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Security Port
Contains relevant information that pertains to security related issues and solutions.

Security Port

A Security Port Blog
Energy Security
12/30/2013

One of the biggest challenges facing modern society is energy security: how to guarantee a safe and secure supply of energy in an increasingly networked world where incidents on one side of the planet can have a significant impact on the energy supply on the other.

In the last few years, disputes between Russia and Ukraine over gas pipelines have cut off the supply to parts of Europe. Hurricane Katrina had a significant impact on the energy supply in the US and a terrorist attack on an Algerian gas facility earlier this year reduced the supply to Europe by 10 per cent. In March, the UK was left with just 6 hours’-worth of stored gas as a buffer for the entire country.

These kinds of crises are an inevitable part of the modern world. Preventing them simply is not possible. Instead, energy specialist have begun to think about mitigating their effects. The question is: how?

Security Droning On...
12/29/2013

Drones are a hot topic of discussion. From use as weapon combat vehicles to possibly even delivering your Amazon packages in a few years, drones have the potential to fundamentally change the way society operates, for better or worse.

Although the use of commercial drones is still awaiting regulation from the Federal Aviation Administration, it is not difficult to imagine a world filled with different types of drones tasked with new roles. In One Drone Future, designer Alex Cornell explores what semi-autonomous drones would look like if we allowed them to be used for security surveillance in large cities such as San Francisco.

FTC Wants to Enforce Data Security
12/27/2013

Despite growing pushback from companies and powerful industry groups, the Federal Trade Commission continues to insist that it wants to be the nations enforcer of data security standards.

The FTC, over the past years, has gone after companies that have suffered data breaches, citing the authority granted to it under a section of the FTC Act that prohibits unfair and deceptive trade practices. The FTC extracted stiff penalties from some companies by arguing that their failure to properly protect customer data represented an unfair and deceptive trade practice.

Gmail Image Raises Security Risks
12/26/2013

A new Gmail policy that allows e-mailed image attachments to load automatically comes at a price, say two security researchers.

Google announced on Thursday that Gmail would once again load attached images by default. The feature had been disabled years ago, as a way of clamping down on malware and phishing attacks.

The news was accompanied by an explanation: Google proxy servers would host the images, thus preventing any malware they were hiding from surreptitiously showing up in the e-mail.

However, security researcher H.D. Moore determined that the proxy servers posed a tracking risk to e-mail recipients.

TSA Price Doubles
12/25/2013

Airplane travelers may soon have to pay more for the privilege of the TSAs oft-invasive security measures. According to the AP, travelers will have to pay more than double the current TSA fee thats baked into the price of an airplane ticket starting on July 1st.

Female Integration in Combat
12/24/2013

The push to integrate female soldiers into formerly all-male combat roles and units could increase injuries, deaths, and incidences of sexual assault and ultimately harm national security, experts say.

The Department of Defense rescinded the restrictions on direct ground combat for women in January as part of an effort to promote equality in the armed forces and increase opportunities for female soldiers. Military branches are currently researching the performance of females who volunteered for infantry officer and enlisted training courses, and the service chiefs have repeatedly said that standards will not be lowered to accommodate women in combat roles.

However, critics of the initiative say it comes with social and health costs that are counterproductive. And they say they are deeply skeptical of claims by military leaders that standards will not be altered.

Security vs Sales
12/23/2013

Even as a presidential task force prepares a sweeping new report on how the National Security Agency gathers electronic information on Americans, the heads of the nations major tech firms — Google, Facebook, Apple, LinkedIn — have made their own direct appeal for a tightening of controls over government surveillance.

Yes, the very same companies that track our every purchase, make official note of our every connection, and can tell us at any given moment where in the world we are and where the nearest Italian restaurant might be — yes, those companies — have a problem with the government using that same information not to sell us stuff but for national security purposes.

Now it has always struck us as more than a little ironic that just regular folk who put their every move online — from rowdy frat parties to vacation photos to their favorite brand of skis, who use the Internet to diss a restaurant or tout a new shop, actually object when the government collects metadata, basically checking contact points, rather than content.

