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DHS Enforcing Critical Identification Requirements to Protect the Homeland

WASHINGTON - Beginning January 22, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin enforcing compliance with the Real ID Act to better protect the American people. Fifty-five out of fifty-six states and territories are currently compliant or have received an extension until October 10, 2018. Passengers who have licenses issued by a state or territory that is compliant or has an extension to become compliant with REAL ID requirements may continue to use their licenses as usual.

As of today, American Samoa is the only territory still under review. DHS has worked extensively with every state and territory to provide time, technical assistance, and grants to support compliance with the REAL ID security requirements.

BACKGROUND ON REAL ID

Based on a recommendation of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, REAL ID is a coordinated effort by the states and the federal government to inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulently-obtained driver’s licenses and identification cards. The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005, and is designed to ensure that people boarding a flight or entering a federal building are who they say they are.

REAL ID established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. This includes incorporating anti-counterfeiting technology, preventing insider fraud, and using documentary evidence and record checks to ensure a person is who he or she claims to be. It also prohibits federal agencies from accepting non-compliant licenses and identification cards for access to federal facilities, nuclear power plants, and commercial aircraft. The goal of REAL ID is to improve the reliability and accuracy of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards used for Federal official purposes.

Because of the potential for confusion about the REAL ID enforcement milestones, residents can use the following guidelines to be fully informed and prepared.

  • Be aware of your state’s status. You can check if your state is REAL ID compliant or has an extension at www.dhs.gov/real-id.
  • Read answers to frequently asked questions at www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs.
  • Bring identity documents to the airport that are acceptable for flying domestically. TSA provides a list of acceptable documents at www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification. If you need to obtain a new form of ID, please allow sufficient processing time before you travel. For example, the current processing times for U.S. passports are 6-8 weeks for routine service and 2-3 weeks for expedited service.

DHS is working closely with all states and territories to implement their REAL ID requirements and stands ready to provide additional assistance as needed. The women and men of DHS will continue to work tirelessly to put protections in place to keep our country and our people safe.

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Alert (TA18-004A) Meltdown and Spectre Side-Channel Vulnerability Guidance

Systems Affected

CPU hardware implementations

Overview

On January 3, 2018, the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) became aware of a set of security vulnerabilities—known as Meltdown(link is external) and Spectre(link is external)— that affect modern computer processors. Exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to obtain access to sensitive information.

Description

CPU hardware implementations are vulnerable to side-channel attacks referred to as Meltdown and Spectre. Meltdown is a bug that "melts" the security boundaries normally enforced by the hardware. Meltdown affects desktops, laptops, and cloud computers.  Spectre is a flaw that an attacker can exploit to force a program to reveal its data. The name derives from speculative execution—an optimization method a computer system performs to check whether it will work to prevent a delay when actually executed. Spectre affects almost all devices including desktops, laptops, cloud servers, and smartphones. Many of these security issues are remediated through the Kernel Address Isolation to have Side-channels Efficiently Removed (KAISER) patch described in detail in an academic paper named “KASLR is Dead: Long Live KASLR.” While this paper identifies a fix for Linux operating systems, the exploit concepts in the article can apply to other operating systems.

More details of these attacks are described in detail by

Impact

An attacker can gain access to the system by establishing command and control presence on a machine via malicious Javascript, malvertising, or phishing. Once successful, the attacker’s next attempt will be to escalate privileges to run code on the machine. Running code will allow the attacker to exploit the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. Sensitive information could be revealed from a computer’s kernel memory, which could contain keystrokes, passwords, encryption keys, and other valuable information.

Solution

NCCIC encourages users and administrators to refer to their hardware and software vendors for the most recent information. In the case of Spectre, the vulnerability exists in CPU architecture rather than in software, and is not easily patched; however, this vulnerability is more difficult to exploit. 

MICROSOFT

Microsoft has temporarily halted updates for AMD machines. More information can be found here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4073707/windows-os-security-update-block-for-some-amd-based-devices(link is external)

For machines running Windows Server, a number of registry changes must be completed in addition to installation of the patches.  A list of registry changes can be found here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4072698/windows-server-guidance-to-protect-against-the-speculative-execution(link is external)

ANTIVIRUS

Microsoft has recommended that third-party antivirus vendors add a change to the registry key of the machine that runs the antivirus software. Without it, that machine will not receive any of the following fixes from Microsoft:

  • Windows Update
  • Windows Server Update Services
  • System Center Configuration Manager 

More information can be found here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4072699/january-3-2018-windows-security-updates-and-antivirus-software(link is external).

MITIGATION

Mitre has published Common Vulnerability and Exposure (CVE) notes for Meltdown (CVE-2017-5754) and Spectre (CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715).

NCCIC recommends administrators review CISCO TALOS Snort SIDs: 45357 – 45368  and apply the necessary updates. These twelve rules were released as an emergency update on January 4, 2018, to cover the detection of Meltdown and Spectre side-channel vulnerabilities, and relate to CVE-2017-5715, CVE-2017-5753, and CVE-2017-5754. These signatures cover the specific proofs of concept and sample code outlined in the Spectre and Meltdown whitepapers. While these signatures have the potential to detect variants, they may not work for all cases.

