• U.S. allocates $790 million for infrastructure and preparedness

    DHS announces $790 million in infrastructure and preparedness grants; the grants include $253.4 million to protect critical transit infrastructure from terrorism — in addition to $150 million in transit security grants provided by the Recovery Act (1, 2), for a total of $403.4 million

  • Modern cars susceptible to malicious hacking

    Modern cars come with many computerized control system — and this is what makes them vulnerable to hacking; using a laptop and custom-written software, security researchers have hacked into the control systems of a family car, disabled the brakes, and turned off the engine while the vehicle was moving

  • California train line unveils crash-resistant cars

    Southern California commuter train system showed off new crash-resistant passenger cars; the railway will spend $229 million to buy 117 cars from a division of Hyundai in South Korea

  • Lawmakers say focus on airline security overshadows passenger rail safety

    Two million people get on planes every day in the United States, and 35 million get on ground transit; yet, the resources invested in air travel security dwarf those allocated to ground transportation security; lawmakers want to know why

  • TSA joins NYPD in subway baggage screening

    TSA joins BYPD in a trial for screening passengers’ baggage on New York subways; TSA says it does not know how long the agency would run the program, but that mass transit riders should anticipate a TSA presence underground “for the foreseeable future”

  • New sensor helps find parking spaces -- and make air traffic, shipping safer

    Every vehicle — a car in a parking lot or on the road, an airplane on the tarmac, a ship — slightly deforms its surrounding Earth’s magnetic field due to the vehicle’s metallic components and electronic devices; magnetic field sensors can detect these small changes; in contrast to surveillance cameras, which are influenced by fog or rain, magnetic field sensors are unaffected by weather conditions

  • Attacks on surface transportation: what the data say

    Two detailed reports on risks to surface transportation offer intriguing insights which may lead to changes in approaches to ground transportation security; for example, suicide bombers, particularly when attacking trains, are not the most lethal way of delivering a bomb, and assaults with automatic weapons and land mines have been used with greater lethality for many targets than IEDs placed inside a target

  • NYC takes extra measures to protect subway from terror

    The New York City’s subway system is a porous, 24-hour-a-day system with 468 stations and an average of 5 million riders a day; NYC security officials insist the city remains the nation’s No. 1 terror target, and they devote extra resources to protecting Wall Street, the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge. and other high-profile potential targets; their biggest worry — spurred by the recent bombing in Moscow and a foiled plot in New York — is the subway

  • How safe are U.S. subways?

    In a report last year, the GAO said: “Certain characteristics of mass transit systems, such as multiple access points and limited barriers to access, make them inherently vulnerable to terrorist attack and therefore difficult to secure; high ridership, expensive infrastructure, economic importance, and location in large metropolitan areas or tourist destinations also make them attractive targets for terrorists because of the potential for mass casualties and economic damage”

  • Half of New York City's subway cameras do not work; killer goes unidentified

    There are 4,313 subway security cameras on platforms and in the tunnels of the New York City’s subway system; trouble is, only 2,270 work; the other 2,043 cameras do not; the problem of missing video came to light after two men were stabbed to death on the subway early Sunday — and there was no camera in the station to catch an image of the killer

  • Five ways to make subway stations and cars safer

    Several new technologies and practices can make subways and mass-transit stations significantly safer; among the latest technologies: shields, vests, and blankets made from Demron, a fabric blend that blocks chemical, biological, and nuclear agents; the shields and vests would be used by first responders, while blankets would be thrown over radiation victims to keep them from irradiating others; another blanket — the Hi-Energy Nuclear Suppression Blanket — is designed to be placed over a dirty bomb about to go off; it traps chemical, biological, and nuclear agents and reduces by more than half the distance they can spread

  • Trucking industry says it is prepared for terrorism threat

    Trucking industry says that contrary to a scenario in a recent report on the subject, in which a gasoline tanker is hijacked and disappears, a rigorous daily delivery schedule means an out-of-route tanker would be reported very quickly, with or without tracking gear; industry calls for a single, uniform background checking approach

  • SF fiery crash highlights cities' vulnerability to tankers used as weapons

    More than 800,000 trucks carry shipments of hazardous materials every day across the United States; background checks of those hauling hazardous materials are designed to prevent fugitives, the mentally ill, and those convicted of terrorism, espionage, or murder from obtaining a HAZMAT hauling license; one security expert: “It’s very difficult now to purchase explosives … but it’s not that hard to steal a truck full of gasoline, and you can do quite a bit of damage”

  • Web site lists rail-carried hazardous chemicals in real time

    Railroad operator CSX now provides first responders and the Chemical Transportation Emergency Center (CHEMTREC) access to secure Web-based information which allows CHEMTREC to find a train number, tank car number, and identify what is being transported in those cars; BNSF also provides CHEMTREC with manifest information, but only after a derailment; BNSF does, however, provide municipalities a list of chemicals it routinely transports through cities

  • HTS unveils vehicle identity recognition system

    HTS offers a vehicle identity recognition system which recognizes the vehicle’s manufacturer logo (car model), vehicle body and plate color, special icons on the plate itself (such as handicap), and country or state name; the system will help police to detect vehicles with false license plates, such as stolen cars, and detect any discrepancies between the vehicle type and its license plate number