Morning Security Brief: New FERC Cyber Security Office, GAO Report on Mobile Security, and Gun Discharged at Airport Security

By John Wagley


►The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has created a new office to help the commission strengthen cyber and physical security risks at its energy facilities. The new Office of Energy Infrastructure Security (OEIS) will work closely with other government agencies and the private sector, according to FERC. “Effective mitigation of cyber and other physical attacks requires rapid interactions among regulators, industry and federal and state agencies,” said FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, in a statement.

►The General Accountability Office (GAO) is recommending that several government agencies take greater measures to strengthen the security of mobile devices in the public and private sector. In a new report, the agency is recommending that the Federal Communications Commission encourage the private sector to implement a broad, industry-defined baseline of mobile security standards. The GAO is also recommending that the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology take steps to better measure progress in raising national cyber security awareness. The report cites research by Juniper Networks that says cases of known mobile malware rose from 14,000 to 40,000 from July 2011 to May 2012.

►A Republic Airlines flight attendant’s gun accidentally discharged at Philadelphia International Airport, according to news outlets including the Associated Press. Investigators said the attendant forgot to take the gun out of her purse before leaving for work. The gun fired when a police officer tried to remove bullets after being notified about the weapon by the Transportation Security Administration. There were no injuries. The attendant, who is said to have a valid permit, has been cited for carrying a gun through airport security.


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