The table provided below lists available advisories and patches. As patches and firmware updates continue to be released, it is important to check with your hardware and software vendors to verify that their corresponding patches can be applied, as some updates may result in unintended consequences. Note:Download any patches or microcode directly from your vendor’s website.

NCCIC recommends using a test environment to verify each patch before implementing.

After patching, performance impacts may vary, depending on use cases. Administrators should ensure that performance is monitored for critical applications and services, and work with their vendor(s) and service provider(s) to mitigate the effect, if possible.

Additionally, users and administrators who rely on cloud infrastructure should work with their CSP to mitigate and resolve any impacts resulting from host OS patching and mandatory rebooting.

 

Vulnerability Note VU#584653

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CPU hardware vulnerable to side-channel attacks

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Overview

CPU hardware implementations are vulnerable to cache side-channel attacks. These vulnerabilities are referred to as Meltdown and Spectre.

Description

Note: This Vulnerability Note is the product of ongoing analysis and represents our best knowledge as of the most recent revision. As a result, the content may change as our understanding of the issues develops.

CPU hardware implementations are vulnerable to side-channel attacks referred to as Meltdown and Spectre. Both Spectre and Meltdown take advantage of the ability to extract information from instructions that have executed on a CPU using the CPU cache as a side-channel. These attacks are described in detail by Google Project Zero, the Institute of Applied Information Processing and Communications (IAIK) at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) and Anders Fogh. The issues are organized into three variants:

  • Variant 1 (CVE-2017-5753, Spectre): Bounds check bypass
  • Variant 2 (CVE-2017-5715, also Spectre): Branch target injection
  • Variant 3 (CVE-2017-5754, Meltdown): Rogue data cache load, memory access permission check performed after kernel memory read

Spectre

Spectre attacks take advantage of a CPU's branch prediction capabilities. Modern CPUs include a feature called branch prediction, which speculatively executes instructions at a location that the CPU believes it will branch to. Such speculative execution helps to more fully utilize the parts of the CPU, minimizing the time waiting, and therefore improving performance. When a branch is successfully predicted, instructions will retire, which means the outcomes of the instructions such as register and memory writes will be committed. If a branch is mispredicted, the speculatively-executed instructions will be discarded, and the direct side-effects of the instructions are undone. What is not undone are the indirect side-effects, such as CPU cache changes. By measuring latency of memory access operations, the cache can be used to extract values from speculatively-executed instructions.

With Spectre variant 1 (CVE-2017-5753), the instructions after a conditional branch are speculatively executed as the result of a misprediction. With Spectre variant 2 (CVE-2017-5715), the CPU executes instructions at a location determined by a mispredicted branch target.

With both variants of the Spectre attack, the impact is that a process may leak sensitive data to other processes on a system. Spectre may also allow one part of an application to access other parts of the same process memory space that would otherwise not be permitted.

While the Spectre attack itself does not cross a user/kernel memory privilege boundary, depending on the configuration of the target platform, the Spectre attack may indirectly allow a user-space application to access kernel memory. For example, the Project Zero blog post describes a scenario that uses eBPF to exfiltrate kernel memory contents into user-space code. This is made possible because eBPF JIT allows for userspace applications to inject code that is executed in kernel space. While this code is verified by the kernel, eBPF-compliant code will be allowed to execute with kernel permissions. The exploit described by Project Zero leverages eBPF to execute the Spectre attack in kernel space, while exfiltrating the data to user space. It is possible that other technologies that allow in-kernel code execution may also possibly be leveraged to leak kernel memory using Spectre.

Meltdown

Meltdown is related to the Spectre attack in that it also uses a cache side channel to access data that otherwise wouldn't be available. The main difference is that it leverages out-of-order execution capabilities in modern CPUs. Like speculative execution due to branch prediction, as used by Spectre, out-of-order execution on a CPU is a technique for ensuring fullest utilization of the CPU's parts. Although instructions may appear sequentially in the machine language, a CPU that supports out-of-order execution may execute instructions in a non-sequential manner, which can minimize the time that a CPU spends idle.

Meltdown leverages insecure behavior that has been demonstrated in Intel CPUs and may affect CPUs from other vendors. Vulnerable CPUs allow memory reads in out-of-order instruction execution, and also contain a race condition between the raising of exceptions and the out-of-order instruction execution. The Meltdown attack reads a kernel memory value, which raises an exception because code running with user-space privileges are not permitted to directly read kernel memory. However, due to the race condition, out-of-order instructions following the faulting instruction may also execute. Even though instructions appear after the faulting instruction, out-of-order execution allows them to execute, using data retrieved from the instruction that raises the exception. By the time the exception is raised, some number of out-of-order instructions have executed. Although the raised exception causes the CPU to roll back the out-of-order instructions, the cache state is not reverted. This allows data from out-of-order instructions to persist beyond the point when the exception has been raised.

The impact of Meltdown is that a process running in user space is able to view the contents of kernel memory. Meltdown may also allow Spectre-like memory content leaking that does not cross the user/kernel privilege boundary.

