Morning Security Brief: Airport Assessments Improving, DHS Developing Social Media Guidelines, and Cyberattacks Target Defense

By Teresa Anderson

♦ Though the U.S. government has made improvements in enhancing security at foreign airports, challenges remain, according to a General Accounting Office (GAO) report. The report notes that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has made progress in updating its policies, tracking annual assessments, and following up on security deficiencies identified during assessments. However, the TSA still needs to improve access to some foreign airports and work on providing more training and technical assistance to foreign countries.

♦ The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is developing guidelines for gathering intelligence from social media sources in the wake of populist uprisings across the Middle East, according to the Associated Press. In comments before the National Symposium on Homeland Security and Defense, DHS Undersecretary Caryn Wagner said that the agency is establishing guidelines to glean data from Twitter and Facebook. However, Wagner noted that the guidelines will be developed under strict legal scrutiny to ensure that privacy and surveillance laws are upheld.

♦ A new report by Symantec indicates that hackers targeted approximately 50 companies over the summer in attacks designed to steal intellectual property. CNET News is reporting that chemical and defense companies were among those hardest hit. Officials have not confirmed what group is behind the attacks. The report notes that the hacking activity was traced to a virtual private server in the United States that is owned by a Chinese man. It is unclear whether the man was involved in the attacks.


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