OSC Guardian - Safety Advice


Monday, February 28, 2011

Surveillance of Visa Holders? No, not your Credit Card.

The recent arrest of a Saudi man on terrorism charges has some lawmakers arguing for surveillance of visa holders. "The case of [Khalid Ali-M] Aldawsari, who was in the U.S. on a student visa and enrolled at a community college in Texas, has ignited a debate among House lawmakers over whether further steps need to be taken to screen or monitor people in the U.S. on visas," reports The Hill. "House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) wants to increase surveillance and screening measures on individuals in the U.S. on visas from countries known for terrorist activities, such as Saudi Arabia and Yemen."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Terrorism Arrest Made In Texas Over Attack Plot

  • On 02/23/2011, a 20-year-old male was arrested in Lubbock, Texas on the federal charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
  • The suspect has been identified as Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a Saudi Arabian national who had been living in Lubbock, Texas on a legal student visa.
  • Aldawsari reportedly had been researching and acquiring numerous chemical ingredients necessary for the production of explosives.
  • Potential targets may have included the residence of former President George W. Bush as well as a number of vital infrastructure locations.
  • At this time, it is believed that Aldawsari was acting alone and has no known ties to any international terrorist organization.
On Wednesday, February 23, 2011, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari was arrested by law enforcement authorities following an investigation into his attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. Aldawsari is described as a 20-year-old, Saudi Arabian national who was a resident of Lubbock, Texas. Aldawsari apparently gained legal entrance into the United States on a student visa in 2008 and had been attending South Plains College. Open source reports indicate that the suspect had done extensive online research concerning the contents and manufacture of explosives and had recently gone through the process of acquiring the chemical ingredients and other materials required to produce them. Aldawsari reportedly planned to build some form of improvised explosive device. Additionally, some national media outlets claim that he had posted several violent extremist statements on his online blog and personal journal. Emails allegedly sent by Aldawsari to himself specifically mentioned the Dallas residence of former President George W. Bush, and other key infrastructure locations including hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants as potential targets for an attack. Some media coverage has indicated that Aldawsari’s list of potential targets also included at least 12 reservoir dams located in California and Colorado. The suspect reportedly attempted to acquire one of the more rare explosive components from a company based in North Carolina. The company, being suspicious of the request later reported it to the authorities, leading to the investigation that culminated in Aldawsari’s arrest.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Colombia Seizes 100-Foot-Long Narco Sub

Showing once again just how ingenuous and well funded the drug cartels are. In 2008 police seized 2 tons of cocaine worth approximately $100 million, so this would mean that the sub could (for a cost of 2 million) smuggle in about $400 million worth of cocaine. That is one heck of a profit margin.

two tons of cocaine worth $100 million


By Matthew Harwood

It isn't a one-off event anymore: drug smuggling has been driven beneath the waves as part of its constant evolution.
Over the weekend, the Colombian Navy seized South America's second narco submarine with the help of intelligence supplied by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The nearly 100-foot-long, fiberglass vessel sat at the end of a man-made canal in the jungles of Timbiqui in southwestern Colombia, according to The Houston Chronicle. As of yesterday, the vessel was under guard as bad weather delayed the Colombian Navy from towing it out of its watery haunt.
This is the second discovery of a narco sub within the last year. In July, the DEA supplied intelligence to the Ecudorian authorities that led to the seizure of another narco-sub deep in the jungle. The Chronicle notes that it is not known whether the same organization built both vessels.
Colombian Navy officials said the submarine could probably accomodate four smugglers and carry about 8 tons of cocaine up north to Mexico without surfacing. According to media reports, the vessel was a model of sophistication, including navigational equipment, built-in bunk beds, and two remote cameras attached to its conning tower. The Colombian Navy estimates the narco sub cost about $2 million to build, according to RTT News.
Jay Bergman, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for the Andean region, told The Houston Chronicle that the discovery confirms narco subs are the next evolution in drug smuggling. It's all part of the dance that drug cartels and law enforcement play: when speed boats or fishing trawlers don't cut it anymore, drug smugglers opt for less detectable smuggling conveyances, like remora-like containers attached to ships and semi-submersibles. Now it seems at least one drug-smuggling organization believes it's time to dive far beneath the ocean's surface to avoid detection.
The narco submarine's builders, however, haven't perfected the design just yet. While the vessel could fully submerge, it would have been teethered to the surface by a nearly 30-foot-long snorkel to deliver air to its engine.
"If somebody is going in one of these things, I'm like, 'What are they thinking?' “ Bergman told the Chronicle. "You can go down, but can't guarantee you can come back up."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Using Social Media to Collect Debt

A very interesting article about how "posting your life" on social media can effect you. Are you perhaps pushing off some bills, and telling the collectors that you are unemployed and just don't have the money right now?  Well, if you have been posting about the new job you have or perhaps your brand new HD TV that you watched the big game on, they may not be as understanding.


Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent slain, another wounded in Mexico

By the CNN Wire Staff
February 15, 2011 11:22 p.m. EST
  • NEW: Mexican government confirms ICE agent slain in gun attack
  • Second victim in stable condition after being shot in the arm and leg
  • U.S. officials, Mexican government condemn attack
(CNN) -- Gunmen opened fire on two U.S. immigration agents in Mexico on Tuesday, killing one and injuring the other, officials said.
The two agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were attacked Tuesday afternoon while driving between Mexico City and Monterrey.
One of the agents was gravely wounded and died later Tuesday. The other was in stable condition after being shot in the arm and leg, according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The shooting took place about 23 miles north of downtown Mexico City at approximately 3 p.m. ET, an ICE official said. The official spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity because the case is still under investigation.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Breath of Life™ Emergency Escape Mask

The Breath of Life™ mask protects its wearer from hazardous airborne particulate matter including smoke, fumes, dust, biological toxins and chemical agents, and is small and thin enough to carry almost anywhere! Great to help in you and your family in a fire! Small and thin enough to fit in a jacket pocket or a bedside table. 
Protection lasts for fifteen to twenty minutes, providing time to escape from an attack scene, burning building, or other disaster.Lightweight folded dual-filter design mask comes sealed in a compact foil bag that fits in one hand

  • Silicone, facial-conforming, instant-fit mask body provides excellent sealing
  • Two large filters accommodate high-volume air flow, allowing for heavy exertion and stress during an emergency escape situation
  • Precision one-way exhalation valve maintains easy exhaling
  • Excellent speech transmission; telephones, cell phones and microphones can be easily used
  • No mouthpieces or nose clips that can hamper communication
  • No claustrophobic feeling like with many hooded masks
  • No dangerous, time-consuming caps to remove or filter canisters to screw into mask
  • Anti-fogging eye lenses of rigid polycarbonate also provide impact protection One size fits most adults. It is estimated that more than 80% of the population and more than 97% of adults, have facial dimensions suitable for the mask. Generally, the mask fits children who are ten years old or older.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Homegrown Terrorism and Cyberattacks

Homegrown terrorism is the number one threat to the United States, says the intelligence community. "While homegrown actors represent a 'numerically small' segment of the terrorist threat, they have disproportionate access to US facilities, noted Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. He said that he remains 'especially focused on Al Qaeda’s resolve to target Americans for recruitment,'" reports The Christian Science Monitor. 'This focus is the result of the damage that US forces have done to Al Qaeda in places like Pakistan, officials argue. US success in targeting insurgent operatives has in turn encouraged Al Qaeda to look for other ways to harm America – specifically, recruiting Americans to take part in terrorist attacks on their home soil, they say."
♦ Besides homegrown terrorism, the intelligence community's top leaders increasingly fear cyberattacks as another dire threat to national security. CIA Director Leon Panetta told House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that "terrorists are determined to find a way to hack into the power grid system in the United States, which he said 'brings down the financial system, brings down our government systems. You could paralyze this country,'" according to the Los Angeles Times. "He noted that extremists in Iran, Russia and China are developing 'a significant capacity' to stage such an attack, and that 'hundreds of thousands' of attempts are being made to sneak into national security networks."

"Iron River of Guns" a Myth, STRATFOR Says (Guns in Mexico)

By Matthew Harwood
The oft-claimed statistic that approximately 90 percent of the seized firearms used by Mexico's ultraviolent drug cartels come from the United States is a myth, according to a private intelligence firm.
In a report released today, STRATFOR notes that this widely-held belief  stems primarily from a June 2009 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. In its analysis, the GAO found that 87 percent of traceable firearms seized in Mexico came from the United States between 2004 and 2008.