The Linux kernel mitigations for Meltdown are referred to as KAISER, and subsequently KPTI, which aim to improve separation of kernel and user memory pages. Because the Spectre attacks do not cross user/kernel boundaries, the protections introduced with KAISER/KPTI do not add any protection against them.

 

 

Impact

An attacker able to execute code with user privileges can achieve various impacts. The Meltdown attack allows reading of kernel memory from userspace. This can result in privilege escalation, disclosure of sensitive information, or it can weaken kernel-level protections, such as KASLR. The Spectre attack can allow inter-process or intra-process data leaks.

To execute code locally, an attacker would require a valid account or independent compromise of the target. Attacks using JavaScript in web browsers are possible. Multi-user and multi-tenant systems (including virtualized and cloud environments) likely face the greatest risk. Systems used to browse arbitrary web sites are also at risk. Single-user systems that do not readily provide a way for attackers to execute code locally face significantly lower risk.

 

 

 

Solution

Apply updates

Operating system, CPU microcode updates, and some application updates mitigate these attacks. Note that in many cases, the software fixes for these vulnerabilities will have a negative affect on system performance. Also note that Microsoft Windows systems will no longer receive security updates via Windows Update if they are not running compliant anti-virus software. As with deploying any software updates, be sure to prioritize and test updates as necessary.

Consider CPU Options

Initial reports from the field indicate that overall system performance is impacted by many of the available patches for these vulnerabilities. Depending on the software workflow and the CPU capabilities present, the performance impact of software mitigations may be non-trivial and therefore may become an ongoing operational concern for some organizations. While we recognize that replacing existing CPUs in already deployed systems is not practical, organizations acquiring new systems should evaluate their CPU selection in light of the expected longevity of this vulnerability in available hardware as well as the performance impacts resulting from the various platform-specific software patches. Deployment contexts and performance requirements vary widely, and must be balanced by informed evaluation of the associated security risks. Contact your system vendor to determine if the CPU and operating system combination will experience a performance penalty due to software mitigations for these vulnerabilities.

New Crystal Group RACE™ accelerates autonomous vehicle development

HIAWATHA, Iowa, Jan. 17, 2018 -- Crystal Group Inc., a leading designer/manufacturer of rugged computer hardware for industry and defense, is introducing the first product in the new Crystal Group RACE™ (Rugged Autonomous Computer Equipment) line, engineered to accelerate autonomous vehicle (AV), automated driving system (ADS), and unmanned (UAV) projects. The Crystal Group RACE0161 high-performance, rugged computer is specifically designed to help engineers shorten development time, bringing autonomous vehicle innovations to market ahead of their competitors. The fast-paced autonomous industry is estimated to be worth trillions of dollars.

Autonomous driving technology is quickly ushering in a new economy predicted to achieve unprecedented growth and reach $7 trillion by 2050, according to a new study by Intel Corporation and Strategy Analytics. Crystal Group and Intel have partnered together to provide autonomous solutions for several leading OEM's to date. The partnership will continue to tap the booming autonomous market with leading edge technology of Crystal Group's new RACE offerings.

Crystal Group's latest autonomous vehicle computer provides the horsepower AV and ADS projects need, combining robust I/O, multiple GPU capacity, dual Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors, sophisticated thermal management, and other high-quality components stabilized in a rugged, aluminum enclosure measuring just 6.5 x 14.1 x 15.6 inches and weighing 30 to 40 pounds. Processing real-time data of LIDAR, RADAR, image, and sensor fusion, the Crystal Group RACE0161 combines impressive compute power, data-handling capabilities, and storage capacity in a compact, rugged solution capable of withstanding harsh environmental conditions, including potholes, collisions, and extreme temperatures that are likely to cause traditional systems to fail.
"The new RACE0161 and the entire line of Crystal Group RACE™ products ease AV and ADS development and give our customers the advantage of quick time-to-market with a safe, reliable, high quality AV solution," Crystal Group Executive Vice President of engineering, Jim Shaw says. "Our RACE solutions leverage decades of experience engineering rugged, reliable compute solutions for US and international military programs, as well as some of the world's largest car manufacturers," adds Shaw.

Crystal Group RACE systems are built for safety and reliability, tapping 30 years of experience tailoring high-performance, fail-safe rugged hardware for hundreds of military and aerospace missions, as well as challenging industrial, critical infrastructure, and commercial programs, including some of the hottest OEM autonomous vehicles. Crystal Group also offers its award-winning RS363S15F 3U Rugged Server, designed and developed in collaboration with Intel®, for use in autonomous vehicles.

About Crystal Group Inc.
Crystal Group Inc., a technology leader in rugged computer hardware, specializes in the design and manufacture of custom and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) rugged servers, embedded computing, networking devices, displays, power supplies, and data storage for high reliability in harsh environments. An employee-owned small business founded in 1987, Crystal Group provides the defense, government and industrial markets with in-house customization, engineering, integration, configuration management, product lifecycle planning, warranty, and support services.

