THREATs of the Week: July 2, 2017

THREATs of the Week: July 2, 2017

THREAT – our acronym for threats from technology, health, raids/robbery/ransom, environmental, agencies and terrorists.

Technical Threat: Tuesday’s massive ransomware outbreak was, in fact, something much worse.

Tuesday’s massive ransomware outbreak was, in fact, something much worse.

Payload delivered in mass attack destroys data, with no hope of recovery.

In other words, the researchers said, the payload delivered in Tuesday’s outbreak wasn’t ransomware at all. Instead, its true objective was to permanently wipe as many hard drives as possible on infected networks…

Ars Technica has a great piece on this latest attack >>>



Health Threat: Maintaining CIA to Keep Health Care Security Threats at Bay

Maintaining CIA to Keep Health Care Security Threats at Bay

Imagine that your health care organization just went on bypass due to a cyberattack. For those unfamiliar with the term, bypass is when a health care facility is unable to provide services for one reason or another. When an emergency room parking bay area is literally full of ambulances, for example, the hospital may go on bypass to ensure that any additional emergencies are routed to the nearest available facility.

During the recent global WannaCry malware outbreak, one of the largest health care security threats on record, services at up to 40 hospital trusts across the U.K. were affected. Surgery operations and appointments were canceled, and ambulances were diverted away — not because of a shortage of doctors, beds or parking bays, but because they were under cyberattack.

Continue reading….




Raids, Robbery, Ransom…and Murder: 19 Killed in Clashes Near City of Mazatlan, Mexico

19 Killed in Clashes Near City of Mazatlan, Mexico

(Courtesy Chris Arias / AP)

Mexican authorities said Saturday that at least 19 people died in clashes involving armed men and security forces in the gang-ridden northwestern state of Sinaloa, where homicides have increased considerably after the capture and extradition of convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

The violence began with a shooting Friday that killed two men near a department store in the town of Villa Union, about 15 miles southeast of the beach resort of Mazatlan.

IN DEPTH: Murder rate rises in Mexico as drug cartels argue over leadership and profits.

For more, see the latest on Google News >>>



Environmental Threat: When warning the world of humanity’s greatest threat, it helps to have a sense of humor

SUPERBUGS: When warning the world of humanity’s greatest threat, it helps to have a sense of humor

(Courtesy Nushmia Khan)

Microbiologist Lance Price keeps a collection of stuffed animals in his office.

Actually, they’re not animals—they’re giant, plush microbes, and the first thing Price does when I arrive at his Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at the George Washington University in Washington DC is show them to me.

“This one lives in your butt,” he says, holding an oblong E. coli with two googly eyes and several shoe-string flagella, and gesturing in a way that brings to mind this particular bacteria’s diarrheal consequences. He puts the E. coli down and holds up a lumpy, blue Staphylococcus. “This one lives in your nose.”

Then he picks up a plush that looks a lot like Staph, except it is black and has a cape. “And this one…this is MRSA, and this is a superbug.”

Quartz >>>



Agency Threat: New TSA Policy May Lead to Increased Scrutiny of Reading Material

New TSA Policy May Lead to Increased Scrutiny of Reading Material

(Courtesy Business Insider)

The TSA is testing new requirements that passengers remove books and other paper goods from their carry-on baggage when going through airline security. Given the sensitivity of our reading choices, this raises privacy concerns.

Here’s the full story.

The new rules require travelers to remove all food items and electronics larger than cell phones from carry-on bags and put them in a separate security bin, similar to how laptops are currently being screened. However, in airports that have been testing the new security measures, passengers have also reported being asked to remove all books, magazines, and even Post-It Notes from their carry-ons.

TSA agents then fan through each page.

Yikes! They’re not gonna like seeing your copy of 100 Deadly Skills! Or maybe they just won’t give it back…



Terrorist Threat: Politicized overreaction to London Bridge attacks will play into terrorist hands

Overreaction to the Terrorist Threat is the Perpetrators’ Prize

(Courtesy Star Tribune)

The new attacks in London — like the attacks in Paris, Boston, and Istanbul and so many other cities — need to be kept in grim perspective. The normal reaction to each attack is to announce new measures that claim to add security — more surveillance, more inspections, more police, and sometimes more military. It is to arrest everyone with links to the attackers and often to announce new laws and regulations.

Overreaction, particularly overreaction that unfairly singles out all Muslims or all of Islam, directly serves the cause of ISIS and Al Qaeda.



Everyone is a first responder. You’re either stopping the threat or stopping the bleeding.


More to follow.



(Thanks to @georgejoseph94 for this week’s featured image)

1 Comment
  • Ken Morrow
    Posted at 19:22h, 02 July

    I’m afraid most of our leaders are never going to understand that it is the 2nd and 3rd order effects AQ is after, not the actual kinetic damage. AQ’s theories, as postulated in UBL’s manifesto, have proven correct. On the other hand, if someone is truly dedicated to touching off sectarian warfare, it’s never proven terribly difficult. At worst, it can be time consuming and require a pretty big pile of martyrs’ corpses. To foil the opponent’s strategy, you must understand and disrupt his rhythm (Miyamoto Musashi). You have to think outside the box. If you react the way he expects you to react because it is how you’ve always responded before, you are as predictable as a puppet. At the same time, you must play to your strengths — not your habits (what you do over and over again as if it is second-nature), but your actual strengths (what you excel at). Success against any enemy who has taken up arms with the intent to kill you depends on crushing their WILL to resist. Technocrats don’t believe that. They insist it’s all about destroying their capabilities. You will never defeat a movement…an ideology…by depriving them of capacities and making things “uncomfortable” for them. For the zealot, inflicting discomfort is an endorsement that they must be on the right track. You have to obliterate their paradigm with extreme prejudice and malice of forethought! That’s how you win hearts and minds. Once the bees are swarming on you, that whole notion of attracting more bees with honey becomes highly counter-productive.

    Trying not to offend (and therefore unify) Islam has been the strategy since the 1970’s.. Almost 50 years we’ve been trying that. How’s that working for us? Has Islamic militancy increased or decreased…spread or become contained? Step back and look at the big picture — the entire history of Islam. When have the Muslims been the least problematic for everyone else on Earth? Sometimes, overwhelming and ruthless violence IS the answer!

    However, even the best governments have a tragic flaw. They all reflexively believe that they can solve anything that ails them by tightening controls on their own population. Even the most overt external threat brings a tightening of the reigns of power for which their own citizens bear the brunt. One example: it was the centuries-long and treasury=busting wars for economic domination between Spain, France, and England that led the British Crown to become tyrannical and exploitative toward the colonies in the New World; and that led to the American Revolution…which led to the French Revolution…which led to the collapse of all 3 of those Empires in rapid succession. Another example: immediately after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, FDR ordered the internment of all Americans of Japanese descent on the West Coast of the USA. Probably not his brightest moment! It does not take a strategic genius to know that similar things are going to result from terrorist attacks.

    We did the right thing after 9/11 in Afghanistan. But you pull out, leaving them in rubble, and every time they start to reconstitute themselves you bomb the crap out of them. If it takes decades, so be it! Eventually, their grand children will beg for peace on OUR terms. This nation-building (stabilization operations) idea really appeals to State, CIA, and a segment of the SOF community; but it simply doesn’t work…never has…never will.