Morning Security Brief: NASA Breach, Anonymous Targets Israel, Marijuana Business, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►A NASA spokesperson says the personally identifiable information of at least 10,000 employees is at risk after a laptop was stolen off the back seat of an employee’s car. The laptop had password protection but was not encrypted. NASA is working with law enforcement to recover the laptop and is trying to determine exactly what was on it. In the meantime, all telecommuters are being required to use encrypted take-home computers.

►Anonymous has launched a campaign against Israel in response to the country’s offensive in the Gaza Strip. The group has defaced or downed dozens of government sites. In a statement, Anonymous said it launched the cyberattacks because Israel threatened to disable telecommunications and Internet in Gaza. “We are ANONYMOUS and NO ONE shuts down the Internet on our watch,” the statement says. The hacktivists provided other information online including the locations of bombings and instructions on how to get online if the Internet is disrupted, NBC reports.

►Earlier this month, residents of Washington and Colorado voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use, but people who want to sell marijuana are still going to have to “operate like a drug dealer,” NPR reports. It’s legal in the two states, but still a crime under federal law. “They’re going to have to run a cash business” because no banks are willing to do business with marijuana sellers. A medical marijuana seller says he had a problem finding a bank to work with him. He suggested the best option for opening a marijuana business is not to tell the bank “exactly what line of work you're in.” Small business owners, sound off on this one in the comments section.

►In other news, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo launched an inquiry into why utility companies weren’t prepared for the storm. ♦ Scientists worry Ebola can be transmitted through the air. ♦ BP pleaded guilty to felony charges for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and will pay $4.5 billion in fines. “Under the agreement, BP said it will plead guilty to 11 felony counts of 'seaman's manslaughter' relating to the deaths aboard the drilling rig, admitting that its workers were negligent when they misinterpreted a key well safety test,” The Wall Street Journal reports.


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