Crystal Group products meet or exceed IEEE, IEC, and military standards (MIL-STD-810, 167-1, 461, MIL-S-901); are backed by warranty (5+ year) with in-house support; and are manufactured in the company's Hiawatha, Iowa, USA, facility certified to AS9100C:2009 and ISO 9001:2008 quality management standards.
© 2018 Crystal Group Inc.  All rights reserved. All marks are property of their respective owners. Design and specifications are subject to change.
SOURCE Crystal Group Inc.

Alleged Al Qaeda Associate Charged With Conspiring to Kill Americans and Other Terrorism Offenses

A Superseding Indictment charging Christian Ganczarski, aka Abu Mohamed, aka Abu Mohamed al Amani, aka Ibrahim, aka Ibrahim the German (Ganczarski), 51, with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, providing and conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and conspiring to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda, a designated foreign terrorist organization, was unsealed today in the Southern District of New York.  The United States is seeking Ganczarski’s extradition from France.

 

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman for the Southern District of New York, Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. of the FBI’s New York Office and Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill of the NYPD made the announcement.

 

 “According to the superseding indictment, between 1999 and 2001, Ganczarski regularly interacted with members of al Qaeda leadership who were responsible for terrorist operations, and provided them with the knowledge and technology to carry out attacks against the U.S. military and its allies,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Boente.  “This case demonstrates the National Security Division’s resolve to find and bring to justice, terrorists who target U.S. interests in any part of the world.  I want to thank all of the prosecutors, agents and analysts who made this result possible.”

 

“Christian Ganczarski, a German national, allegedly provided critical support to the most prolific terrorists of our time,” said U.S. Attorney Berman.  “Today we publicly announce charges against Ganczarski alleging that he participated in the planning of plots to kill Americans with high-level al Qaeda terrorists Khaled Shaikh Mohammad, Usama bin Laden and others.  The unsealing of the indictment exemplifies this Office’s commitment to the relentless pursuit and prosecution of those who seek to harm Americans.”

 

“As alleged, Ganczarski willingly supported the goals of al Qaeda, immersing himself in social circles that included the likes of Usama bin Laden and one of the future hijackers in the September 11 attacks, among others,” said Assistant Director Sweeney.  “He allegedly participated in efforts to kill Americans by providing technological support and guidance, and arranged meetings between senior officials in the organization and other like-minded individuals bent on future attacks against U.S. interests.  While he’s spent the past fifteen years behind bars in France, we haven’t forgotten his allegiance to those who have threatened our interests both at home and abroad.  We will continue to work with our international partners to mitigate the threat of global terrorism, bringing to justice everyone who participates in or materially supports this crime.”

 

“As alleged, Christian Ganczarski worked for al-Qaeda, lived in its camps and guest houses,” said Police Commissioner O’Neill.  “He rubbed shoulders with Osama Bin Laden and the men who planned and executed plots from the bombing of U.S. embassies in East Africa that killed 225 people, to the 9-11 attacks that cost 3000 lives, most of them here in New York City.  Ganczarski allegedly provided al-Qaeda with expertise in logistics, computers, radio communications and the maintenance of weapons systems that would be used against Americans soldiers after the 9/11 attacks.  This case is another example of the work of the FBI agents and NYPD detectives of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.  There is no time too long, or place to far, or suspect out of reach when it comes to bringing terrorists, or those who aid them to justice.”

 

As alleged in the Superseding Indictment unsealed in federal court:

 

Al Qaeda is an international terrorist organization dedicated to opposing non-Islamic governments with force and violence.  The organization was founded by Usama bin Laden and Muhammad Atef, aka Abu Hafs el Masri (Abu Hafs el Masri), and was headquartered in Afghanistan since approximately 1996.  Bin Laden served as the leader or “emir” of al Qaeda until his death on or about May 2, 2011. 

 

Al Qaeda has a command control structure that included a majlis al shura (or consultation council) that discussed and approved major undertakings, including terrorist operations.  Bin Laden and Abu Hafs el Masri sat on the majlis al shura of al Qaeda, as did others, including Saif al Adel.  Khaled Shaikh Mohammad, aka Mukhtar, devised, planned, and facilitated terrorist operations for al Qaeda, and he also assisted in the preparation of promotional media used by al Qaeda to advertise its terrorist agenda and attract recruits.

 

Ganczarski, a German citizen born in Poland, traveled from Germany to Pakistan and Afghanistan on at least five separate occasions between 1999 and 2001.  During these trips, Ganczarski became associated with al Qaeda and developed personal relationships with bin Laden, Abu Hafs el Masri, al Adel and Mohammad.  Ganczarski lived at times with his family at al Qaeda’s fortified compound near Kandahar, Afghanistan.  At other times, Ganczarski lived in guest houses and other facilities operated by al Qaeda in Afghanistan.  Ganczarski participated in al Qaeda’s efforts to kill Americans in a number of ways, such as providing al Adel and other al Qaeda members with technological guidance and hardware, including computers, radios and other communications equipment. 

 

In approximately January 2000, Ganczarski attended a speech delivered by bin Laden at al Qaeda’s headquarters in Kandahar.  The January 2000 speech was attended by at least 100 men, including, among others, many significant al Qaeda leaders and terrorists, such as at least one of the plotters in the August 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in East Africa, and one of the future hijackers in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States (the September 11 Attacks).  During the speech, Ganczarski sat in the front row with al Adel’s son in his lap.

