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Morning Security Brief: Dry-Ice Bomber Arrested, Ruqai Pleads Not Guilty, Cybersecurity Survey, and More

By Ann Longmore-Etheridge

A 28-year-old employee of Servisair, which performs ground handling at Los Angeles International Airport, has been arrested for creating and planting two dry-ice bombs at the airport on Sunday and Monday, reports CBS News. The man, named as Dicarlo Bennet, may be a disgruntled employee. While no one was hurt, the potential for serious injury or death to anyone near the bombs was very real, according to police. NBC News Science, which reports that a total of four bombs were allegedly made by the suspect, explains that "a dry-ice bomb is made with dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide, which freezes at minus 109 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 78 Celsius). Dry ice is readily available from retail locations, and is often used to create a white, misty type of fog. The fog is made by placing pieces of dry ice in water: As the dry ice sublimates—changes from a solid directly into a gas (without melting into a liquid)—it produces the white fog seen in haunted houses and horror movies." A dry-ice bomb is made by filling a container with water, and "dry ice pellets are dropped into the container, which is then tightly sealed. As the dry ice sublimates into a gas, it expands and exerts pressure on the container, which eventually bursts."

Abu Anas al-Libi, also known as Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, who was taken off a Libyan street by U.S. forces and interrogated on a U.S. warship, has pled not guilty to bombing charges. Ruqai appeared yesterday in federal court in New York City. The Associated Press reports that "he was indicted more than a decade ago in the twin 1998 bombings at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans. If convicted, he could get life behind bars." The Washington Post adds that "the FBI-led High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group had been questioning Ruqai aboard the USS San Antonio. He had answered some questions, but the questioning was cut short when he began refusing food and water, law enforcement officials said."

A new survey conducted by Zogby Analytics for Raytheon has found that careers in cybersecurity appear to be ignored by high school counselors when talking to students about future jobs. The survey also found that the idea of working in cybersecurity bores a quarter of young adults. Other key findings are that 35 percent of young men found the topic of cybersecurity interesting, while only 14 percent of women did. However, 86 percent said that it is vital to increase cybersecurity, indicating that they are aware of the seriousness of the problem. Eighty-two percent also said they password protect their computer, laptop, or tablet, and 61 percent password protect their mobile phones.

Security Dark Reading explores how IT security budgets are allocated. The article points out that rather than making pragmatic decisions on what to do with finite resources, even seasoned IT security pros become "seduced by the latest innovation rather than the fundamental management tools necessary to implement enough control over network and system infrastructure to properly manage their risks." Alan Shimel of The CISO Group is quoted as saying, "When it comes to the security budget, security organizations are very much like my children: They want to buy whatever they've seen last and is shiny and new and promises unbelievable results. A serious dose of pragmatism and maybe just a little maturity would go a long way."

 

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