Tag Archives: threat

President Obama signs cyber-security executive order

While visiting Stanford University on Friday, President Obama announced he was signing an executive order meant to encourage the sharing of information, regarding cyberthreats, between private sector companies and the government.

The order was signed at the first summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection, which focused on consumer protection and private-public partnerships against cyberthreats.

While at the summit, the president likened the internet to the “Wild West,” and said the public are looking to the government for protection against cyber attacks. President Obama also called these cyber attacks one of the greatest threats to national security, safety, and economic issues.

“Everybody is online, and everybody is vulnerable,” said President Obama, according to NBC News. “The business leaders here want their privacy and their children protected, just like the consumer and privacy advocates here want America to keep leading the world in technology and be safe from attacks.”

However, groups in Silicon Valley are not jumping on board with the president’s push for new digital securities.

Ben Desjardins, the director of security solutions with the cyber-security firm Radware, said, “The new proposals face significant headwinds, both legislatively from Congress and cooperatively from heavyweights in the tech sector.”  Desjardins also said many companies in Silicon Valley already feel “burned” by the government after the companies learned of the various government surveillance programs through the Snowden leaks.

Scott Algeier, the executive director of the nonprofit organization Information Sharing and Analysis Center, also said this new executive order sounds like a federal takeover of information sharing among people and companies in the private-sector.

The White House has said the executive order is only a framework, and with it the White House aims to allow private companies access to otherwise classified cyber-threat information and ensure information sharing is strongly secure, all while protecting the civil liberties of citizens.

The text of the executive order can be found here for more details.

Man makes bomb threat, drives truck through Coast Guard Station in Michigan

A Michigan man, who claimed to have a bomb with him, drove his truck into the U.S. Coast Guard Station on Lake Michigan early Sunday morning.

The man who remains unnamed, but according to CNN, is 34-years-old, drove his truck through the fence and onto the Grand Haven Coast Guard Station. After breaking into the station, the man supposedly told Coast Guard personnel there a bomb was in his truck. No bomb was found at the scene, but officials were still investigating the area.

No Coast Guard or other personnel were injured during the incident, partially thanks to a phone call intercepted by an Ottawa County dispatcher, according to the AP. The intercepted call was allegedly from the driver of the truck who stated during the call he had a bomb in his truck and planned on blowing up the Grand Haven Coast Guard Station.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Justin Olson said, according to MLive, the phone call allowed the station to enact their “in-place bomb threat procedure,” which “assured the safe evacuation of all” within the station. “We would like to thank the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety and our other partner agencies for their assistance and quick response to the incident,” said Olson. 

A report from the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety stated, according to the New York Daily News, “The incident was initially investigated as a potential act of domestic terrorism due to the circumstances.” The report then claimed the investigation had so far revealed no link to any foreign or domestic terrorist organizations.

The Grand Haven police have also indicated the man is a suspect in an Oceana County house fire. The home supposedly belonged to the driver. All investigations are currently ongoing.

NYPD on alert after ISIS video release

The New York Police Department is on high-alert after ISIS re-released a propaganda video which tells people to murder “intelligence officers, police officers, soldiers and civilians” throughout the US.  

The specific propaganda video was originally released in September 2014, but following the events in France last week, the NYPD is taking the resurgence of the video seriously.

An internal memo released throughout the NYPD told officers to “remain alert and consider tactics at all times while on patrol,” according to FOX News. Similarly, the Sergeants Benevolent Association, a police union in New York City, sent out an email to union members which reads, “Pay attention to your surroundings. Officers must pay close attention to approaching vehicles . . . Pay close attention to people as they approach. Look for their hands.”

However, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for counterterrorism, John Miller, said according to CNN, “I don’t think that we are under any more threat … or any less threat than we were the day before.” Miller also said the NYPD has not detected any specific threats in New York City, but the NYPD has stepped up their police presence at central locations throughout the city, such as in Times Square.

Mayor Bill de Blasio told the citizens of New York City to also be on the lookout for anything suspicious. “We are the number one terror target, and that has created in us a sense of vigilance every day,” said de Blasio according to CBS New York. “There is no down day. There is no day when we’re less vigilant. We’re vigilant every day,”

The NYPD was not the only agency to take notice after the video resurfaced.

The FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are also taking the video seriously. These agencies released a nationwide bulletin to law enforcement offices with similar warnings found in the NYPD memo as well as the union released email.

Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said he hopes intelligence agents in the U.S. are prepared and ready to prevent attacks similar to those carried out in France last week. “What we have to do,” said Menendez, “is be able to create a sense in communities of the importance of high alert, of vigilance, of being able to share information.”