Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

July 8, 2009

Homeland security short stories

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on July 8, 2009

Boring web sites attacked

The AP is reporting, “A widespread and unusually resilient computer attack that began July 4 knocked out the Web sites of several government agencies, including some that are responsible for fighting cyber crime.”  The BBC reports that similar attacks were experienced in South Korea.  Targets included the Department of Transportation and the Federal Trade Commission.

No place is safe from the GAO

The Washington Post reports, “Investigators from the Government Accountability Office over the past year successfully smuggled bomb-making materials into 10 high-security federal buildings, constructed bombs and walked around undetected.” The GAO report of this investigation is not yet available online and, perhaps for good reason, details seem hard to come by this morning.

Teenager resists usual routine

A San Francisco teenager diagnosed with H1N1, who has since recovered, is the most recent of three patients who have demonstrated resistance to Tamiflu.   But Medpage reports , “Right now this looks like spontaneous mutation in these patients,” Dr. Fukuda (WHO deputy director) told a press conference today. He said all three patients had the same mutation and all three had “uncomplicated”  disease from which they made full recoveries. He added there’s also no evidence of a resistant strain in any of the contacts of the three patients.”

Canadian pigs are being creative

“A new strain of H1N1 flu sickened at least two workers at a pig farm in Saskatchewan, Canadian health officials said. Tests found the strain is different from the pandemic swine flu circulating the globe,” according to Bloomberg.

In retaliation for mean border guards?

Many Canadians perceive “today’s U.S. border officers are meaner,” according to Passport channeling the Globe and Mail.  Might the mutating pig virus be a passive aggressive response?

When you are sick in bed, all the websites have crashed,  and your Canadian friends are unwilling to visit, you can still listen to the radio

“Ocean conservationist David Helvarg says the Coast Guard’s environmental duties are vastly important to marine life and underappreciated in the U.S. military. Helvarg talks with host Jeff Young about his new book, Rescue Warriors: The U.S. Coast Guard: America’s Forgotten Heroes.  You can read or listen to more from Living on Earth.

“Sixty years ago this summer, a fire occurred that redefined modern forest fire fighting. Bob Sallee was just 17 years old when he joined the smokejumpers, an elite new group of forest fire fighters. On his very first jump he parachuted down to battle the Mann Gulch blaze outside of Helena, Mont.  The blaze seemed routine at first – but fueled by high winds the fire suddenly blew up… Soon the crew of 16 was running for their lives.” Hear more from The Story.

Each week from KAMU at Texas A&M there is  a new Homeland Security: Inside and Out.  This week the topic is “Can Twitter save lives during and after a disasters?”

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Pingback by Homeland security short stories | Ravi's Health Blog

July 8, 2009 @ 5:48 am

[…] Excerpt from:  Homeland security short stories […]

Pingback by Homeland security short stories | Ravi's Health Blog

July 8, 2009 @ 5:49 am

[…] See the rest here:  Homeland security short stories […]

Comment by William R. Cumming

July 8, 2009 @ 7:40 am

The US Coast Guard is way overmissioned for current funding and staffing levels. How about this? Cut out 10 more F-22 raptors and give to the Coasties?

Comment by Peter J. Brown

July 8, 2009 @ 8:33 am

Check out ABC News broadcast tonight

Comment by Quin

July 8, 2009 @ 8:50 am

It’s now being reported North Korea may be responsible for the cyber attacks. With the widespread acceptance of Frank Hoffman’s Hybrid War theory and concepts, this may be a good example of one role DHS, and other civilian agencies, may have to play within this construct. While many look at our bureaucracy as a shortcoming, I think it may actually turn out to be a positive in fighting these “hybrid wars”. With such a developed bureaucracy, it (should) give us multiple avenues to respond, and attack, these hybrid threats. We just have to figure out a way to leverage all of the different capablities our Federal government, and its bureaucratic functions, to determine the best mix to respond (not to mention deter and prevent in the first place).


Comment by Mark Chubb

July 8, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

Quin, I am not sure I follow your argument. Are you suggesting that we could or should disable our adversaries by enmeshing them within our bureaucracy? I admit this notion has a certain appeal, but I am not sure we’re organized or skilled enough to carry it off successfully. ;-)

Phil, as for your original post, I must admit I admire your wit: Dry, with a twist, just the way I like it.

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