Morning Security Brief: Subcommittee Overhaul, Anonymous Hacker Speaks, Wikileaks, and More

By Carlton Purvis


►Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has vowed to overhaul the subcommittees that deal with homeland security issues after his disappointment in results from the 9-11 Commission’s 10-year report card. According to the report card, “millions of dollars have been wasted and the nation’s security has been jeopardized because of the antiquated structure of congressional oversight with regards to homeland security matters,” The Hill reports. At the moment, more than 100 congressional committees and subcommittees have jurisdiction over DHS and the many agencies under its umbrella, The Hill states.

►Cisco’s Jason Lackey scored an exclusive interview with a former Anonymous hacker earlier this week. One of the highlights from the interview is a list of 14 things the hacker says organizations can do to secure their networks from hacktavists. Not surprisingly, many of the tips are basic security measures that should already be in place. Some of his suggestions were to use encryption, to keep current on cybersecurity blogs to be aware of what the new threats are, and to have strict information-security policies. The complete interview and list can be found here on Cisco’s Web site.

►After problems with someone leaking information before Wikileaks had a chance to redact it, the site posted all 250,000 diplomatic cables online unredacted. “The newly published archive contains more than 1,000 cables identifying individual activists; several thousand marked ‘Strictly Protect’, a tag used by the US to mark sources it believes could be placed in danger; and more than 150 specifically mentioning whistleblowers," The Guardian reports. Both governments and human rights groups have condemned the decision. The release may have been done, in part, because of a poll on Twitter where Wikileaks asked their followers whether they should release the remaining cables. The results were 100 to one in favor of publishing, according to Wikileaks.

►In other news, Colombia’s defense minister resigns amid surges in gang violence and increased attacks on infrastructure.→ August was the first month since 2003 where no U.S. troops were killed in Iraq. → And the Libyan rebels have a new commander – a former Al Qaeda commander.



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