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

Security Port

A Security Port Blog
Google Wallet Security
09/28/2011

Google Wallet allows users to simply enter a 4-digit PIN number and tap their phone enabled with a near field communication chip in front of a payment reader to make their store payments. However, like other payment mechanisms, prospective users will surely be wary of using technology which can potentially expose their personal financial information. Security analysts have already pointed out that the payment method of using a 4-digit PIN can be exposed to hacking attacks, and Google still needs a way to re-assure users that the Wallet is not vulnerable to cyber crimes.

Security Clearance
09/27/2011

More than 2.8 million federal employees and at least 1 million contractors and consultants have security clearances, according to a report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The number represents the number of security clearances as of October 2010 and is an increase of roughly 45,000 from a year before. The report marks the first time the government has inventoried the number of people having access to classified material.

The report also shows the number of contractors holding clearances declined slightly since October 2009. Contractors holding top secret clearances in October 2010 numbered 524,990, down from 536,637 the year before. Contractors holding confidential/secret clearances in October 2010 totaled 541,097, down from 552,088 the year before.

Secure Communities
09/26/2011

A program that checks the immigration status of all people booked into local jails needs systemwide changes and may need to be suspended until its problems are worked out, according to a review conducted by the Department of Homeland Securitys advisory council.

The program, called Secure Communities, allows Homeland Security to review the fingerprints of people arrested by state and local law enforcement agencies against federal immigration databases.

The program has been criticized because some people arrested for minor crimes, or on charges that are later dropped, are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, sometimes resulting in deportation.

Apple Security Concerns
09/25/2011

Wanted: experienced security professional. Must have plan to thwart Chinese counterfeiters, protect secret blueprints from spies and keep workers from leaving super-secret unreleased smartphones behind in bars.

A day after a recent report surfaced that an Apple employee had lost a prototype for a new but unreleased iPhone at a Northern California watering hole, two job listings appeared on Apples website for managers of new product security.

TSA Chats
09/24/2011

The Transportation Security Administration recently began experimenting with a new technique at the airport in which officers engage in brief, casual conversations with passengers and listen for any hints of suspicious behavior. The program is modeled after an approach that has long been used by Israeli security officials, but does not employ profiling, TSA officials said.

Cybersecurity
09/23/2011

The names and email addresses of hundreds of U.S. intelligence officials €” including some senior officials in the Obama Administration €” have been posted on an anti-secrecy website after computer hackers allegedly swiped them from the internal membership list of a prestigious national security organization.

The apparent cyberattack on the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, or INSA, is the latest example of the ability of hackers to penetrate the computer systems of government agencies and private companies €” including those that pride themselves on their savvy and expertise in cybersecurity.

Youngsters May Experience Relaxed Security
09/23/2011

Children 12 years old and younger soon will no longer be required to remove their shoes at airport security checkpoints, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress on Tuesday. The policy also includes other ways to screen young children without resorting to a pat down that involves touching private areas on the body.

Facebook Security
09/22/2011

Losing access to your Facebook account is not the hard part. Getting it back is.

A Facebook user can get locked out of their account after forgetting their password, posting content another user has flagged as inappropriate or offensive, being accused of using a fake name or, more sinisterly, if their account was hacked.

FISMA Security Accreditation
09/21/2011

Amazon has earned the FISMA security accreditation from the US General Services Administration, a key endorsement for its cloud security model that could increase adoption among federal agencies.

FISMA, the Federal Information Security Management Act, is the fifth major certification or accreditation Amazon has gained for its Web Services business featuring the Elastic Compute Cloud infrastructure-as-a-service platform.

Hacking A Real Threat
09/20/2011

The computer hackers, chat room denizens and young people who comprise the loosely affiliated Internet collective have increasingly turned to questionable tactics, drawing the attention of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and other federal investigators.

What was once a small group of pranksters has become a potential national security threat, federal officials say.

The FBI has carried out more than 75 raids and arrested 16 people this year in connection with illegal hacking jobs claimed by Anonymous.

The Evolution of Homeland Security
09/19/2011

The Department of Homeland Security and state governments spend billions of dollars every year on domestic security, helping cities and counties buy up-to-date equipment and strategies for defeating terrorists.

Established in November 2002, the new department absorbed 22 different federal agencies, with the idea of unifying homeland security efforts. But after all this time, have those efforts made us safer?

In its early days, the Department of Homeland Security was something of a makeshift affair. The first secretary, former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, operated out of a double cubicle, a bit more modest workspace than most of his fellow Cabinet officers. The computers at the various agencies could not talk to one another, and there were the inevitable turf wars.

Show Your Patriotism
09/18/2011

A bunch of companies are capitalizing on US Patriotism checkout the following:

Patriotic Sneakers

Patriotic iPad Cases
Patriotic Return Address Labels
Patriotic iPhone Cases

Security Spending Help With Natural Disasters
09/18/2011

Radios, emergency response equipment and training paid for with homeland security money have turned out to be a big help for agencies responding to devastating storms.

