Morning Security Brief: Suspicious Activity Around Georgia Water Infrastructure, Cybersecurity, Hospital Security, and More

By Carlton Purvis


►After several suspicious incidents involving water infrastructure, authorities in Georgia are asking law enforcement agencies with similar occurrences to contact them. A leaked bulletin from a Georgia Fusion Center tells of several incidents where water facilities were under surveillance or individuals damaged water infrastructure. The Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center says that in July someone entered a water treatment plant and punctured a pipe. On October 22, the Georgia State Patrol documented an incident in which a complainant reported two unidentified males photographing a section of the Atlanta City Water Works facility, including the utility connections adjacent to the area. And on October 24 at another site, an unidentified person cut their way through fencing and broke in to a facility to take pictures of the chlorination systems. “Suspicious incidents such as this may indicate an attempt to test security measures, reaction times, standard operating procedures, and incident resolution protocols. These surveillance incidents may be indicative of pre-operational planning, but are themselves not likely terrorist related,” the bulletin states.

►The first joint cybersecurity exercise between the European Union and United States is being held today in Brussels. The joint endeavor between the EU’s Network and Information Security Agency and the US Department of Homeland Security is a daylong exercise where cybersecurity specialists try to defend against advanced persistent threat attempts and disruption of infrastructure systems.

►The North Carolina Department of Health and Human services says guards contracted at the Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where a patient died after being put in a choke hold earlier this year, were not trained in therapeutic physical holds or appropriate ways to calm the patient. This and other findings puts the hospital in jeopardy of losing its Medicare claims if the deficiencies aren’t resolved by November 13. About 47 percent of the health system's patients are insured by Medicare, the Fayetteville Observer reports.

►In other news, an Oakland official said maritime operations at the Oakland port, which handles about $39 billion a year in imports and exports, had been "effectively shut down," after Occupy Oakland protestors streamed over a freeway to block the port gates.⇒ TSA Administrator John Pistole said at a Senate hearing on Wednesday that TSA finds four to five guns in passenger luggage on a typical day and that most passengers say they forgot the gun was in their bag.⇒ And the GAO urges focus on local and state strategies when it comes to preparing a biothreat detection plan.


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