What in the world does the frightening news about the Oroville Dam in California have to do with America’s electric grid? Answer: the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The California state government is scrambling to address the failing dam after heavy rains have damaged the main concrete spillway and water is now pouring over the emergency spillway for the first time in history. The erosion of the natural barrier –? the last line of defense between Californians and the emergency spillway ?? has prompted the evacuation of some 185,000 residents. Some outlets are even reporting that the dam might very well break, a mini-doomsday scenario for those in the immediate vicinity of the deteriorating infrastructure.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued a draft update to the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity—also known as the Cybersecurity Framework. Providing new details on managing cyber supply chain risks, clarifying key terms, and introducing measurement methods for cybersecurity, the updated framework aims to further develop NIST’s voluntary guidance to organizations on reducing cybersecurity risks.
Guidance for Surveyors, Providers and Suppliers Regarding the New Emergency Preparedness (EP) Rule
On September 8, 2016 the Federal Register posted the final rule Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers. The regulation goes into effect on November 16, 2016. Health care providers and suppliers affected by this rule must comply and implement all regulations one year after the effective date, on November 16, 2017.
Cyber Attack on 9-1-1 System Leads to Quick Arrest An 18-year-old was arrested last week after carrying out a cyberattack on the Maricopa County 9-1-1 system. The man posted a link in Twitter which supposedly directed people to a site called “Meet Desai.” However, when people clicked the link it would continually call 9-1-1 and not let the caller hang up. Law enforcement found him quickly using the GPS on his phone, arrested him in class, and confiscated his electronics. The accused said he was on the trail of bugs and viruses that he could change and manipulate. Once he manipulated this one, he set it to call 1+911. He claims he created this to basically make a name for himself in the programming and hacker world, and with the hopes Apple would pay him for finding bugs. He said during questioning the bug was meant to be “funny” and claims its release was accidental. He now faces three felony counts of computer tampering. The volume of calls could have shut down the 9-1-1 system but didn’t and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Cyber Crimes Division was able to shut down the application, ending the threat. For now. With a subsection of hackers potentially looking for bugs, programs, and viruses they can either alter or “piggyback” other applications or programs on to, it is anyone’s guess what the next one will look like. Hopefully this particular bug has been patched by now.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has announced the Next-Generation Incident Command System (NICS,) an information sharing tool for first responders, is now available worldwide.
NICS is a mobile, web-based communication platform that enables responders on scene at a developing incident to request and receive assistance from remote experts, such as a university researcher or topographic expert, in real time. Conversely, experts can observe an evolving situation and volunteer relevant material or resources.
After successful beta-implementation, NICS has transitioned to the open-source community for wide accessibility, freely available for any interested party.