 

In approximately March 2000, Ganczarski attended a meeting in Karachi, Pakistan, between Mohammad and a member of Jamaah Islamiyah (CC-1), a Southeast Asia terrorist organization, at which U.S. and Israeli targets for terrorist attacks were discussed.  Following the meeting, Ganczarski helped transport CC-1 and a written communication from Mohammad to al Qaeda’s fortified compound in Kandahar, where Ganczarski spoke to bin Laden and took CC-1 to meetings with al Adel and Abu Hafs el Masri at which potential attacks on U.S. and Israeli interests were further discussed.

 

Ganczarski was in Germany at the time of the September 11 Attacks, and he indicated after the attacks that he had been aware that a significant event was about to occur.  In approximately early October 2001, Ganczarski returned to Afghanistan and met with other members of al Qaeda, including al Adel.  In approximately November 2001, Ganczarski and others attempted to repair anti-aircraft missiles controlled by al Qaeda that were not functioning, so that the missiles could be fired at U.S. military aircraft flying in the area at the time.

 

Ganczarski was arrested in France in 2003, and subsequently convicted of offenses under French law relating to a 2002 al Qaeda attack on a synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia.  Ganczarski has been incarcerated in France since being convicted.

  

*                *                *

 

The Superseding Indictment charges Ganczarski, with four counts: one count of conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; two counts of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and provision of material support and resources to terrorists, which carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison on each count; and one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization (al Qaeda) which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

 

The maximum potential penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.  The charges contained in the Superseding Indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

Mr. Boente and Mr. Berman praised the extraordinary investigative work of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force – which principally consists of agents from the FBI and detectives from the NYPD – for the critical role they played and continue to play in the investigation of Ganczarski and his co-conspirators.  In addition, Mr. Berman thanked the Department of Justice’s National Security Division and Office of International Affairs.

 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emil J. Bove III and Amanda L. Houle of the Southern District of New York are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Trial Attorney David Smith of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

Bureau of Prisons Tests Micro-Jamming Technology in Federal Prison to Prevent Contraband Cell Phones

 

On January 17, 2018, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), in collaboration with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Federal Communications Commission, conducted a test of micro-jamming technology at the Federal Correctional Institution at Cumberland, Maryland.  The test was conducted to determine if micro-jamming could prevent wireless communication by an inmate using a contraband device at the individual cell housing unit level. 

Prior to this test, the BOP had conducted a limited cellphone jamming demonstration with NTIA in 2010, at the same field site in Cumberland supporting NTIA’s congressionally-mandated study of cellphone interdiction technologies.  

As part of the Jan. 17 test, NTIA conducted an independent evaluation of micro-jamming technology to determine its efficacy and interference potential with Radio Frequency communications.  The BOP and NTIA will review the data and analysis results from both BOP’s and NTIA’s testing and develop recommendations for strategic planning and possible acquisition.

“Contraband cell phones in prisons pose a major and growing security threat to correctional officers, law enforcement officials, and the general public,” said Assistant Attorney General Beth Williams of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy.  “As criminals increase their technological capacity to further criminal activity from within prisons, we must also explore technologies to prevent this from happening.  This test is part of our ongoing efforts to find a solution.” 

Contraband cellphones have been an ongoing correctional security and public safety concern for the BOP as well as for state and local correctional agencies across the country.  Contraband phones are used to further ongoing criminal activity, including threats to public officials, intimidation of witnesses, and continuance of criminal enterprises.  

The BOP will continue to evaluate cell phone detection technologies and work with its federal partners and Congress to achieve cost-effective options to combat this threat to corrections and public safety.  The agency does not endorse any specific vendor or product. 

Safety Dynamics' Advanced Portable Gunshot Detection Solution SENTRI II Successfully Deployed in Baltimore by Beeper Communications and Mantaro Networks

GERMANTOWN, Md., Jan. 15, 2018 -- Beeper Communications, Israel and Mantaro Networks, Inc. have successfully deployed the first portable/mobile versions of the Safety Dynamics' SENTRI II, Gunshot detection systems, in the city of Baltimore. The deployment marks a milestone in the advancement of this proven public safety technology, by allowing the standalone gunshot detection systems to be completely portable using Beeper's advanced wireless cellular bonding solution, the IE 5000 Multi-WAN Channel Bonder. The IE 5000 delivers high capacity broadband connectivity where and when needed by the user.

"Integrating the Beeper IE 5000 bonded Cellular platform to the SENTRI system has resulted in a real market disruption in the industry…" said Sally Fernandez, CEO Safety Dynamics. Fernandez went on to say "...SENTRI II changes the game for gunshot detection technology. Safety Dynamics now has a complete standalone portable system, with power and network connection that offers gunshot detection and surveillance, anytime and anywhere you need it." Unlike competing GSD solutions, each SENTRI unit operates independently and does not rely on a larger matrix of sensors. This provides superior reliability and significant cost savings for the end user. The integration of bonded cellular wireless communications adds unmatched flexibility, as the units are now untethered from any reliance on fixed wired infrastructure such as fiber or cable resulting in significantly reduced deployment costs." Through the IE 5000 SENTRI II offers the end users link aggregation, bonding, load balancing and redundancy, assuring highly reliable and secure data and video transmission.

