Morning Security Brief: Both Koreas on Alert After Death of Kim Jong Il, Cyberattackers Making Malware Phone Calls, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►The Korean peninsula is on high alert after the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Hours before his death North Korea tested an unspecified number of short-range missiles, the New York Times reported. South Korean forces are on high alert, announced President Lee Myung-bak. South Korea has increased surveillance along the 155-mile border and has increased its cyber alert to the third highest level. South Korea’s telecommunications regulator said on Monday not to open e-mails about Kim’s death sent by unidentified users. Shortly after Kim’s death North Korea completely closed its border with China, doubling up on patrols, and security forces ordered all citizens to return to their homes, Daily NK reported. Kim Jon Il's son, General Kim Jong Un, second-in-command of North Korea’s armed forces, will take his place as leader of North Korea.

►Cyberattackers are using phone calls to scam people into downloading malware from Web sites online, according to Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen. “Scam callers are contacting Connecticut residents to warn them their computers are damaged or at risk of crashing. But don’t fall for the scare tactic to get you to buy services you don’t need or to access a bogus website that may install damaging malware on your computer.” he said in a release on Friday. Scammers use the person’s name and address in the call and identify themselves as computer repair specialists. They tell callers that their computers were sending out error messages and offer to provide them a place to download repair software online, sometimes for a fee. Jepsen urged residents to report such calls to his office.

►A memo obtained by the Service Workers Employees International Union using FOIA reveals holes in Washington, D.C. security between July 2010 and June 2011. Undercover police officers and recruits have repeatedly smuggled fake bombs into government buildings and entered restricted areas. In one instance, agents were able to get a “book bomb” into the building by telling security they were leaving it for someone else. “After leaving the book at the screening area, someone from inside the building retrieved it without it being scanned by an X-ray machine,” the Washington Post reports.

►Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio responds to the Justice Department’s findings that he unfairly targets Latino citizens saying, “President Obama and his band of merry men might as well erect their very own pink neon sign at the Arizona-Mexico border saying 'Welcome All Illegals.'”

►The U.K. Ministry of Defence, after a “severe threat level-based comprehensive security review,” says it will deploy 13,500 military personnel to help provide security during the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games. ♦ France has implemented a three strikes rule for illegally downloading content. ZDnet reports that 60 French web users are on their third strike, including presidential officials. A total of six infringing downloads were tracked back to French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s residence, double the three-strike limit, the site says. ♦ And Homeland Security is beefing up its operations in New Mexico to try and curb illegal gun and drug activity.




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