Morning Security Brief: Obamacare Site Attacked Unsuccessfully Multiple Times, NYC WTC Security Plan Scrutinized, And More

By Lilly Chapa

►Approximately 16 failed cyberattacks and a failed distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack have been launched against the Obamacare Web site, according to CNN reports of testimony from a top Department of Homeland Security official. The unsuccessful attacks occurred between November 6 and 8, said Roberta Stempfley during a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee. The attempted hacks were discovered by a white-hat hacker working for the Health and Human Services department, officials stated. “All of this information is a tempting target for hackers, identity thieves and other malicious actors,” Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) said during the hearing, according to NBC. “We already have reported cases of hacks, fraudulent websites, and documented security vulnerabilities in the system.”

►A group of New York City residents are suing the New York Police Department over its security plan for the new World Trade Center, The New York Times reports. The plan is unreasonable, will isolate the building, and turns nearby streets into obstacle courses, the residents claim. The NYPD plans to close the streets in and around the building to through traffic, inspect every vehicle that enters the area, and surround the perimeter with three-foot-tall barriers, according to an environmental impact statement that the department released. The neighborhood alliance bringing the suit said in their complaint that the impact statement was flawed by faulty analysis and “failed to explain and generally suppressed the NYPD’s rationale for critical aspects of the plane based on a purported need for secrecy.”
►The Government Accountability Office has released a report on the need for improving the quality of personal security clearances. Citing past reports, the GAO found that documentation was incomplete for most of the Office of Personnel Management reports about persons who applied for top secret clearances. In another report, the GAO recommended that the Transportation Security Administration limit future funding for behavior detection activities because there is no evidence that behavioral indicators can be used to identify anyone who could pose a threat to security.

►In other news, Fox News reports on a school shooting in Pittsburgh, stating that "Authorities say a 16-year-old student has been charged with shooting and injuring three students as they headed to their cars outside of Brashear High School in Pittsburgh Wednesday afternoon." And the Department of Homeland Security must disclose its plans for an internet “kill switch,” the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled Tuesday. Within 30 days, DHS must release the protocols that govern shutting down wireless networks to prevent the remote detonation of bombs. The agency has the option of appealing the decision, according to The Washington Times.



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