Morning Security Brief: Securing Haj from Disease, Employee Credit Checks, Counterfeit Military Parts, and More

By Carlton Purvis

 ►The Saudi health minister on Wednesday announced that precautions taken before Haj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, and the largest pilgrimage in the world, helped the event take place with no cases of infectious disease or cases requiring quarantine. In addition to screening foreign pilgrims upon entering the country, “Preventive doses against meningitis were given to 365,777 pilgrims, oral polio vaccines to 532,400 pilgrims and yellow fever vaccines to 200,000 pilgrims at various entry points to the Kingdom,” the minister said. “The ministry also has an instant information system that supplies to field workers information about the locations of the ambulances [and] also enabled remote consulting and video viewing of emergency wards in hospitals.” Before and during Haj, Saudi doctors and authorities warned that people making the trek should be careful when buying clothes or food from street vendors, fearing they would be helping spread contagions and getting food poisoning from improperly stored or prepared foods, Arab News reported. Almost two million pilgrims from around the world make the journey each year.  

►Researchers find no link between poor job behavior and credit scores. A group at Louisiana State University conducted a study to look for a link between the two because many employers conduct credit checks as a part of employment screening, the New York Times reported.

►Lawmakers testified that China was injecting the Pentagon’s supply chain with counterfeit parts. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), and Carl Levin (D-MI), said an ongoing investigation has revealed that old aircraft electronic parts are burned off old circuit boards, washed in rivers, dried on streets and sanded down to remove identifying marks before being sold on the Internet. In 1,800 cases, investigators found one million counterfeit parts, and 70 percent of the cases were traced back to China, the Daily Mail reported. “We can't tolerate the risk of a ballistic missile interceptor failing to hit its target, a helicopter pilot unable to fire his missiles or any other mission failure because of a counterfeit part,” McCain was quoted as saying.

►In other news, a man in San Jose finds a GPS tracker on his vehicle. After removing it and contacting Wired, he checks his car again and a new tracker is in it’s place. It could have something to do with him buying the vehicle from a cousin, a drug dealer who fled to Mexico a year before, and his recent tips to Tijuana, although it’s unclear whether authorities had a warrant to use the devices.⇒ In South Africa, authorities are seeing a trend of robbers ramming armored trucks off the road to try and steal the money being carried inside. In the latest case, the thieves used explosives to try and open the back of the truck, but were unsuccessful. The attack took place on a rural road as police have cars pre-positioned at highway on-ramps for faster response to crimes. ⇒ And Becker’s Hospital Review provides tips for hospitals to fulfill risk assessment requirements after results of a survey said 25 percent of healthcare organizations conduct no security risk assessments.



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