Critical Infrastructure

White House Launches Electric Industry Security Maturity Model Program

The White House has launched a new initiative designed to help companies in the electric power industry measure the maturity of their security programs against a new maturity model. The program is being run in tandem with the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Energy and is meant to help the utility companies find their weak spots and where they need to improve.

Losing The Cops In A Foot Chase? There’s An App For That

Law enforcement officials in Maryland have issued a warning about the increasing use of smart phones and Web based services to listen in on law enforcement radio transmissions. Gang members, officials warn, are using the smart phone apps to get a jump on enforcement efforts and, in at least one case, to evade capture during a foot chase.

2011: Wait, What?

The security industry can be a giant repetitive, follow-the-loser echo chamber of unoriginal thoughts, familiar flaws and copycat theories. But if ever there was a year in which folks could stand back and look at what’s gone on and say, what in the hell just happened, 2011 was it. So rather than going in for the typical year-in-review or top stories shtick, let’s just have a look back at some of the more absurd, unexpected and amusing twigs and berries from the last 12 months, shall we?

As the public debate over the merits and drawbacks of the SOPA bill continues, consumers and privacy advocates already are looking for ways to get around the provisions in the proposed anti-piracy law that they see as unreasonable and oppressive. In one example, a developer has published an extension for Firefox that helps users circumvent SOPA’s domain blacklisting.

A month after an unknown gray hat hacker calling himself “pr0f” used a three character password to hack his way onto computers used to manage water treatment equipment in South Houston, Texas, a security researcher is accusing the company that makes the industrial control system (ICS) software, Siemens, of trying to cover up the existence of other, more serious vulnerabilities.

The federal government is planning to focus some of its research and development efforts on developing methods for building security into software and hardware systems used in federal agencies. This a major change for the government, which has historically focused its energies on defenses such as IDS, custom desktop images and firewalls.

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