While the firm doesn't discount that American guns play a significant role in Mexican drug violence, it notes that the report's statistics have been misleadingly used and cited in the public. STRATFOR's Scott Stewart explains why using the GAO's 2008 statistics:
According to the GAO report, some 30,000 firearms were seized from criminals by Mexican authorities in 2008. Of these 30,000 firearms, information pertaining to 7,200 of them (24 percent) was submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for tracing. Of these 7,200 guns, only about 4,000 could be traced by the ATF, and of these 4,000, some 3,480 (87 percent) were shown to have come from the United States.
This means that the 87 percent figure relates to the number of weapons submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF that could be successfully traced and not from the total number of weapons seized by Mexican authorities or even from the total number of weapons submitted to the ATF for tracing. In fact, the 3,480 guns positively traced to the United States equals less than 12 percent of the total arms seized in Mexico in 2008 and less than 48 percent of all those submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF for tracing. This means that almost 90 percent of the guns seized in Mexico in 2008 were not traced back to the United States.
One reason the Mexican government doesn't submit a significant portion of its seized weapons to the United States for tracing, according to Stewart, is because it reflects badly on the government.


Stay Safe,
Oram Security

Friday, February 4, 2011

Oram Security mentioned in 914Inc Magazine!

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Traveling to Mexico? One of our clients had a question about traveling to Cancun, so here are some tips and notes for you to know.

Well right off the bat here is the phone number and address for the US Consular Agency for Cancun. Put it in your phone.
Cancun: Blvd. Kukulcan Km 13 ZH Torre La Europea, Despacho 301 Can...cun, Quintana Roo, Mexico C.P. 77500 ; telephone (011)(52)(998) 883-0272.

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Mexico is “066”.

Check that your medical insurance is up to date and covers you for the countries you are visiting. Check to find out what their emergency medical procedure is while traveling. Confirm if you need pre-approval for a hospital visit. Also, make sure your insurance includes a Emergency Medical Evacuation and that you know how to activate it. The medical services where you are visiting may not be up to your standards.

Safety begins when you pack. To help avoid becoming a target, do not dress in a way that could mark you as an affluent tourist. Expensive-looking jewelry, for instance, can draw the wrong attention.
Always try to travel light. You can move more quickly and will be more likely to have a free hand. You will also be less tired and less likely to set your luggage down, leaving it unattended.
Carry the minimum number of valuables, and plan places to conceal them. Your passport, cash and credit cards are most secure when locked in a hotel safe. When you have to carry them on your person, you may wish to put them each in a different place rather than all in one wallet or pouch. Avoid handbags, fanny packs and outside pockets that are easy targets for thieves. Inside pockets and a sturdy shoulder bag with the strap worn across your chest are somewhat safer. One of the safest places to carry valuables is in a pouch or money belt worn under your clothing.
If you wear glasses, pack an extra pair. Pack them and any medicines you need in your carry-on luggage.
To avoid problems when passing through customs, keep medicines in their original, labeled containers. Bring copies of your prescriptions and the generic names for the drugs. If a medication is unusual or contains narcotics, carry a letter from your doctor attesting to your need to take the drug. If you have any doubt about the legality of carrying a certain drug into a country, consult the embassy or consulate of that country before you travel.
Bring travelers’ checks and one or two major credit cards instead of cash.
Pack an extra set of passport photos along with a photocopy of your passport’s information page to make replacement of your passport easier in the event it is lost or stolen.
Put your name, address and telephone numbers inside and outside of each piece of luggage. Use covered luggage tags to avoid casual observation of your identity or nationality. If possible, lock your luggage.

What to Leave Behind

Don't bring anything you would hate to lose. Leave at home:
  • Valuable or expensive-looking jewelry
  • Irreplaceable family objects
  • All unnecessary credit cards
  • Your Social Security card, library card, and similar items you may routinely carry in your wallet.
Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home in case they need to contact you in an emergency.
Make two photocopies of your passport identification page, airline tickets, driver's license and the credit cards that you plan to bring with you. Leave one photocopy of this data with family or friends at home; pack the other in a place separate from where you carry the originals.
Leave a copy of the serial numbers of your travelers' checks with a friend or relative at home. Carry your copy with you in a separate place and, as you cash the checks, cross them off the list.