Health App Store Has Security Issues
12/20/2013

Happtique is on a mission to build a professional app store for health care. But independent developers spotted security flaws just days after the company authorized its first set of medical apps.

The company has responded to these concerns by suspending its certification registry until further notice.

Security Weak at Mandela Event
12/19/2013

In the hours before President Barack Obama arrived at a Johannesburg soccer stadium to honor Nelson Mandela, the White House staff was in the dark on critical details.

Where would the president and first lady Michelle Obama sit? When was Obama supposed to speak? Who else would be on stage during the speech?

The result was an array of confusion and security risks that typically would not be tolerated by the Secret Service in the United States. The situation showed just how the Secret Service often is at the mercy of foreign governments to make arrangements when the president is overseas.

There were metal detectors and X-ray machines at the stadium, but they were not used on the initial crowds streaming in for the ceremony, according to Associated Press reporters on scene.

Many people walked through with little or no screening. Inside the stadium there were few signs of the heavy security that routinely would accompany an event with Obama and other world leaders.

Karzai Security Hopes
12/18/2013

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday that he hopes the United States will reconsider its stand on a security agreement it wants him to sign in the interests of bringing a lasting peace to his war-torn country.

Karzai reiterated his position that the Afghan people cannot endorse a bilateral security agreement with the United States without the U.S. agreeing to end airstrikes and raids on Afghan homes and help broker a peace process with the Taliban.

School Security
12/17/2013

Most parents of elementary school-age children say their schools boosted security following last year's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., according to a poll from NPR in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

The poll was the first national survey since the 1999 Columbine tragedy to ask parents how schools reacted to a mass shooting. It found that 62 percent of parents with children in kindergarten through grade 5 reported increased school security precautions. Fifty-seven percent of those with kids in grades 6-8 saw changes, while that number fell to 41 percent among parents of students in grades 9-12.

The NPR survey also found that 72 percent of parents in the U.S. say they believe their childs school today is extremely or very safe. But that feeling of security is not shared by minority and low-income parents. Forty percent of African-American parents say their childs school is somewhat, not very, or not at all safe.

SMS Vulnerability in Nextel Phones
12/16/2013

Security researcher Bogdan Alecu recently discovered that newer Nexus smartphones like the Galaxy Nexus, the Nexus 4 and the just-released Nexus 5 are all susceptible to an SMS attack that can lock the handset up, reboot it or make it lose connection to the carrier network.

The attack reportedly works by sending a Nexus phone around 30 flash SMS messages. Flash messages are described as those that are immediately displayed on the screen and require immediate action. In the event the messages are not properly dismissed, the phone can lose its data connection, freeze or even reboot.

Despite rousing approval by the vast majority of Afghan elders, Afghanistan's security deal with the United States still hangs in the balance.XPresident Hamid Karzai says he won't sign it until some conditions are met. U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice says what the Afghan leader is asking for are new demands added to a deal that has already been worked out.XKarzai wants a promise from the United States that there will be no more raids on Afghan homes, and that Afghan prisoners will be released from the Guantanamo Bay detention center.Afghan US Security Deal
12/14/2013

Despite rousing approval by the vast majority of Afghan elders, Afghanistan's security deal with the United States still hangs in the balance.

President Hamid Karzai says he will not sign it until some conditions are met. U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice says what the Afghan leader is asking for are new demands added to a deal that has already been worked out.

Karzai wants a promise from the United States that there will be no more raids on Afghan homes, and that Afghan prisoners will be released from the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

Computer Security Booms After NSA Revelations
12/13/2013

Encrypted email, secure instant messaging and other privacy services are booming in the wake of the National Security Agencys recently revealed surveillance programs. But the flood of new computer security services is of variable quality, and much of it, experts say, can bog down computers and isn’t likely to keep out spies.

In the end, the new geek wars —between tech industry programmers on the one side and government spooks, fraudsters and hacktivists on the other— may leave peoples PCs and businesses computer systems encrypted to the teeth but no better protected from hordes of savvy code crackers.

New Statement on US National Security
12/12/2013

President Obama will formally present a new national security strategy early next year, identifying his foreign policy priorities for the remainder of his time in office, the White House said Friday.

