Morning Security Brief: No Credible NATO Threats, Testing Emergency Vaccines on Children, U.S. Not Safe from Stuxnet, and More

By Carlton Purvis


►Chicago, the site for the NATO summit set for Sunday, has been considered a potential target for terrorists since after 9-11, an FBI agent told media during a media tour of the summit ahead of the event. “We’re a major metropolitan area. We’re a transportation hub. We’re a financial hub and our current president of the United States considers Chicago to be his hometown,” FBI Special Agent Ross Rice told media on Friday. Rice also noted that it was under President Barack Obama that Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki were killed. Chicago becomes even more of a target with heads of state of 40 to 60 countries in town. Right now, there are no credible threats to the summit, but police will be out in force in anticipation of thousands of protestors.

►The U.S. has billions of dollars of medicine stockpiles in case of a biological attack, but “… notably missing is information on how to treat children in various emergencies,” the Associated Press reports. There is no data on what drugs, in what doses, would be effective on children. Health officials are opening the debate on whether vaccines and other medications stockpiled in case of an attack should be tested on children before an emergency occurs where millions of children would have to try untested drugs. Health and Human services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has asked the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to tackle the issue.

►Experts worry that it’s just a matter of time before a Stuxnet-type virus wreaks havoc on U.S. networks causing costly physical damage. “The Frankenstein-like virus infected a type of industrial controller that is ubiquitous — used around the world on everything from pipelines to the electric grid. Experts say manufacturers haven't fixed security flaws in these essential but obscure devices,” ProPublica says. ProPublica’s Megha Rajagopalan explains why.

►In other news, Chicago hospitals will have decontamination units set up during the NATO summit to prepare for potential chemical or biological attacks. ♦ A new fact sheet from PCI shows how vendors can securely accept payments from a smartphone or tablet. ♦ And DHS is looking for nominations for the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience. The deadline is June 1.


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