What to Learn About Before You Go

Local Laws and Customs
When you leave the United States, you are subject to the laws of the country you are visiting. Therefore, before you go, learn as much as you can about the local laws and customs of the places you plan to visit. Good resources are your library, your travel agent, and the embassies, consulates or tourist bureaus of the countries you will visit. In addition, keep track of what is being reported in the media about recent developments in those countries.

Things to Arrange Before You Go

Your Itinerary
As much as possible, plan to stay in larger hotels that have more elaborate security. Safety experts recommend booking a room from the second to seventh floors above ground level – high enough to deter easy entry from outside, but low enough for fire equipment to reach.
When there is a choice of airport or airline, ask your travel agent about comparative safety records.
Legal Documents
Have your affairs in order at home. If you leave a current will, insurance documents, and power of attorney with your family or a friend, you can feel secure about traveling and will be prepared for any emergency that may arise while you are away. If you have minor children, consider making guardianship arrangements for them.
Register your travel
It is a good idea to sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program --think of it as checking in-- so that you may be contacted if need be, whether because of a family emergency in the U.S., or because of a crisis in the area in which you are traveling. It is a free service provided by the State Department, and is easily accomplished online at https://travelregistration.state.gov. (In accordance with the Privacy Act, the Department of State may not release information on your welfare or whereabouts to inquirers without your express written authorization.)

Find out if your personal property insurance covers you for loss or theft abroad. Also, check on whether your health insurance covers you abroad. Medicare and Medicaid do not provide payment for medical care outside the United States. Even if your health insurance will reimburse you for medical care that you pay for abroad, health insurance usually does not pay for medical evacuation from a remote area or from a country where medical facilities are inadequate. Consider purchasing a policy designed for travelers, and covering short-term health and emergency assistance, as well as medical evacuation in the event of an accident or serious illness.

Precautions to Take While Traveling

Safety on the Street
Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home. Be especially cautious in (or avoid) areas where you may be more easily victimized. These include crowded subways, train stations, elevators, tourist sites, market places, festivals and crime-ridden neighborhoods.
  • Don't use short cuts, narrow alleys or poorly lit streets.
  • Try not to travel alone at night.
  • Avoid public demonstrations and other civil disturbances.
  • Keep a low profile and avoid loud conversations or arguments.
  • Do not discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers.
  • Avoid scam artists by being wary of strangers who approach you and offer to be your guide or sell you something at bargain prices.
  • Beware of pickpockets. They often have an accomplice who will:
    • jostle you,
    • ask you for directions or the time,
    • point to something spilled on your clothing,
    • or distract you by creating a disturbance.
  • Beware of groups of vagrant children who could create a distraction to pick your pocket.
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest and walk with the bag away from the curb to avoid drive-by purse-snatchers.
  • Try to seem purposeful when you move about. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going. Try to ask for directions only from individuals in authority.
  • Know how to use a pay telephone and have the proper change or token on hand.
  • Learn a few phrases in the local language or have them handy in written form so that you can signal your need for police or medical help.
  • Make a note of emergency telephone numbers you may need: police, fire, your hotel, and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • If you are confronted, don't fight back -- give up your valuables.

Safety in Your Hotel

  • Keep your hotel door locked at all times. Meet visitors in the lobby.
  • Do not leave money and other valuables in your hotel room while you are out. Use the hotel safe.
  • If you are out late at night, let someone know when you expect to return.
  • If you are alone, do not get on an elevator if there is a suspicious-looking person inside.
  • Read the fire safety instructions in your hotel room. Know how to report a fire, and be sure you know where the nearest fire exits and alternate exits are located. (Count the doors between your room and the nearest exit; this could be a lifesaver if you have to crawl through a smoke-filled corridor.)

Safety on Public Transportation 


Only take taxis clearly identified with official markings. Beware of unmarked cabs.
Well-organized, systematic robbery of passengers on trains along popular tourist routes is a problem. It is more common at night and especially on overnight trains.
If you see your way being blocked by a stranger and another person is very close to you from behind, move away. This can happen in the corridor of the train or on the platform or station.
Do not accept food or drink from strangers. Criminals have been known to drug food or drink offered to passengers. Criminals may also spray sleeping gas in train compartments. Where possible, lock your compartment. If it cannot be locked securely, take turns sleeping in shifts with your traveling companions. If that is not possible, stay awake. If you must sleep unprotected, tie down your luggage and secure your valuables to the extent possible.
Do not be afraid to alert authorities if you feel threatened in any way. Extra police are often assigned to ride trains on routes where crime is a serious problem.
The same type of criminal activity found on trains can be found on public buses on popular tourist routes. For example, tourists have been drugged and robbed while sleeping on buses or in bus stations. In some countries, whole busloads of passengers have been held up and robbed by gangs of bandits.

