Morning Security Brief: Overseas Embassy Security Concerns, Supply Chain Risk Down, FAA Software Glitch, And More
By Lilly Chapa
►The U.S. Department of State’s diplomatic security service and international embassy construction programs were criticized by a government report, according to Al Jazeera. The State Department’s security branch, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the report states, withholds information from other bureaus regarding the security of overseas personnel and embassies. “Some of this is attributed to ‘law enforcement sensitive’ issues," the report notes, "but other security information that enhances understanding, cooperation, and coordination should be widely disseminated in a timely way." The review panel that authored the report also questioned the design, safety, and implementation timelines of a new embassy-building initiative the department has adopted. The panel was created by the State Department after the September 2012 embassy attack in Benghazi, Libya. ►Risk to the global supply chain has lessened from its all-time peak last year, according to the quarterly Risk Index published by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS). The lower risk was attributed to the improved economies of the United Kingdom, United States, and Germany, and exporting stability in the United States and China. However, CIPS warned that businesses must remain vigilant about the industry’s threats. “With political instability across the developing world, it is vital that businesses and economies recognize the risks to their supply chains and make the appropriate provisions before it is too late,” said David Noble, CIPS CEO, according to the Web Site Supply Management. “The Index provides a close examination of the global risks that need to be on the radar. Global supply chains have scarcely been at greater risk than today. Business leaders must sit up and take notice.” ►In other news, it was revealed that the air traffic meltdown in the western United States last week was caused by a spy plane, according to the BBC. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said that a computer glitch caused flight tracking software to incorrectly track the plane, making it seem as if it was on a collision course with other airplanes. Hundreds of planes were grounded at Los Angeles International Airport when the system was overloaded as it tried to plot new courses for aircraft it believed to be at risk. The Pentagon confirmed that a U.S. Air Force U-2 spy plane had been conducting training operations in the area last week. And the most recent iPhone update, IOS 7.1.1, contains a passcode bypass that allows users to access, edit, and call any of the phone’s contacts without typing in a security code. It is unclear whether Apple is working on a patch for the glitch, according to Threat Post. Apple has also confirmed that a bug in the newest update prevents email attachments from being properly encrypted.
A January report from the Government Accountability Office reveals that 911 emergency calls may not be cyber safe. The document addresses five agencies that coordinate with state and local governments on cybersecurity-related activities, including the Department of Homeland Security, and cites the increased information-sharing between these agencies as a security concern. “Because these critical systems are becoming more interconnected, they are also increasingly susceptible to cyber-based threats that accompany the use of Internet-based services,” states the report. “This, in turn, could impact the availability of 911 services.”