Morning Security Brief: Lawmaker's Office Firebombed, DoD Prepared for Cyberattacks, Eco-Terrorists Wanted, and More

By Carlton Purvis


►Police are searching for an arson suspect after Texas State Senator Wendy Davis’ office was firebombed Tuesday. Police say the attacker threw two firebombs into her third-floor office before being spotted and chased by a maintenance man. Davis was not at the office at the time of the attack but staffers were. One staffer fled the building; the other was able to put out the waist-high flames with a fire extinguisher.

►Department of Defense officials say most cyberattacks are disruptive attacks rather than destructive attacks, but destructive attacks, like Stuxnet, are just over the horizon. The DoD is ready to respond to a major cyberattack and Pentagon leaders will know their specific responsibilities, officials testified before the Armed Forces Committee on Tuesday. These responsibilities are outlined in an updated version of the rules of engagement in cyberspace that the DoD is finalizing. In the event of a cyberattack from outside of the U.S. by another country or an extremist group, officials say the DoD should take point. "I think if we are worried about a threat coming from outside the United States to attack critical infrastructure, that could cripple our economy or telecommunications system or power grid, the DoD ought to be the focal point of the effort because our technology is more advanced and the agency is geared that way," Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J.) said at the hearing.

►Last week, an eco-terrorist who had been on the run since 2006 was sentenced to seven years in prison. Justin Solondz, a member of the Animal Liberation Front, and three accomplices are responsible for $48 million worth of arson and vandalism across the Pacific Northwest and western U.S. between 1996 and 2001. He was eventually arrested in China after he fled the country and returned to U.S. custody. The FBI is seeking help from the public to locate the remaining three members of his cell, offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

►In other news, hundreds of homes are destroyed after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hits Mexico.♦ A man suspected of shooting three Jewish children, a rabbi, and three paratroopers has barricaded himself in an apartment building in Toulouse, France, after a short firefight with police when they raided the building early Wednesday morning. Police say they want to take the man alive and have started negotiations. New information has emerged that the shooter was among the prisoners who escaped after a massive jailbreak in Afghanistan last year. ♦ And Syrian activists are being targeted with a fake version of YouTube that installs malware onto user’s computers. The malware sends back information to a Syrian government IP address, according to the EFF.


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