Safety When You Drive

When you rent a car, choose a type that is commonly available locally. Where possible, ask that markings that identify it as a rental car be removed. Make certain it is in good repair. If available, choose a car with universal door locks and power windows, features that give the driver better control of access. An air conditioner, when available, is also a safety feature, allowing you to drive with windows closed. Thieves can and do snatch purses through open windows of moving cars.
  • Keep car doors locked at all times. Wear seat belts.
  • As much as possible, avoid driving at night.
  • Don't leave valuables in the car. If you must carry things with you, keep them out of sight locked in the trunk, and then take them with you when you leave the car.
  • Don't park your car on the street overnight. If the hotel or municipality does not have a parking garage or other secure area, select a well-lit area.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers.
  • Don't get out of the car if there are suspicious looking individuals nearby. Drive away.
Patterns of Crime Against Motorists
In many places frequented by tourists, including areas of southern Europe, victimization of motorists has been refined to an art. Where it is a problem, U.S. embassies are aware of it and consular officers try to work with local authorities to warn the public about the dangers. In some locations, these efforts at public awareness have paid off, reducing the frequency of incidents. You may also wish to ask your rental car agency for advice on avoiding robbery while visiting tourist destinations.
Carjackers and thieves operate at gas stations, parking lots, in city traffic and along the highway. Be suspicious of anyone who hails you or tries to get your attention when you are in or near your car.
Criminals use ingenious ploys. They may pose as good Samaritans, offering help for tires that they claim are flat or that they have made flat. Or they may flag down a motorist, ask for assistance, and then steal the rescuer's luggage or car. Usually they work in groups, one person carrying on the pretense while the others rob you.
Other criminals get your attention with abuse, either trying to drive you off the road, or causing an "accident" by rear-ending you.
In some urban areas, thieves don't waste time on ploys, they simply smash car windows at traffic lights, grab your valuables or your car and get away. In cities around the world, "defensive driving" has come to mean more than avoiding auto accidents; it means keeping an eye out for potentially criminal pedestrians, cyclists and scooter riders.

How to Handle Money Safely

  • To avoid carrying large amounts of cash, change your travelers’ checks only as you need currency. Countersign travelers’ checks only in front of the person who will cash them.
  • Do not flash large amounts of money when paying a bill. Make sure your credit card is returned to you after each transaction.
  • Deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money, buy airline tickets or purchase souvenirs. Do not change money on the black market.
If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police. Keep a copy of the police report for insurance claims and as an explanation of what happened.
After reporting missing items to the police, report the loss or theft of:
  • Travelers' checks to the nearest agent of the issuing company
  • Credit cards to the issuing company
  • Airline tickets to the airline or travel agent
  • Passport to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate

How to Avoid Legal Difficulties

When you are in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws and are under its jurisdiction. You can be arrested overseas for actions that may be either legal or considered minor infractions in the United States. Familiarize yourself with legal expectations in the countries you will visit. The Country Specific Information pages include information on unusual patterns of arrests in particular countries, as appropriate.
Drug Violations
More than one-third of U.S. citizens incarcerated abroad are held on drug charges. Some countries do not distinguish between possession and trafficking, and many have mandatory sentences – even for possession of a small amount of marijuana or cocaine. A number of Americans have been arrested for possessing prescription drugs, particularly tranquilizers and amphetamines, that they purchased legally elsewhere. Other U.S. citizens have been arrested for purchasing prescription drugs abroad in quantities that local authorities suspected were for commercial use. If in doubt about foreign drug laws, ask local authorities or the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Possession of Firearms
The places where U.S. citizens most often experience difficulties for illegal possession of firearms are nearby – Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. Sentences for possession of firearms in Mexico can be up to 30 years. In general, firearms, even those legally registered in the U.S., cannot be brought into a country unless a permit is obtained in advance from the embassy or a consulate of that country and the firearm is registered with foreign authorities on arrival. (NOTE: There are also strict rules about bringing firearms or ammunition into the U.S; check with U.S. Customs before your trip.
In many countries you can be detained for photographing security-related institutions, such as police and military installations, government buildings, border areas and transportation facilities. If you are in doubt, ask permission before taking photographs.
Purchasing Antiques
Americans have been arrested for purchasing souvenirs that were, or looked like, antiques and that local customs authorities believed were national treasures. This is especially true in Turkey, Egypt and Mexico. Familiarize yourself with any local regulations of antiques. In countries with strict control of antiques, document your purchases as reproductions if that is the case, or if they are authentic, secure the necessary export permit (often from the national museum). It is a good idea to inquire about exporting these items before you purchase them

