Morning Security Brief: iPhone Forensics, New GAO Report on TSA, Cartel Violence, and More
Investigators losing key data with flawed computer forensics procedures. GAO says TSA should improve information sharing. The most common misunderstanding about the Mexican cartels. And more.
►Fast Company reports that investigators often use flawed procedures in harvesting data -- procedures that change the original piece of evidence or lose potential evidence. A computer forensics expert estimates that law enforcement only acquire 10 percent of the available data on iPhones and iPads when investigating crimes, failing to find other relevant “digital artifacts.”
►TSA’s information related products are satisfactory, but information sharing needs to be improved , the GAO said in a recent report. The Homeland Security Information Sharing Network Critical Sectors portal is a forum where TSA can provide security related information for critical infrastructure. In interviews with stakeholders, however, GAO found that many of them, including 72 percent of aviation stakeholders, had never even heard of the tool.
►A researcher who studies Mexican cartels said the most common misunderstanding about the cartels is that they are a group with one central figure who gives out orders. In an interview with the Star-Ledger, Eric L. Olson from the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center said, “There are people who are part of local organized crime, and they subcontract. There are lots of captains and lieutenants involved in other activities, but cooperating with one another.” In the past, CBP has noted that taking out cartel leadership has had no impact on the flow of drugs . Olson also said taking out members in leadership positions causes groups to splinter causing more competition and more violence.
►In other news, police in Mesa, Arizona, have a revenue generating idea that could bring in up to $300,000 per year. In the city, residents with home security alarm permits can be fined when police respond to a false alarm, but only half of the residents with false alarms have permits. The city is looking to change that rule to fine any person who has a false alarm . In Mesa, “false alarms are a major source of work for police, as they are the third-highest call for service,” the East Valley Tribune reports. ♦ NPR takes a look at the work of the FBI’s Office for Victim Assistance . ♦ And a CSO says the security industry is being flooded with lesser-functioning copycat technologies because of the high prices of well-designed security products.