NEWS

Morning Security Brief: Border Security Project Progresses, Bombers' Records Withheld, Bankers Briefed, and More

By Ann Longmore-Etheridge

► Defense News reports that the Department of Homeland Security is proceeding with the next phase of its contractor selection process for its ambitious Integrated Fixed Tower (IFT) program, which entails installing surveillance towers with radar and cameras along the U.S. border with Mexico. The contract is expected to be awarded by September or October, the article states. The project is the replacement to the failed SBInet initiative, which cost $1billion and never achieved its objective, though Boeing asserts that the 23 towers installed as part of that effort remain functional to this day, the article notes.

►The Boston Globe has been denied copies of the Boston bombers' federal immigration records. The Globe had requested the copies under the Freedom of Information Act, "arguing that the public has an urgent right to know how the federal agency handled the Cambridge brothers’ immigration applications." The Department of Homeland Security declined records request, citing an exemption that allows withholding the information if it may interfere with law enforcement proceedings. "The government’s refusal to release the files comes amid concerns that the FBI, and possibly other government agencies, missed critical warning signs or failed to share information before the April 15 bombings killed three people and injured more than 260 near the finish line," writes the Globe.

►Reuters reports that last month, the FBI granted temporary security clearances to a large group of U.S. bank executives to brief them on the investigation into the cyberattacks that have focused on online banking Web sites during the last year. "Bank security officers and others were brought to more than 40 field offices around the country to join a classified video conference on 'who was behind the keyboards,' Federal Bureau of Investigation Executive Assistant Director Richard McFeely told the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit on Monday," revealed the news agency. "The extraordinary clearances, from an agency famed for being close-mouthed even among other law enforcement agencies, reflect some action after years of talk about the need for increased cooperation between the public and private sectors on cybersecurity. The attacks, which have been ascribed by U.S. intelligence officials to Iran, are seen as among the most serious against U.S. entities in recent years."

►Also in the news, in Asia, several countries "are working hard to remove the security hurdle in order to promote cloud computing adoption among companies, particularly the less IT-savvy small and midsize businesses.... Establishing common standards and upping education efforts are some of their key thrusts to address the issue, officials say," notes ZDNet in its reporting from the CloudAsia 2013 Forum in Singapore. Cloud computing increased in the region 20.9 percent last year, according to a survey by the Hong Kong Productivity Council, but many companies are afraid of security issues to adopt it.

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