Morning Security Brief: Swatting, TSA Admits Breaking SOP But Not Strip Searching, Virus Discovered After 10 Years, and More
The FBI says pranks calls reporting hostage situations and shootings are stretching police resources. The Feds say procedures weren't followed, but octogenarians weren't strip searched. A computer virus that only activates at night was sending data from a college computer lab for 10 years undetected. And more.
►The FBI says incidents of “swatting” are occurring at an alarming rate across the country. Swatting is a prank call made to police that warrants mobilizing SWAT teams to respond. On average, each call costs $10,000 in resources. Officials say cybercriminals often use technology to mask their caller ID or make it appear that they are calling from a residence with they purpose of having SWAT teams deployed on innocent victims. Police say that in some cases criminals have used swatting to distract police resources while they commit a crime in another part of town.
►Federal officials originally said that all procedures were followed after Ruth Sherman, 89, and Lenore Zimmerman, 85, went public with accounts of humiliating strip searches by TSA . But in a letter obtained by media, DHS acknowledges screeners violated standard operating procedures when agents asked Sherman to show them her colostomy bag. The letter says that neither Sherman or Zimmeran was asked to remove their clothing, the New York Daily News reports.
►A virus existed undetected in a college computer lab for more than 10 years harvesting personal banking information and the private data of students, faculty, and administrators. The IT team at the City College of San Francisco discovered the virus last Thanksgiving. IT found that “since 1999, at least seven viruses would begin ‘work' at around 10pm, trolling the college networks and transmitting data to sites in Russia, China and at least eight other countries, including Iran and the US,” SC Magazine reports. But it doesn’t stop there. Servers and desktops on the college’s wireless network were said to be infected. It’s also likely that anyone who used a flash drive in the past decade took the virus home and infected their own PC.
► In other news, The City of Indianapolis has built a new surveillance network to increase security during the Super Bowl.♦ The NSA releases a security-enhanced version of the Android to help companies and organizations that need to implement DoD access control policies. ♦ And the camp commander at Guantanamo Bay says security screening for prisoners' mail will be tightened after a copy of Inspire Magazine was discovered.