Morning Security Brief: North Korean Hackers, Body Bombs, Maritime Security, and More

By Carlton Purvis


► An investigation and analysis of cyberattacks on South Korean government and military Web sites found that the attacks most likely came from North Korea testing it’s southern neighbor’s incident response capabilities. The attacks only lasted for 10 days, after which the malware was disabled by the attacker. An investigation by McAfee showed that “unlike criminal malware that is designed to facilitate extortion or steal data, the malware used in these attacks was built for “denial of service attacks and with resiliency and plausible deniability for the attackers as top priorities - not data theft or profit,” Threat Post reports. “The sophistication of the attack and attention to resiliency and secrecy don't jive with the simplicity of the DDoS attacks themselves - what McAfee analysts likened to bringing a Lamborghini to a go-cart race,” Threat Post reports.

►TSA issued a warning on Thursday of an emerging threat involving packing explosives in or on the body, the BBC reports. In an earlier memo to security officials, obtained by the Associated Press, the U.S. government calls body packing a “criminal tactic with possible terrorist application.” The Department of Homeland Security says intelligence suggests terrorists are interested in surgically implanting bombs in the body.

►Djibouti and the United States have teamed up to halt the transport of nuclear materials in and around the Middle East. The U.S. officially announced on Wednesday that nuclear and radiological material detecting equipment had been deployed to the Port of Djibouti to keep hazardous material out of the hands of terrorists. “The specialized equipment, which scans loaded cargo containers for the presence of potentially dangerous nuclear and other radioactive materials, was installed under the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Megaports Initiative in partnership with the Djibouti Ministry of Equipment and Transport, Djibouti Coast Guard, and Djibouti Customs,” said a release from the NNSA. The new equipment is part of the NNSA’s Second Line of Defense program that aims to strengthen the capability of foreign governments to deter, detect, and interdict illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials across international borders.

►In other news, officials in one Irish city don't think the security is worth the money. They're concerned that a hospital that is already seven million euros over budget paid one and one-half million euros for private security. “Hiring private security firms at such a cost is questionable,” the Galway Advertiser quotes one official as saying. “Providing a high profile and visible service creates a safe and secure environment at the hospital sites,” Galway University Hospitals responded in a statement. ♦ People are scratching their heads at how a man was able to walk into a San Francisco Art Gallery and steal a $200,000 Picasso drawing and get into a waiting cab without being stopped.  


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