Beeper's IE 5000 cellular bonder is the leading anywhere-to-everywhere wireless Comprehensive Communication Device (CCD). "There is a clear and rapidly growing need for GSD solutions, as many major cities continue to experience gun violence on an epidemic scale. The flexibility that the portable SENTRI II provides is unprecedented in the industry. Competitive solutions are expensive and can require months of test and validation which adds to expense and can strain municipal budgets," said Fernandez. "Our new solution, SENTRI II, that we have jointly developed, is rapidly deployable and immediately operational … and now can be moved at will to the areas most in need of this deterrent technology saving both time and money," states Moshe Levinson, SVP Business Development and Special Situations, Beeper Communications.

Safety Dynamics is an industry pioneer specializing in gunshot detection, camera and acoustic surveillance and other analytical sensory technology and warning systems. The SENTRI solution uses patented acoustic algorithms identifying the precise location with plus/minus 1 degree of accuracy. Alert and notification is delivered directly to the user within less than 1 second of an event. The system immediately geo-locates the event and will plot it on a map, which can be integrated with the user's command center or Network Operations Center (NOC). The current project is an extension of a 2015 pilot project with the City of Baltimore. The addition of the SENTRI II portable version of Safety Dynamics advanced acoustic surveillance analytical sensory technology with Beeper's communications solution will enable further efficacy and strategic use of the systems. For example, the City of Baltimore can now deploy quickly for "one-off" events, such as the Preakness, that occurs once a year. Events and concerts such as the one at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas or unplanned events can now be protected more effectively and on short notice. "SENTRI II could have detected the glass breaking at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas within less than 1 second and provided the precise location of the shooter enabling security personnel to move in more quickly and more accurately to apprehend the shooter," said Fernandez.

Mantaro Networks provides best in class engineering services for the project working closely with all partners from the manufacture of the system itself to the installation. Mantaro already sells and supports the Beeper and Safety Dynamics technology in the U.S., and will also incorporate enhanced automatic testing and emulation software. This "24/7 Health Check" further improves upon the existing system's maintenance, monitoring and control capabilities.

The Companies will expand the program with 4 other US city projects in the Northeast and Midwestern US. The next deliveries are scheduled for January of 2018 to the City of Houston.

BlackRidge Technology Forms Government Advisory Board and Appoints Four Proven Leaders

RENO, Nev., Jan. 17, 2018 -- BlackRidge Technology International, Inc. (OTCQB: BRTI), a leading provider of next generation cyber defense solutions, has formed a Government Advisory Board and named David L. Peed, Kevin Carroll, Rhett A. Hernandez, and Cindy E. Moran to the board. The BlackRidge Government Advisory Board was created to add expert executive perspective and insights into the specific network and cyber security needs of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) IT environment as well as mission-critical federal government networks. BlackRidge products have completed the rigorous testing process required for use in DoD information networks.

The BlackRidge Government Advisory Board inaugural appointees are


    •    David L. Peed, who will chair the advisory board. Mr. Peed is currently Vice President and General Manager of Equinix Government Solutions responsible for shaping and executing Equinix's Americas Public Sector strategy. Previously he was the President of ITekFED of which he co-founded. Mr. Peed is the former VP & GM for Ciena Government Solutions, Inc. (CGSI) where he was instrumental in the growth of the organization during his nine-year tenure with Ciena. Under his leadership, CGSI became a major player in critical networks for the U.S. Department of Defense, Internet2, as well as many others in the government community. Mr. Peed has more than 30 years of experience in the telecom industry.


    •    T. Kevin Carroll, President of The Kevin Carroll Group from 2007 to the present. Mr. Carroll provides consulting advice to information technology companies on Federal Government acquisitions, with key focus on the Department of Defense, Veteran Administration and Army procurements. Previously he was the Army Program Executive Officer, Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), responsible for the program management of the DOD and Army business and combat service support systems, as well as related Army communication and computer infrastructure. Mr. Carroll has over 30 years in government service, primarily in leading Army information technology procurement and contracting organizations.


    •    Rhett A. Hernandez, LTG, Retired,who served nearly 40 years in the United States Army as a Commander, Senior Staff Officer and Strategist, focusing on combat operations and cyber security. His last active duty assignment was as the first Commander of Army Cyber Command, where he was responsible for the daily operations, defense and risk management of all Army networks. Mr. Hernandez also served in numerous command and key staff assignments, including Deputy Chief of Staff for Army Operations, Commander Human Resources Command and Operations Division, and senior military advisor to Ambassador Saudi Arabia. He currently serves as the West Point Cyber Chair to the Army Cyber Institute and as President, CyberLens, LLC, which focuses on leadership, strategic planning, and risk management.


