Morning Security Brief: Iran Nuclear Framework Progress, Shoe Bomb Threats, And More

By Lilly Chapa

►In a delegation meeting earlier this week, Iran and six world powers have developed a timetable and framework that will end concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.  Part of the framework is meeting with country leaders and expert groups each month beginning in March to cover all concerns listed in a joint plan of action agreed upon with Iran last November in Geneva, according to The New York Times. As part of the temporary November agreement, Iran essentially froze its nuclear program in return for modest relief from sanctions until July. According to American officials, the framework established this week will ultimately dismantle large parts of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.

►For the second time in three weeks, in a bid to increase awareness,  the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has made public specific terrorist threats—this time, that terrorists could hide explosives in shoes. The DHS told major airlines Wednesday that liquids, shoes, and certain cosmetics, such as toothpaste, were of concern. The warning is focused on flights headed to the United States. from abroad. “Something caused DHS concern, but it’s a very low threshold to trigger a warning like this,” a DHS official said.
►The DHS has ordered the cancellation of plans for a national license plate tracking system run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after privacy advocates raised concerns about the initiative. Earlier this week, ICE made public its plans to compile a database of license plate information from commercial and law enforcement tag readers to help apprehend fugitive illegal immigrants. Harley Geiger with the Center for Democracy & Technology said the plan didn’t consider privacy protections.
►Hackers gained access to more than 300,000 personal records for faculty, staff, and students at the University of Maryland (UMD) earlier this week, according to school officials. An outside source gained access to a database, which includes names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and university ID numbers dating back to 1998. Brian Voss, vice president and chief information officer at UMD, said the attack was very sophisticated and did not take advantage of a security weakness. “That’s not what happened here,” he said. “There’s no open door. These people picked through several locks to get to this data.” The university plans to provide free credit monitoring for a year to anyone whose information was compromised. 


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