CNN reports that a mock cyber attack orchestrated in a DOE Idaho lab showed that the nation is vulnerable to coordinated attacks that could destroy the entire electrical infrastructure of large geographic areas for months. (See item 1)
The Associated Press reports that Chicago’s video surveillance equipment will soon be upgraded with smart software manufactured by IBM. The new surveillance system would be capable of “alerting emergency officials if the same car or truck circles the Sears Tower three times or if nobody picks up a backpack in Grant Park for, say, 30 seconds,” among other things. (See item 31)
31. September 27, Associated Press – (Illinois) Chicago video surveillance gets smarter. On Thursday, the city of Chicago and IBM Corp. announced the initial phase of what officials say could be the most advanced video security network in any U.S. city. Chicago already has thousands of security cameras in use by businesses and police—including some equipped with devices that recognize the sound of a gunshot, turn the cameras toward the source and place a 911 call. However, the new system would let cameras analyze images in real time 24 hours a day. For example, the system could be programmed to alert the city’s emergency center whenever a camera spots a vehicle matching the description of one being sought by authorities. The system could be programmed to recognize license plates. It could alert emergency officials if the same car or truck circles the Sears Tower three times or if nobody picks up a backpack in Grant Park for, say, 30 seconds. It is unclear when the system will be fully operational. Existing cameras could be equipped with the new IBM software, but additional cameras will likely be added as well.
33. September 26, Computerworld – (National) Cyber criminals turn to smaller botnets. Online criminals setting up botnets, networks of computers they have hijacked using malicious software, are downsizing those networks in an attempt to counter security software firms. Virus writers typically try to build the largest possible botnet to make it more powerful and therefore more valuable to rent out to criminals. However, researchers have reported seeing these large groups broken down into smaller units. “Most botnets are controlled by internet relay chat,” said an F-Secure researcher. “The problem for the owners is that if the central IRC server goes down they lose the whole botnet. These people do not want to put all their eggs in one basket, and are therefore running smaller botnets.” He explained that online gangs are increasingly trying to take over botnets run by other people, and that running numerous smaller botnets makes this less of a problem.
Source: http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2199688/botnets-getting-smallerase Wait.
35. September 26, Associated Press – (Tennessee) FAA says Memphis outage caused by AT&T. AT&T Inc. manages the telephone line that went down at a Memphis air traffic control center causing nationwide airline delays Tuesday, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration told lawmakers. The communications failure, which limited the center’s ability to talk to flights passing through its airspace and to other air traffic control facilities for about three hours, shut down all airline traffic within 250 miles of