Morning Security Brief: Public Health Preparedness, NYPD Gang Unit Doubles, Postcards Sent With SSNs, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►Most states are in pretty good shape when it comes to preparedness for a public health emergency, according to a new CDC report. Public health labs are prepared to detect chemical and biological agents, reducing the amount of time it takes to process large volumes of samples compared to past years, and have developed risk communication messages they can quickly disseminate in the event of an emergency. Read the complete report here.

►The NYPD says it will double the size of it’s gang unit to tackle violence spurred by social media. The additional members of the unit will focus on “looser associations of younger men who identify themselves by the block they live on, or on which side of a housing development they reside," Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. “Under the new plan, the NYPD gang unit will work more closely with other divisions that monitor social media for signs of trouble, the Associated Press reports.

►The University of Chicago has apologized for sending out postcards to 9,100 employees that included their social security numbers on them. The mistake was due to “university error,” says a university official. “The university encourages employees to throw out the postcard in a secure way, and to place a 90-day ‘fraud alert’ on credit files. It also is offering to pay for one year of credit monitoring for all employees who were sent the postcard,” the Chicago Tribune reports.

►A new hacker collective, GhostShell, is targeting colleges and universities, hacking servers and publishing online email addresses, passwords, and IDs of students and faculty. ♦ Researchers find that hospital shootings are extremely rare -- so rare that a person is more likely to be hit by lightning than involved in a hospital shooting. ♦ And a former hospital security guard tells about his experiences on Reddit AMA



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