Morning Security Brief: Report Suggests Ports Adopt Cyber Measures, Vodafone Discloses Eavesdropping on Network, and More

By Megan Gates

► The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is recommending that the Coast Guard assess cyber-related risks to improve port security efforts, according to a new report by the office. The GAO conducted the report as U.S. maritime ports handle more than $1.3 trillion in cargo annually and their information and communication systems are susceptible to cyber-related threats. “Failures in these systems degrade or interrupt operations at ports, including the flow of commerce,” the report said. “Federal agencies—in particular the Department of Homeland Security—and industry stakeholders have specific roles in protecting maritime facilities and ports from physical and cyber threats.” To better improve port security, the GAO is recommending that DHS direct the Coast Guard to assess cyber-related risks, use the assessment to inform maritime guidance, and to determine whether the sector coordinating council should be reestablished.

► Vodafone announced this morning that it gave governments direct access to its network in several countries, allowing them to listen to all conversations on those networks. “In a small number of countries the law dictates that specific agencies and authorities must have direct access to an operator’s network, bypassing any form of operational control over lawful interception on the part of the operator,” Vodafone said in a Law Enforcement Disclosure Report and reported in PC World. “In those countries, Vodafone will not receive any form of demand for lawful interception access as the relevant agencies and authorities already have permanent access to customer communications via their own direct link.” Vodafone did not disclose the names of the countries that have direct access to its network, but it did list countries that could require direct access to operators’ networks, including Qatar, Hungry, Greece, and Ireland.

► The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has arrested a man suspected of killing three police officers in a shooting rampage in the Canadian town of Moncton, New Brunswick. The RCMP arrested Justin Bourque, 24, about midnight local time in a backyard of a home in Moncton while wearing fatigues and carrying a rifle, CNN reports. In addition to the three officers killed, two others were wounded, making it “perhaps the darkest day in the history of RCMP New Brunswick,” RCMP Commander Roger Brown told CNN.

► In other news, U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute this morning to World War II veterans on the 70th anniversary of D-Day. “These men waged war so that we may know peace. They sacrificed so that we might be free,” Obama said in a speech at Normandy American Cemetery in France, ABC News reports. “They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight.”


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