Morning Security Brief: MI5 Chief on Snowden Leaks, Industrial Espionage, Insider Threats, and Boy Sneaks on Plane

By Ann Longmore-Etheridge

►The new director general of Britain's MI5, Andrew Parker, says that the leaks by Edward Snowden, which included exposing intelligence techniques, had "given fanatics the ability to evade spy agencies. It comes at a time when the UK is facing its gravest terror threat...from 'several thousand' Islamic extremists who are living here and want to attack the country," reports The Telegraph. Parker said that it is possible that the leaks have resulted in a "guidebook for terrorists," as the material included thousands of British intelligence files that were "vital to the safety of this country and its citizens," said Parker in a speech to the Royal United Services Institute in London.

►The government of Brazil has accused the Canadian government of industrial espionage targeted at its mining and energy department. The National Post states that Brazil claims that "the metadata of phone calls and emails from and to the ministry were targeted by Communications Security Establishment Canada to map the ministry’s communications. It didn’t indicate whether emails were read or phone calls listened to." On their part, Canadian security officials are skeptical of the truth of the accusation. "Ray Boisvert, who was director general of counter-terrorism at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said on Monday Canada would have little reason to spy on Brazil’s mining sector," the Post noted.

►According to a new survey by the Enterprise Strategy Group and Vormetric, "Large enterprises are not doing enough to detect and address insider threats, a survey of more than 700 IT security decision makers has revealed. Less than a third of respondents said they block privileged user access to data to mitigate insider attacks. This means 73 percent of organizations polled are failing to block privileged user access to sensitive data, which is a proven method of reducing the insider threat to data security," reports ComputerWeekly. The 2013 Insider Threat Study also found that more than half of those who responded use perimeter-focused network intrusion detection and prevention tools, which are made for external, rather than internal, threats.

►A nine-year-old boy managed to sneak through security and board a plane at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The child, who is a runaway, flew to Las Vegas, despite having no ticket. He was eventually discovered while in flight by crew who became suspicious because he was not on their list of unaccompanied minors. Once in Nevada, the child was put into the care of Child Protective Services. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration is investigating.



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