NEWS

Morning Security Brief: EU to Vote on Information Sharing, Gang Trademarks Logo, OSX Security, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►The European Union Parliament will approve a plan to transfer EU flight passenger data to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as part of an information sharing deal. The data DHS wants includes “name, address, phone number, credit card details, travel agency data, baggage information, and seat number, as well as 'sensitive' data--often tied to a religious meal choice or requests for assistance due to a medical condition,” Agence France Presse reported. European officials have privacy concerns that are exacerbated by the duration the U.S. wants to store the information. Data would be stored in an active database for five years. After the first six months, the person’s name is removed from the data. After five years, the information is stored in a dormant database with stricter access requirements for another 15 years.

►It’s a novel use of intellectual property law as gangs start playing smarter. The Vagos Motorcycle Club, an organization the FBI says is an outlaw motorcycle gang, has trademarked its jacket patch to prevent law enforcement agencies from putting undercover officers in the organization. Officers may be placing themselves in danger “if they don’t have the registration symbol at the bottom of the 600-member club’s patch, which is an insignia of Loki, the god of mischief,” Wired reports. “By doing this, the Vagos believe they will have exclusive rights to the Vagos patch and no one, including undercover officers, would be able to wear the patch without the consent of the International Vagos OMG leadership,” says a law enforcement sensitive bulletin published by the online document archive Public Intelligence.

Mac users aren’t any more safe from malware than a person using a PC, writes Kate Bevan for the Guardian. Bevan says it’s time for Mac users to becoming responsible members of the wider computing community, comparing antivirus software to vaccines. “You do it not only for the good of your baby… but also for the good of the community. Herd immunity protects the wider population from diseases; keeping your computer safe from nasties makes the Internet safer,” she wrote.

►In other news, The U.S. Embassy has received information that Boko Haram maybe be planning attacks in Abuja, Nigeria, against hotels frequented by Westerners. The embassy says U.S Citizens in Nigeria should be on alert. ♦ DHS wants to move to smartphone-type devices for biometrics and information sharing by 2015. ♦ The New Yorker examines firearm ownership in America in a feature that notes there are more guns in the country than ever before, but in fewer hands.

 

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