The legacy of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks showed up when emergency workers in tornado-ravaged communities in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia responded to deadly tornadoes in late April.

Bradley County Emergency Management Agency director Troy Spence that the biggest investment in homeland security has been a radio system that allows agencies to communicate on a single network.

Google Warns of Security Breach
09/17/2011

Google took the unusual step of warning Gmail users in Iran to secure their accounts, a week after an unidentified hacker generated fake Web site verification certificates that may have allowed the Iranian state to monitor communications by its citizens, including dissidents.

Hackers Break into Linux Foundation
09/16/2011

Just weeks after the kernel.org Linux archive site suffered a hacker attack, the Linux Foundation has pulled its websites from the web to clean up from a security breach.

A notice posted on the Linux Foundation said the entire infrastructure including LinuxFoundation.org, Linux.com, and their subdomains are down for maintenance due to a security breach that was discovered on September 8, 2011.

Worries About Security and Economy
09/15/2011

Few moments in history rival 9-11. Economically, these are equally rare times.

Is there a connection?

You bet. We live in a post-9-11 economy.

The terror of that Tuesday unfolded a shroud of security that simply makes ordinary life cost more today.

We replaced our lost domestic tranquility with expensive overseas wars.

The Federal Reserve revved its policy apparatus as never before and, in the eyes of many, contributed to or perhaps caused the financial crash that came seven Septembers later.

Monitoring the Border
09/14/2011

TerraHawk, LLC, a Texas-based small business, will be demonstrating its Mobile Utility Surveillance Tower technology to House and Senate Members and Staff on Thursday, September 8th. This patented technology is currently being fielded by law enforcement agencies as a more practical and versatile solution for emergency response, public event crowd control, general surveillance and more prominently, as a deterrence asset against drug trafficking and other illegal activity near our nations borders.

The MUST solution is a reasonably priced, ruggedly versatile platform to integrate state of the art thermal cameras, ground radar, and other surveillance technology and can be deployed within two minutes.

Border Incursions
09/13/2011

A national watchdog group says the Mexican Government incursion that happened just a few miles outside of El Paso could be a major security threat to the nation.

The Zaragoza Bridge was very active on Thursday, just hours after hunters reported being shot at and robbed by Mexican gunmen who crossed the river into the United States. The Border Patrol says those gunmen were Mexican Federal Police Agents, but they said the shooting and robbery were not part of their initial investigation.

Cyber Attacks Cause Government Concern
09/12/2011

The Dutch government said it could not guarantee the security of its own Web sites, days after the private company it uses to authenticate them acknowledged it had been hacked. An official also said the government was taking over the companys operations.

The announcement affects millions of people who use the Netherlands governments online services and rely on the authenticator, DigiNotar, to confirm they are visiting the correct sites. To date, there have been no reports of stolen identities or other specific security breaches.

Officials stopped short of telling people not to use government Web sites, but said they should heed warnings posted on the sites or from their browsers.

Never Forget September 11, 2001
09/11/2011


Never Forget 9-11

Remain Vigilant
09/11/2011

There is no specific or credible intelligence suggesting that Al Qaeda is plotting an attack to coincide with the 10th anniversary of 9-11, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday.

Nonetheless, the federal government is urging Americans to remain vigilant as the solemn milestone approaches.

Security Increase in Wake of Anniversary
09/10/2011

As the ten-year anniversary of the September 11th attacks approaches, the FBI, TSA, and other government security agencies are on heightened alert for possible terror attacks.

FBI and intelligence agencies are ramping up security and urgently hunting for any clues of a terrorist plot.

Although there is no specific threat, intelligence officials say they are deeply concerned that radicals are desperate to pull off an attack against the united states.

Adding to their concerns is the fact that before his death, Osama Bin Laden had repeatedly urged Al Qaeda to conduct attacks on the 9-11 anniversary.

China Wants Bigger Role on Security Council
09/10/2011

In a refreshing step, China shows faith in developing countries by affirming its support for greater representation of developing countries in the UN Security Council.

Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Hailong on Friday called for larger representation of developing countries within the United Nations Security Council, specifically African nations, in line with the UNs goal for reform.

Cyber Attacks
09/09/2011

A cyber-attack on the email accounts of Texas police chiefs revealed the vulnerability even of the states top cops and appears to have prompted a new investigation into a notorious hacking group.

The stealthy group known as Anonymous claimed responsibility for Texas Takedown Thursday. The email accounts of 25 members of the Texas Police Chiefs Association were compromised and their contents posted online.

Internet Voting
09/08/2011

Internet voting could make it more convenient to cast a ballot in an election, but it is also riskier than the current in-person voting system, according to a new report from the provinces elections agency.

While there may be increasing public pressure to modernize B.C.s voting process with online voting, it's up to provincial politicians to balance the security risks that keep ballots safe and confidential, Elections B.C. said in a discussion paper released this week.

