NEWS

Morning Security Brief: Cyberthreats to Critical Infrastructure, New Fingerprint Forensics, DHS IG Investigated, and More

By Sherry Harowitz

► With cyberattacks that target the financial sector on the rise, “The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a major financial industry group, will coordinate a July 18 simulated cyberattack with about 50 firms in an exercise called Quantum Dawn 2,” reports The Los Angeles Times. At the same time, the energy sector continues to be a favorite hacker target. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s most recent ICS-CERT Monitor report states that of more than 200 incidents it investigated between October 2012 and May 2013, 53 percent were in the energy sector,” reports the Register. That’s “a dramatic increase compared to the 198 incidents reported to ICS-CERT for the whole of 2012,” though it could reflect better reporting. 

► Fingerprint forensics are advancing, thanks to research work underway in the United Kingdom. "A new way of detecting and visualizing fingerprints from crime scenes using colour-changing fluorescent films could lead to higher confidence identifications from latent (hidden) fingerprints on knives, guns, bullet casings and other metal surfaces," reports Science Codex. Currently only 10 percent of fingerprints taken from crime scenes offer evidence of sufficient quality to be admitted in court, the article states. The new technique needs less fingerprint residue to work from. But researchers stress that more real-world tests are needed. 

► The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's inspector general is the subject of misconduct allegations. "Senate investigators are looking into allegations that Deputy Inspector General Charles K. Edwards was 'susceptible to political pressure' and that he withheld information about the misconduct of U.S. Secret Service agents who were caught with prostitutes before a White House trip to Colombia in April 2012, according to a letter sent to Edwards by two senators on June 27," reports the Los Angelese Times.

► Elsewhere in the news, the Department of Homeland Security is holding a hacker camp, members of Congress demand that the FISA court release information, and Canada arrests suspects in an alleged terrorist plot similar to the Boston bombing.

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