NEWS

Morning Security Brief: Cybersecurity Bill Approved, More Threats to Sochi Security, Russian Business Espionage, and More

By Ann Longmore-Etheridge

►The House Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies has passed a bipartisan bill, the National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2013 (NCCIP), which makes improvements to the  Homeland Security Act of 2002 regarding cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection and for other purposes. According to a statement released by the committee, "H.R. 3696 strengthens our cyber defenses by bolstering and providing oversight of DHS’s cybersecurity mission, fostering collaborative public-private partnerships, while also ensuring privacy and civil liberties are protected. We are greatly encouraged by the strong bipartisan support of the NCCIP Act, as well as the many endorsements it has received from both industry and privacy advocates, and we look forward to moving this legislation to the House floor.” The bill, among other things, mandates the establishment of an equal partnership between private industry and DHS, and ensures that DHS properly recognizes industry-led entities to facilitate critical infrastructure protection and incident response. It also ensures that the National Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan is regularly updated and exercised in coordination with federal, state, local, and private-sector stakeholders.

The Washington Times, reports that a former member of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, Don Borelli, says that officials already know that terrorists will stage an attack on the Sochi Olympics. "Russian officials are searching for a terrorist they believe may already be in Sochi. The woman is being called the 'Black Widow' and doesn’t fit the typical profile of a young male terrorist that many people may be on the lookout for," reports the Times. U.S. President Barack Obama has offered Russian President Vladimir Putin assistance with security for the event, but whether this will go beyond the use of specialized U.S. detection equipment for IEDs, is unclear. According to Fox News, "The Pentagon confirmed late Monday that the U.S. military will have two ships and other assets at the ready. The Pentagon maintains that no aircraft are being sent to the region, contrary to an earlier report."

►Reuters reports that evidence has been obtained by a U.S. cybersecurity organization, CrowdStrike, that Russia has spied on businesses around the globe, including the United States, Asia, and Europe. CrowdStrike Chief Technology Officer Dmitri Alperovitch says that the spying appears "to have been motivated by the Russian government's interest in helping its industry maintain competitiveness in key areas of national importance." Alperovitch also said that this was the first time that the Russian government had been linked to this type of spying. Among the business sectors spied upon were manufacturing, construction, and healthcare.

►A moviegoer in Columbus, Ohio, was taken out of a theater and questioned by U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents because he was waring a Google Glass. According to the movie theater patron, an agent entered the theater, yanked the man's Google Glass off his face, and took him outside where a swarm of police and mall security were waiting. After being questioned for an hour about how he came to own a Google Glass and what he was doing with it in the theater, the agent accepted that that man was not pirating the movie with the Glass, which had been fitted with prescription lenses and was being used by the patron as a pair of eyeglasses.

 

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