Security for Trusted Travelers
09/07/2011

Ten years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, airport-security screening is still in flux, with complaints up, some travelers more outraged than ever and the Transportation Security Administration embarking on a major strategy shift.

TSA Administrator John Pistole promises the U.S. is finally moving toward smarter checkpoint security rather than treating everyone the same. This fall, the TSA will test a trusted travelers program in Atlanta, Miami, Dallas and Detroit, with expedited screening for select frequent fliers of American and Delta airlines who are willing to turn over background information.

Security Warnings
09/06/2011

Homeland Security officials are warning the public to beware of email scams and possible cyberattacks related to Hurricane Irene and the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

New bulletins issued in recent days by the Homeland Security Departments cybersecurity center said computer users should be wary of emails with subject lines referring to the recent hurricane or 9-11, even if they appear to come from reputable sources.

The emails could be so-called phishing scams that masquerade as legitimate requests for personal information or fundraising pleas and may include innocent-looking links to video or photos.

Facebook Security Guide
09/05/2011

At last, at last. Facebook has at last released its first official security guide, a long overdue handbook to help the social media giants half-billion fans understand, recognize and avoid the multitude of scams they face every day. With headers such as Avoiding malicious script scam,  Avoiding Facebook account thieves, and "Avoiding gaming scams, the 14-page Own Your Space guide is full of not just suggestions, but detailed directions on how best to navigate Facebook without falling through any number of dangerous holes.

TSA Anniversary on the Horizon
09/04/2011

This fall marks the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9-11.

It is also the tenth anniversary of the Transportation Security Administration which was created in response to the attacks.

Over the last decade the agency says it has prevented millions of potential threats but people have also raised concerns about the TSAs tactics.

Comscore Security Case
09/03/2011

A proposed class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in Chicago on Tuesday accuses online tracking and analytics firm comScore of surreptitiously collecting Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, passwords and other data from consumer systems.

The lawsuit also accuses comScore of a wide range of other misdeeds, including changing security settings and opening backdoors on end-user systems, stealing information from word processing documents, emails and PDFs, redirecting user traffic, and injecting data collection code into browsers and IM (instant messaging) applications.

Campus Security Apps
09/02/2011

With a tap on his smartphone, University of Maryland student Shiv Krishnamoorthy can instantly alert police as he walks through the dimly lit corners of the College Park campus €” and share with them his precise location, plus live video and audio.

The app, which was developed by a university computer science professor and a team of students in conjunction with campus police, is the first of its kind in the small but growing field of smartphone apps for campus security.

Facebook Security a Mixed Bag
09/01/2011

Facebook this week announced a major revamp to its privacy settings as well as a few new related features. The overall consensus is that this is a step forward, but security experts still have mixed feelings.

ESET, a Slovakian IT security company, declared that the changes were positive. The company particularly underlined that they were good for Facebooks average user who is clueless when it comes to privacy settings.

China Fears Lady Gaga
08/31/2011

Chinese officials have ordered music by Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and other pop stars to be deleted from download sites because the tunes could be threats to the countrys cultural national security.

The countrys Ministry of Culture ordered that a list of 100 songs -- including Lady Gaga's Judas and Perrys Last Friday Night -- be purged from Chinese Web sites by September 15 because they have never been submitted for mandatory government screening, according to the Associated Press. A total of six Lady Gaga songs are on the list -- all of them from her latest album.

Utility Security
08/30/2011

A new report by Pike Research forecasts that utilities will invest $4.1 billion in cyber security for industrial control systems (ICS) between now and 2018. The cleantech market intelligence firm also expects those investments to grow at a steady rate, from $309 million in 2011 to $692 million annually by 2018.

The report, Industrial Control Systems Security, analyzes and forecasts the ICS security market for smart grids and includes a detailed assessment of the primary risks those smart grid systems face.

Microsoft Finding Competitors Security Holes
08/29/2011

Researchers at Microsoft have been quietly finding €” and helping to fix €” security defects in products made by third-party vendors, including Apple and Google.

This month alone, the MSVR team released advisories to document vulnerabilities in WordPress and Apples Safari browser and in July, software flaws were found and fixed in Google Picasa and Facebook.

Fake Pesticides a Security Concern
08/28/2011

Pesticides are a two-edged sword. We take the risks of toxicological and ecological side effects because the first priority is to feed a growing population of humans. Those that cannot afford organic must trust the laws and regulations to protect them. And all of us depend on those laws to prevent threats to the sustainability of ecosystems upon which we rely. But a report this week reveals that those laws are powerless in the face of a new threat: fake, or counterfeit, pesticides.

The Wall Street Journal has brought to light examples like pesticides produced with the solvent dimethylformamide, suspected of harming unborn children in the womb, at concentrations as high as 30%. The solvent is illegal in pesticides sold in Europe -- but here comes the hitch: European laws do not allow customs agents to seize the fake pesticides because pesticides are not covered by counterfeiting laws.



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