this fact, and the fact that more nuclear material may become available as a result of deep cuts in the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, increase worries about the safety of nuclear materials

  • Romania receives radiation detectors

    The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration provided Romania with radiation detectors for Romanian border crossing; shipment is part of the agency’s Second Line of Defense Program provides foreign nations with radiation monitoring devices and equipment training

  • Fake Cisco serial numbers in $1 million Chinese computer parts scheme

    Two Kansas men are accused of buying network gear in China, and then attaching fake Cisco serial numbers to the components, placing them in Cisco boxes, and selling them as Cisco products; security experts have warned that counterfeit networking gear could contain back doors that allow spies to conduct industrial espionage on U.S. companies

  • Napolitano details DHS counter-IEDs measures

    Terrorists are trying to import IED technology and methods from Iraq and Afghanistan into the United States; Napolitano said that effective defending against IED attacks means American collective responsibility: Individual citizens need to say something when they see something suspicious and everyone needs to do their part to strengthen the preparedness of their families, their communities, and their businesses.

  • Decode's demise raises privacy worries

    Icelandic company with genetic and medical records of thousands of customers closed its doors; the data might be sold on and end up in the hands of an unscrupulous company or individual

  • Using rope to fight pirates

    New antipiracy device uses compressed air to fire a plastic cylinder containing either a coiled rope or net up to a range of 400 meters; the coiled line of net or rope, which has a parachute attached to the end, will unravel and lay out across the surface of the water; as a pirate boat travels through the water its propeller shaft will pick up the line and become entangled

  • New antiterror technology tool uses human logic

    A new interactive image-based software can be used on touch-screen table-top displays and other large-screen systems better to manage the huge amounts of data collected in connection with alleged terrorist plots

  • Hawaii judge throws out child porn evidence found by TSA

    U.S. judges keep telling TSA that the agency’s security screeners at airport are there to prevent weapons and explosives from being taken on board — nothing else; it is not the screeners’ job to ask passengers why they carry a lot of cash in the luggage — or child porn

  • DARPA looking to equip MRAPs with autonomous guns to engage enemy

    DARPA’s Counter Rocket-Propelled Grenade and Shooter System with Highly Accurate Immediate Responses, or CROSSHAIRS, project will engage enemy soldiers autonomously, or remotely operated, while simultaneously shooting rockets out of the air

  • Pakistan installs radiology scanner in Islamabad

    There are more than 160 points of entry into Islamabad but four main entry points for goods carrying vehicles; the Pakistani government buys radiation detectors from China to prevent terrorists from smuggling a nuclear or dirty bomb into the city; worries about the health effects of the strong radiation the scanner emit

  • New Zealand rated least corrupt country; Somalia declared most corrupt

    The authoritative Transparency International’s annual corruption report, which rates 180 countries, found New Zealand to be the least-corrupt country in the world — scoring 9.4 out of 10; Somalia is the world’s most corrupt country, scoring a lamentable 1.1, propping up Afghanistan (1.3), Myanmar (1.4), Sudan (1.5), and Iraq (1.5); perennial most-corrupt winner Nigeria secured the joint 130th place on the list, sharing a score of 2.5 with Honduras, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, and Uganda

  • Maersk Alabama fend off pirates

    The Maersk Alabama was seized by Somali pirates in April and its captain taken hostage (he was later released by U.S. Navy commandos); last week, Somali pirates try to hijack it for the second time — but this time the ship used evasive maneuvers, Long-Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs), and small arms fire were among the tactics used to fend off the attackers