Morning Security Brief: Disaster Scams, Libyan Weapons, Boko Haram, and More

By Carlton Purvis

 ►In a recently issued Department of Homeland Security bulletin, the agency says government offices and private organizations should be on the lookout for phishing scams in the wake of Hurricane Irene. Hackers often exploit topics of interest like earthquakes and hurricanes to make convincing subject lines and attachment titles to launch phishing attacks. “Network administrators and general users should be aware of these attempts and avoid opening messages with attachments and/or subject lines related to physical events,” the bulletin states. Opening suspect attachments can launch malware into the user’s system.

►Experts expressed concerns that abandoned weapons caches in Libya could fall into the hands of terrorists as rebels in Libya push back government fighters and thousands of weapons are left behind. “The large arsenals in the hands of Libyan armed forces have been plundered.... People walk in and take whatever they need and load them onto trucks. No one knows where those trucks are going,” said Pieter Wezeman, an arms researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, told the Jerusalem Post. U.S. general Carter Ham testified in April that there were around 20,000 surface-to-air missiles in Libya when NATO operations began in March. Many of those are now unaccounted for, he said. There are also concerns of chemical weapons. Just days before fighting broke out, the equipment at a facility used to destroy mustard gas broke down.

►The death toll has risen to 23, and 73 people were injured Friday's bombing of a United Nations building in Abuja, Nigeria. The attack happened just days after security agencies alerted of an intelligence report indicating that Boko Haram sect has planned to carry out attacks targeting religious centers and government buildings. On Friday, a car loaded with explosives crashed into the United Nations building in the capital. The building housed 26 humanitarian and development agencies. Nigerian authorities say no arrests have been made but progress is being made in the investigation, Vanguard reports.
►In other news, the U.S. and China team up to shut down child porn networks. A joint operation shut down at network of 48 child porn sites aimed at Chinese users.→ A U.S. drone strike kills al Qaeda’s second in command.→ And Mexico’s drug war has prompted a wave of BMW-driving refugees to head for the United States as the rich flee the violence, the Washington Post reports



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