From: Homeland Security News Wire
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: Abducted girls impasse | Offensive vs. defensive cyber ops | Bird flu research risks
Date: Tue May 27 11:02:04 MDT 2014
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Tuesday 27 May 2014 vol. 8 no. 121

In Today's Issue

African security
Impasse over abducted girls as Nigeria admits it has no military option

Military and intelligence personnel from France, the United States, Israel, and Britain have been in Abuja and in the field for three weeks now, in an effort to help the Nigerian military develop a plan to deal with the plight of the more than 200 abducted girls. After three weeks in Nigeria, these Western diplomats, and military and intelligence officials, concede that the Nigerian military and government are just not up to the task. “There is a view among diplomats here and with their governments at home that the [Nigerian] military is so poorly trained and armed, and so riddled with corruption, that not only is it incapable of finding the girls, it is also losing the broader fight against Boko Haram,” the New York Times reported. The paper continued: “That the hope of many across the globe [for the safe return of the girls] rests on such a weak reed as the Nigerian military has left diplomats here [in Abuja] in something of a quandary about the way forward. The Nigerian armed forces must be helped, they say, but are those forces so enfeebled that any assistance can only be of limited value?”

Debating disclosures of cyber vulnerabilities

Cybersecurity experts are debating whether the NSAand U.S. Cyber Commandshould keep cyber vulnerabilities secret, or disclose and fix them. Not disclosing and fixing cyber vulnerabilities means that, when necessary, such vulnerabilities may be used as weapons in offensive information warfare. Disclosing and fixing such vulnerabilities would diminish the effective of U.S. offensive cyber operations, but the effectiveness of an adversary’s offensive cyber operations would be similarly diminished.

Future cyberattacks to cause more trouble than Heartbleed

Many of the future cyberattacks could take advantage of vulnerabilities similar to Heartbleed, a major Internet security flaw which allows attackers to gain access to encrypted passwords, credit card details, and other data on trusted Web sites including Facebook, Gmail, Instagram, and Pinterest. A new report said that hackers could soon use similar holes in computer security to shut down energy grids, disrupt public services, and steal vast amounts of private data worth billions of dollars, unless institutions take measures today to ready themselves against future Heartbleed-like threats.

Port security
Port security technologies demonstrated in Gothenburg, Sweden

FOI, the Swedish Defense Research Agency, conducted a demonstration in Gothenburg of technology designed to improve the security of ports around the world. One of the reasons for the research into countering intrusion is that many ports find that they lack good and affordable tools for seaward surveillance, and so find it difficult to guard against terrorist attack and organized crime such as theft, smuggling, and stowaways. FOI has, therefore, created a system that is capable of detecting divers, swimmers, or small craft which might attempt to approach the quayside or a vessel tied up alongside.

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Public health
Experiments with dangerous bird flu stains pose risk of accidental release

Experiments creating dangerous flu strain that are transmissible between mammals pose too great a risk to human life from potential release, according to researchers. Although experiments on these so-called novel potential pandemic pathogens (PPPs) are conducted at high levels of biosecurity, the researchers argue that they pose a substantial risk to human life. They are calling for greater scrutiny of experiments that make virulent influenza strains transmissible, and for future studies on flu transmission to use safer and more effective alternative approaches.

Food security
Dramatic drop in Central Valley wintertime fog threatens California’s agricultural industry

California’s winter tule fog -- hated by drivers, but needed by fruit and nut trees -- has declined dramatically over the past three decades, raising a red flag for the state’s multibillion dollar agricultural industry, according to researchers at UC Berkeley. Many crops go through a necessary winter dormant period brought on and maintained by colder temperatures. Tule fog, a thick ground fog that descends upon the state’s Central Valley between late fall and early spring, helps contribute to this winter chill. The findings have implications for the entire country since many of these California crops account for 95 percent of U.S. production.

Homeland Security, Criminal Justice, Law & Public Policy - Master of Science Legal Studies 100% online - CALU Global Online
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Power plant emission detection by satellites verified

Air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from two coal-fired power plants in the Four Corners area of northwest New Mexico, the largest point source of pollution in America, were measured remotely by a Los Alamos National Laboratory team. The study is the first to show that space-based techniques can successfully verify international regulations on fossil energy emissions.

Also noted

U.S. plants prepare long-term nuclear waste storage | DHS likely to cut pace of deportations | Doubts cast on China's counter-terrorism abilities | Data surveillance centers: Crime fighters or 'spy machines?' | Lagos begins retraining of neighborhood watchers | Chastened Pentagon promises better ammo count | Japan to create underground ice wall at crippled nuclear plant

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Legion of the Rearguard - Dissident Irish Republicanism from ISBS
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Homeland Security, Criminal Justice, Law & Public Policy - Master of Science Legal Studies 100% online - CALU Global Online
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Progress and Modernity in Arab Societies
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