    •    Cindy E. Moran, a highly regarded expert within the defense information systems field having spent nearly 30 years working for the DoD with communications networks. Ms. Moran is currently the President and managing partner for Pikes Way LLC, an IT consulting firm specializing in strategic planning and management in the telecommunications sector. Her post government experience has her serving as a director on public and private boards. She previously served as the Director for Network Services, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), where her responsibilities included systems management of all DISA terrestrial and satellite communications networks supporting the DoD Information Network (DODIN). Ms. Moran has held multiple positions in support of DoD information technology systems, including hands-on network and system administration roles.
"The BlackRidge Government Advisory Board appointees bring extensive experience and strategic insights to BlackRidge, to help us advance the company as a trusted provider of world-class cyber security solutions to public sector customers," said Bob Graham, Chairman and CEO of BlackRidge Technology. "We look forward to working with these outstanding individuals who are proven leaders and have extensive backgrounds in building and securing highly sensitive networks."


About BlackRidge Technology


BlackRidge Technology provides an adaptive cyber defense solution that enables our customers to deliver more secure and resilient business services in today's rapidly evolving technology and cyber threat environments. The BlackRidge Adaptive Trust solution provides end-to-end security that proactively isolates cloud services, protects servers and segments networks. Our patented First Packet Authentication™ technology authenticates user and device identity and enforces security policy on the first packet of network sessions. This new level of real-time protection blocks or redirects unidentified and unauthorized traffic to stop attacks and unauthorized access. BlackRidge was founded in 2010 to commercialize its military grade and patented network security technology. For more information, visit www.blackridge.us.

Dragos Announces New 5-Day, Hands-On Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Course on Assessing, Monitoring and Hunting Industrial Threats

HANOVER, Md., Jan. 17, 2018 -- Industrial control systems (ICS) cybersecurity company Dragos, Inc. announced today the addition of a new, 5-day ICS cybersecurity course: "Assessing, Monitoring, and Hunting ICS Threats." The course is hosted at Dragos' state-of-the-art training center in Hanover, Maryland and is aimed to help information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) security professionals increase their industrial cybersecurity best practices expertise, expand their knowledge of industrial environments, and more effectively secure their environments. The course also leverages the team's software technology, the Dragos Platform, to better enable customers and introduce them to complex environments and attacks outside of those they might face at their own organizations.

"Assessing, Monitoring, and Hunting ICS Threats" offers students:

  • 5 days of in-depth training on ICS basics, best practices, environment assessments, threat hunting, and industrial network monitoring
  • Access to ICS cyber ranges and individual training stations equipped with control system kits
  • Immersion into real-world ICS scenarios through various hands-on labs and exercises
  • Instruction from Dragos' team of ICS experts and practitioners who have boots-on-the-ground experience securing industrial control systems and surrounding infrastructure

"The industrial community faces shortages of both the talent and technology required to keep pace with threats and the methods they use," said Robert M. Lee, Dragos CEO and Founder. "Dragos training classes are a key element of Dragos' response to these challenges and just one of the ways we transfer our team members' knowledge and experience as ICS defenders back into the community."

The next class is scheduled for February 26, 2018. More details about the course can be found at www.dragos.com/training/.  Contact [email protected] for more information.

About Dragos
Dragos applies expert human intelligence and threat behavioral analytics to redefine industrial control system (ICS) cybersecurity.  Its industry-first, ICS cybersecurity ecosystem provides industrial security practitioners with unprecedented situational awareness over their environments, with comprehensive threat intelligence, detection, and response capabilities.  Dragos' solutions include the Dragos Platform, software providing ICS-specific asset discovery, threat detection, and response capabilities; Dragos Threat Operations Center, providing ICS threat hunting, incident response services, and ICS cybersecurity training; and Dragos ICS WorldView, providing global, ICS-specific threat intelligence in the form of weekly reports.  Headquartered in metropolitan Washington DC, Dragos' team of ICS cybersecurity experts are practitioners who've lived the problems the industry faces hailing from across the U.S. Intelligence Community to private sector industrial companies.   For more information, please visit dragos.com.

Nautic Alert to Safeguard Commercial Fisherman and Assets With Their New Upcoming VMS Type-Approved Insight X2

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Nautic Alert just unveiled one of the most technologically-advanced marine monitoring, tracking, safety and security system designed specifically for yachts, and now has some really exciting news for commercial fisherman. Nautic Alert will be releasing a VMS type-approved Insight which will not only bring NOAA tracking to fisherman, but also unmatched security and safety protection with the industry's first SMART bilge controller, microwave and radar-based intrusion detection, and man-overboard with global emergency monitoring. Nautic Alert is an EDGE-based system with onboard learning intelligence designed to provide early detection of critical systems.

Nautic Alert Insight features seamless over-the-air updates for its integrated VMS forms on a compact, lightweight MFD, with no external tablets required. Next-gen aviation-grade GPS technology enables Nautic Alert to filter out weather-related glitches in reported positions that exceed CFR accuracy requirements, as well as obtain position accurate within inches using WAAS technology. Nautic Alert even logs this position accuracy information in the event any questions should arise, better protecting fishermen from position reporting inaccuracies, and keeping law-enforcement at bay.