The new policy document will be the second of Obama's administration and will likely update the previous one, released in May 2010, in several important areas. Those include policies for fighting the next phase of the war against al-Qaeda, the shift of national security resources to Asia and a plan to manage declining defense budgets amid fiscal strain.

Cyber Security in the Middle East
12/11/2013

Cyber security is a looming concern for companies in the Middle East. In a recent study by information security specialists Gulf Business Machines, it was revealed that more than 65 per cent of IT experts in the GCC believe that the region is a prime target for cyber criminals.

Home to some of worlds highest net worth individuals and companies, cyber crime has gained pace in the region with attacks on governments and financial institutions on the rise.

American Fighters in Syria Are a Security Risk
12/09/2013

Federal officials say Americans are joining the bloody civil war in Syria, raising the chances they could become radicalized by al-Qaeda-linked militant groups and return to the U.S. as battle-hardened security risks.

The State Department says it has no estimates of how many Americans have taken up weapons to fight military units loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in the conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people over 2 ½ years. Other estimates — from an arm of the British defense consultant IHS Janes and from experts at a nonprofit think tank in London — put the number of Americans at a couple of dozen. The IHS group says al-Qaeda-linked fighters number about 15,000, with total anti-Assad forces at 100,000 or more.

NYC Says Turn Security Cameras Turn the Street!
12/07/2013

The NYPD wants business owners to help solve crime in one Harlem precinct by turning their security cameras to the street.

Security Fears Over ObamaCare
12/06/2013

In what could be the biggest handicap to getting people to sign up for ObamaCare, the public is over whelmingly concerned about the security of the information compiled by the health care exchange.

The latest IBD/TIPP Poll finds that 78% say Americans should be worried about the security of the ObamaCare exchange website, and 53% say they should be very concerned. This view was shared across parties, with 69% of Democrats saying security concerns are warranted.

IRS Security Protocols
12/05/2013

The Internal Revenue Service has failed to implement new management protocols to sufficiently protect the security of American taxpayers' personal data, according to a new report from the governments tax watchdog.

The report, conducted in September but publicly released for the first time Thursday, examined previous IRS actions to bolster the agency’s ability to ensure secure taxpayer data.

But the annual internal audit of IRS security protocols conducted by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration  said that the actions taken by the agency were insufficient and could leave personal data open to a possible security breach.

HealthCare.gov Security Issues
12/04/2013

Ever since the October 1 launch of the federal HealthCare.gov portal, which implements the Affordable Care Act and is used by 36 states, security experts have been warning that the site is vulnerable to a number of different types of attacks. To date, would-be hackers appear to have paid scant attention to the site, but many security experts -- and legislators -- have voiced their concerns over the hack-attack potential for a healthcare portal that handles people's personal information, including social security numbers, income levels, and medical details.

Home Security
12/03/2013

The FBI says more than a million homes across America were hit by burglars last year, grabbing an average of $2,200 worth of stuff each time.

The good news: It takes a lot less than you may think to install sophisticated security equipment yourself, and you will save plenty over the cost of a professional alarm company.

Even better, there are tons of easy, no-tech ways to improve your homes security for free or next to nothing.

NSA Infection
12/02/2013

A day after Twitter announced new security enhancements, the NSA was revealed to have infected tens of thousands of computers with malicious software.

A Dutch publication, NRC Handelsblad, reported yesterday that the National Security Agency has infected over 50,000 computer networks worldwide with malicious software designed to steal sensitive information. This latest piece of information in a long series of stories to come from the Edward Snowden leaks on the American spying agency comes from a 2012 internal presentation on how the NSA collects information globally. The document refers to its methods as Computer Network Exploitation, defined as the secret infiltration of computer systems through the use of malware.

Oregon Must Upgrade System to Comply
11/29/2013

Oregon must spend $16.3 million over the next six years to improve the security of drivers licenses, or the federal government could refuse to recognize Oregon IDs for things like boarding a plane, a report to the Legislature says.

The state doesn't meet standards set by the REAL ID Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 2005, and in 2009, Oregon lawmakers said agencies could not use state dollars to make the required changes unless federal dollars covered the costs, the Salem Statesman Journal reports.



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