Morning Security Brief: China Suspected in Pipeline Attacks, Toddler on No-Fly List, The Market for Drones, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►The same group that hacked RSA may be the same ones behind ongoing attacks on natural gas pipeline companies, according to investigators. Two independent analyses have found that the digital signatures left by hackers in the RSA attacks are identical to some of the ones in the pipeline attacks. General Keith Alexander, chief of US Cyber Command, told a Senate committee in March that he suspected China was behind the RSA hack, one of the most serious attacks to date on a nondefense industry company.

►JetBlue Airways has apologized to a family after a computer glitch showed that their 18-month-old daughter was on the no-fly list. The family had boarded a New Jersey bound flight from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida when a JetBlue employee asked them to get off the plane. The employee told her that their daughter was on the no-fly list. “The family is of Middle Eastern descent and the mother wears a headscarf, but they say they are U.S. citizens and have lived in New Jersey all of their lives,” CNN reports. TSA says the airline has mistakenly indicated that the child was on the no-fly list. JetBlue says it is investigating the incident and that a computer glitch is responsible for the error. The list of suspected terrorists who are banned from flying to or within the United States has doubled in the past year. A year ago, the list had around 10,000 known terrorists and now has 21,000, according to government data provided to the Associated Press.

►Public records show that the homeland security business is providing a growing market for unmanned vehicle manufacturers AeroVironment and General Atomics. General Atomics has “has enjoyed more than $250 million in contract transactions with the Department of Homeland Security since 2005” and AeroVironment’s unmanned aircraft business grew by $25.6 million between 2010 and 2011 reaching $249.8 million last fiscal year,” G.W. Schulz reported for the Bay Citizen.

►David Weber, the lead investigator at the Securities and Exchange Commission, has been placed on administrative leave after he said he wanted to bring a concealed weapon to work and employees complained he was a physical threat. ♦ Canadian authorities bust a sophisticated credit card ring that would steal point of sale terminals from restaurants and modify them with Bluetooth capability so they could steal payment card information remotely. ♦ And a hospital in India hires bouncers with “good physique” to stand guard at entrances to sensitive areas of the hospital after incidents of vandalism.


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