Nautic Alert's cloud architecture includes multi-site cloud-based redundancy with auto-failover, so even when an unexpected widespread communications outage occurs, position reports are automatically routed to a backup data center. Additionally, the low-orbiting Iridium network is used in combination with device transmission retries to ensure that all satellite transmissions get through quickly and efficiently with low-profile miniature external antennas, all designed to keep fisherman productive and focused on what matters to them most.

X2 keeps fishermen connected to next-gen satellite-based emergency monitoring, complete with 2-way search-and-rescue messaging, global texting, and a personal emergency alarm that can trigger a response from the push of a button. Multiple wireless man-overboard transmitters can be used to alert the captain through Insight's 95dB siren, or crew onboard with its wireless siren sync network. An emergency event can even automatically notify search-and-rescue as well as friends and family. Texting includes global cellular texting and private messaging with other Nautic Alert Insight devices.

Fishermen endure some rough conditions, and Nautic Alert's Nevata bilge controller delivers a visual representation of water-level measurements onboard and remotely, and can even function as a controller for bilge discharge, and log all bilge activities to the cloud. Nevata enables unrivaled bilge protection with its optional SMART drive technology that can auto-switch pumps when bilge equipment failure occurs, and provide early detection of bilge issues well in advance of a high-water alert and if high-water occurs.

Fishing boats and equipment can be costly, so Nautic Alert's microwave-based motion detection can be used to detect an intruder before they make entry with its 3-layer approach, for inside or out. X2 packs marine-grade protection that overcomes environmental factors that make traditional PIR (passive-infrared) sensors unreliable due to external dock movement and wind drafts, and includes adjustable distance detection settings necessary for serious yacht security.

Nautic Alert is currently undergoing VMS testing in certain U.S. fisheries regions, and is looking for volunteers. Commercial fisherman with registered fishing vessels interested in obtaining a free system they can keep after testing should contact Nautic Alert (restrictions may apply). For more information, see www.nauticalert.com.

Related Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4ntIGcskRo

SOURCE Nautic Alert

Related Links

http://www.nauticalert.com

HID Global to Collaborate with ThreatMark on its New Cyber Threat Solutions for Banking and Finance Sectors

ID Global®, a worldwide leader in trusted identity solutions, today announced that it has signed a collaboration agreement with ThreatMark, a threat and fraud detection technology company, to develop new capabilities that will enhance the ability of financial institutions to detect cyber threats, such as malware, application hacking, phishing, account takeover, identity theft and fraudulent transactions. 

HID’s expertise in Identity & Access Management (IAM) includes multi-factor authentication, credential management system software and identity verification capabilities in complex environments. HID’s capabilities complement ThreatMark’s expertise in cyber-criminal detection and fraud prevention. The two companies will work together to extend threat and fraud detection in order to meet today’s ever-increasing risk from cyber attacks. 

“With cyber threats continuously evolving, HID Global is committed to advancing and extending our threat detection capabilities,” said Martin Ladstaetter, Vice President Products for IAM Solutions at HID Global. “Working with ThreatMark not only provides a partnership with a very successful company with domain know-how, but it also gives us visibility into an even broader attack surface that needs to be addressed, ensuring that we are staying ahead of cyber threats today and in the future.”

“Collaborating with HID gives ThreatMark the opportunity to combine our expertise to improve the overall security ecosystem through threat and fraud detection,” said Michal Tresner, CEO ThreatMark. “ThreatMark has differentiated itself by providing innovative deep behavioral profiling  technology that, together with advanced analytics, can help to understand how cyber-criminal work. Collaboration with companies like HID Global allow us to broaden our reach and develop better integrated solutions.”   

HID Global provides the broadest range of market-leading IAM solutions as the only company that can truly deliver a converged physical and logical identity management solution for high assurance and multi-factor authentication. ThreatMark’s solution integrated with HID Global’s portfolio for securing both consumer and employee transactions in banking and finance will greatly enhance security while maintaining a frictionless user experience that is important to the banking industry.

 

About HID Global

HID Global powers the trusted identities of the world’s people, places and things.  We make it possible for people to transact safely, work productively and travel freely. Our trusted identity solutions give people convenient access to physical and digital places and connect things that can be identified, verified and tracked digitally. Millions of people around the world use HID products and services to navigate their everyday lives, and over 2 billion things are connected through HID technology. We work with governments, educational institutions, hospitals, financial institutions, industrial businesses and some of the most innovative companies on the planet. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, HID Global has over 3,000 employees worldwide and operates international offices that support more than 100 countries. HID Global® is an ASSA ABLOY Group brand. For more information, visit www.hidglobal.com

 

About ThreatMark

ThreatMark is highly specialized research and development laboratory combining hacker level security know how with latest machine learning technology to combat cyber threats and online fraud. ThreatMark’s research into malware detection, artificial intelligence and behavioral biometry, is applied into the production environment of global banks, lending and payment providers and other online businesses that trust ThreatMark during their everyday operation.

ThreatMark solutions are designed to address the weakest link in security – the human factor. By monitoring subtle changes of the complex human behavior during their online business interactions even the stealthiest cyber-attack or fraud attempt can be identified and mitigated in the real-time. To learn more please visit www.threatmark.com

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