Stay Safe,
Oram Security

Some of this information was taken from  the US Bureau of Consular Affairs. .

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

NYPD Releases Active Shooter Recommendations for Buildings

By Matthew Harwood

The New York Police Department has released recommendations to their private sector security and counterterrorism partners on mitigating the risks associated with active-shooter incidents.

The catalyst for the report, according to Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, was the violent phenomenon's constant recurrence.
"After the Virginia Tech shooting and Mumbai terrorist attacks, the Police Department undertook a statistical analysis of active shooter incidents from 1966 to 2011. Its results are compiled in this report," he said in a statement.
The report was released nearly two weeks after suspect Jared Loughner allegedly shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in the head during an attack that killed 6 and wounded 12 others in Tucson, Arizona. Loughner has since pled not guilty to three federal charges of attempted murder.
The report's recommendations (.pdf), released during an NYPD SHIELD conference, fall into three categories: procedures, systems, and training.
According to the NYPD, some of procedures building security managers should conduct include identifying multiple evacuation routes and practicing them under different conditions, establishing shelter locations for people to hide out in,  and choosing a point-of-contact for police to work with in event of an attack.
The buildings themselves should also be outfitted with credential-based access control systems, CCTV coverage, multiple real-time communication options, and elevators that can be controlled or locked down through a central command.
Building security personnel should also train its occupants in active-shooter survival methods, outlined by this Department of Homeland Security document (.pdf). According to DHS, occupants have only three choices during an active-shooter incident: evacuate, hide, or fight back.
Occupants who survived the attack also need to know how to deal with police, especially if the attacker is still on the rampage. The report recommends that building occupants confronted by police know the drill: "follow all official instructions, remain calm, keep hands empty and visible at all times, and avoid making sudden or alarming movements."
The recommendations were developed for building security personnel after the NYPD analyzed 281 active shooter incidents, spanning almost half a century.
Unlike the Department of Homeland Security, which defines an active shooter as using a firearm in an act of violence that has "no pattern or method to their selection of victims," the NYPD uses a more limited definition. According to the report, the NYPD defines an active shooter situation as "only those cases that spill beyond an intended victim to others." For instance, a gunman who targets his boss but then lashes out at the rest of the workplace.
The report also statistically analyzed the nearly 300 incidents to identify any trends. The analysis found that most active shooters are male, carry out their attacks alone, and typically target their schools or their workplaces, depending on their age. The typical attack, according to the NYPD, kills a median of two people and also wounds a median of two people. The report notes that using the median in these attacks is more appropriate than the mean, because a small amount of active shooter attacks have ended in disproportionate casualties.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Would or Could the US President "Turn Off" The Internet like in Egypt?

The idea of an Internet "kill switch" is once again alive in the U.S. Congress. "The bill, which has bipartisan support, is being floated by Sen. Susan Collins, the Republican ranking member on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee," reports Wired.com's Threat Level. "The proposed legislation, which Collins said would not give the president the same power Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak is exercising to quell dissent, sailed through the Homeland Security Committee in December but expired with the new Congress weeks later. The bill is designed to protect against 'significant' cyber threats before they cause damage." The legislation is expected to be reintroduced, after some revisions, soon.

Security issues with the Android Smartphones!

♦ More and more security vulnerabilities are being exposed for Android smartphones. "A team of security researchers has created a proof-of-concept Trojan for Android handsets that is capable of listening out for credit card numbers - typed or spoken - and relaying them back to the application's creator," reports Thinq.co.uk. "Once installed... Soundminer sits in the background and waits for a call to be placed - hence the access to the 'Phone calls' category. When triggered by a call, the application listens out for the user entering credit card information or a PIN and silently records the information, performing the necessary analysis to turn it from a sound recording into a number."