terrorism

Online contributors identified the hat worn by Suspect #1 as this Bridgestone Golf cap, sold at Wal-Mart

Will Reddit Get Its Man? New Clues Come Fast As FBI Releases Boston Suspect Photos

The collective energies of a lot of pissed off people were given focus on Thursday, after the FBI released photos and a video of two men – identified as Suspect #1 and #2 – who were identified as the only suspects in the horrific bombing of The Boston Marathon on Monday. Within hours of releasing the photos, new clues to the identities of the suspects emerged on web sites like Reddit. Astute viewers flocked to the popular website Reddit.com to crowd source clues, with a special area or “subreddit,” dubbed “findbostonbombers” created to collect tips and analysis from the sea of fervent users. Their efforts paid off in short order, as contributors identified the brand of cap worn by both suspects (the white cap worn by Suspect #2 is believed to be by Ralph Lauren, while the black cap worn by Suspect #1 is believed to be a Bridgestone golf cap […]

Uncle Sam Needs A Plan: GAO Pans Govt. Cybersecurity Efforts in 100 Page Report

Uncle Sam Needs A Plan: GAO Pans Govt. Cybersecurity Efforts in 100 Page Report

There’s been a lot of light and heat in the last week when it comes to the U.S. government and cyber security. After all, President Obama just released his Executive Order on cyber security, which puts an emphasis on identifying and protecting critical infrastructure and, just maybe, pushes the sprawling federal bureaucracy towards better security practices. But a just-released report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) makes clear that, in the big scheme of things, the Executive Order is just window dressing on the mess that is the Federal Government’s handling of cyber security. The report, GAO-13-187 (PDF), is a round-up and updating of previous reports that studied aspects of federal cyber security as they affect a wide range of federal agencies. The GAO’s conclusion? Uncle Sam has made negligible progress towards improving the security of its information systems, and has little to show in key areas such as responding to […]

Obama CyberSecurity Order Puts Infrastructure Owners On Notice

Obama CyberSecurity Order Puts Infrastructure Owners On Notice

President Barack Obama issued a long-anticipated Executive Order for improving the nation’s cyber security late Tuesday. The Order, released on the same evening as President Obama addressed both chambers of Congress with his State of the Union Address called cyber attacks “one of the most serious national security challenges we must confront,” and put public and private owners of critical infrastructure in the U.S. on notice that they would need to work closely with the government to reduce the risk of crippling cyber attacks.   President Obama issued the Order after Congress failed, in its last session, to agree on comprehensive cyber security legislation. Negotiations over the bill broke down over Republican amendments to a Democratic sponsored bill and concerns from the business community about the cost of complying with some of the more controversial provisions. Among those: a requirement that the Department of Homeland Security be able to audit […]

Funding Cut, Military’s List of Critical Defense Technologies Languishes

Funding Cut, Military’s List of Critical Defense Technologies Languishes

The U.S. Department of Defense is failing to adequately maintain its main reference list of vital defense technologies that should be banned from export, despite rules requiring its use and upkeep, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The Militarily Critical Technologies List (MCTL) is “outdated and updates have ceased,” the GAO found in a report released this week. The list was intended as the DOD’s main resource for tracking sensitive technology and preventing its export to foreign nations or entities. But the government agencies charged with using the list say it is too broad and out-of-date to be of much use and have long since abandoned it. Now budget cuts to the program that maintains the list are forcing export control officials in the government to use alternative information sources and informal “networks of experts” to tell them what technologies are in need of protection, […]

FBI Surveillance of NY Fed Terror Suspect Included Facebook Chats

FBI Surveillance of NY Fed Terror Suspect Included Facebook Chats

The FBI’s surveillance of Quazi Nafis, the alleged terror suspect who tried to blow up the New York Federal Reserve Bank, included Facebook chats between  Nafis, a co-conspirator and a confidential FBI source, according to a copy of the indictment released on Wednesday. The indictment details a months-long investigation of Nafis, a 21 year-old Bangladeshi and Queens, New York, resident who entered the U.S. on a visa in January, 2012. While much of the surveillance consisted of recorded phone- and in person conversations, Nafis also used Facebook in July to debate with his co-conspirators about whether his planned act of jihad was sanctioned under Muslim law. Nafis was arrested in New York’s financial district Wednesday after he attempted to detonate what he believed was a truck bomb parked outside the New York Federal Reserve bank. The bomb was assembled by Nafis and a co-conspirator using inert materials supplied by the […]