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Morning Security Brief: Canada Releases Counterterrorism Strategy, Text to 911, VOIP Hack Racks Up $30k Bill, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►Canada has released it’s first ever counterterrorism strategy, titled “Building Resilience Against Terrorism” and says that the leading threat to the country’s national security is violent Islamist extremism. “Several Islamist extremist groups have identified Canada as a legitimate target or have directly threatened our interests. In addition, violent 'homegrown' Sunni Islamist extremists are posing a threat of violence,” the strategy says. The government’s strategy will be based on actions meant to prevent individuals from engaging in terrorism, detect the activities of individuals and organizations who may pose a terrorist threat, deny terrorists the means and opportunity to carry out their activities, and respond proportionately and rapidly to terrorist activities.

►A county in Ohio will become the first in the state with capabilities to send text messages to 911 dispatchers when calls aren’t possible. “The sheriff’s office and five centers in the county that handle all wireless 911 calls are upgrading to allow texting, and eventually images and video sent via cell phone,” the Columbus Dispatch reports. Franklin County officials say the new capability will allow people to send messages while they are hiding or otherwise unable to call 911. It will also benefit the hearing impaired, says the county’s homeland security office.

►A small company discovered that hackers around the world had been using its IP telephone setup to make international calls, racking up a $30,000 phone bill in 15 days. The company’s security manager found a vulnerability in the router configuration that allowed for the system to be used to remotely. “As suspected, an early version of Cisco's IOS software was running on this router and it had no toll-fraud prevention configuration. Since the router wasn't properly locked down, an outside caller could connect to our phone gateway on TCP 5060, obtain a dial tone and make calls,” he wrote in a column on ComputerWorld.com.

►In other news, the U.S. Department of Justice has noticed a rise in incidents involving racial profiling and is investigating 17 different law enforcement agencies for civil right abuses.♦ The London Metropolitan Police announced a new “anti-terrorist” hotline to jump start a four-week informational campaign called “It’s Probably Nothing, But… .” ♦ And New Zealand health officials detain 274 passengers on a flight coming from Japan after suspicions that passengers carried the H3N2 flu virus, which is currently epidemic in Japan. 

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