Morning Security Brief: Airport Pat-downs, Wi-Fi Risks, Workplace Violence, DoD Intelligence Budget, and More

By Sherry Harowitz


A woman whose underwire bra set off the metal detectors at an airport was subjected to an additional pat-down. That might have been the end of it, but the woman happened to be an employee of CNN, so now it's a headline news story. Is it a change in policy or just a case of whose ox was being gored? The Transportation Security Administration told CNN in response to questions about the incident that pat-downs would continue to be an important tool and that passengers can expect an unpredictable mix of layers of security at airports.


►There's always someone who wants to spoil the fun. As businesses such as Starbucks spread joy by making wireless connections free, hackers have made a malicious code called Firesheep that makes it free and easy for miscreants to take over your identity and connection (it's called session hijacking) when you log into, say, a workplace network, at a free hotspot. There are ways to defend against the threat of Firesheep, reports Sadly, most will add a cost to what was a free experience, but given the risk, it's probably a price we all need to consider paying.


► A new Internet information resource offers companies guidance on helping employees dealing with domestic abuse and violence. The center was launched by a partnership of seven national organizations, with funding from the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), reports the Crime Report. Called "Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center," the site includes such features as a chance to interact with a virtual employee and model company policies on dealing with domestic abuse, stalking, identity security concerns, and related issues.


► In other news, Wired's The Danger Room reports that "a draft federal report indicates that the number of “incidents of malicious cyber activity” in the Defense Department has actually decreased in 2010. It’s the first such decline since the turn of the millennium." The Defense Department released a statement that the fiscal 2010 Military Intelligence Program (MIP) appropriated top line budget "total was $27 billion, which includes the base budget and supplemental appropriations." All details are classified.  And the Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed suit against the Department of Justice asking for information about barriers to electronic surveillance. Basically, it wants to know what prevents the government from doing what it needs to do in terms of gathering data and whether those barriers justify the government's request for "back doors" to be installed to make it easier for government to do electronic surveillance over the Internet.


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