Orlando Takes New Heightened Security Measures

security-measures

The mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub that saw the death of 49 souls has been much in the news. In light of this recent nightclub shooting the city of Orlando has stepped up its security measures. They are also responding to a slightly less infamous recent incident in Santa Monica, California where police discovered a man hiding an assault rifle and explosives in his car. In that instance, the perpetrator admitted that he was on his way to a gay pride parade. At this time it is especially heightened for gay events.

During LGBT Pride events hundreds more Chicago policemen than usual will stand guard. There will be several different kinds of them present: officers in uniform, plain clothes officers, officers on bikes, and K-9 units. In addition, private security guards have been contracted to also guard the events and the popular local nightclubs. The FBI even sent agents to work with the police to cover the event. The local authorities actively encouraged people to make a statement that the community would stand tall against terrorism and hate crimes.

They want to show all such terrorist and haters that Orlando will not hide in fear. They hoped to bring something positive out of this very tragic event. Yes, they hoped…and will surely succeed. The events of the festivities particularly highlight the tragedy, having a collective moment of silence over the pictures of the victims at a memorial. City officials were quick to state that there were not any particular threats regarding the recent LGBT events, they were just being cautious because of the recent problems. This is not that unusual, however.

Every year the city and event planners review and update the security and other policies where necessary. One of the things updated this year was the return of a prohibition of open alcohol containers in public with a fine of $1,000 for doing so. The return of this policy was encouraged because the event has seen unruly drunk crowds in recent years. To the end of security measures, the event planners decided to encourage people not to use large bags and to use public transportation. Although there may not be any threats in Orlando at the moment, the police have cautioned citizens to remain on the alert to anything that might be considered suspicious.

But sometimes it takes a trained eye to notice a volatile situation. The Orlando police know this and therefore know that they must remain even more vigilant than the citizenship. All of this safety upgrade wasn’t entirely encouraged by the recent terrorist threats. The Orlando authorities have already for several months been improving their security precautions. The Pride Parade is currently scheduled to big at noon this Saturday. There are some residents of the area who are still a little leery of this event because of the recent terrorist shooting and threats.

These residents of the area have requested that the parade be held elsewhere. The event planners have made some changes to the parade for security reasons. This year it is only scheduled for 160 floats, down from 215 in 2015.

Hackers Hacks Into Banks System

hack-bank-systemsRecently a cyber-security alert has been issued to banks by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council is shortly known as FFIEC. The alert is on cyber security of the interbank messaging system. The warning is the latest one to the banks after Bangladesh Bank has lost an enormous amount of money in a recent attack by hackers.

 

Reports on Breaching of Interbank Messaging System:

After the assault on the Bangladesh Bank, there are some reports according to which some other banks have breached their interbank messaging system. The SWIFT banking network issued a warning that one more bank had been attacked. The name of the bank is unknown. According to the reports of BAE Systems Applied Intelligence division, the Bank was a commercial bank in Vietnam. A warning to the banks has been issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The recent hacking attacks have no direct link of breach to the central systems of SWIFT Banking Network but the client side messaging components has been compromised by these attacks.it does rely on the client-side messaging components being compromised. The both recent attacks done by the hackers are done using profound and classic knowledge of detailed controls or may be by cyber-attacks. There is a chance that these attacks are accomplished with the help of both.

 

About what the FFIEC warned the banks?

In the view of the two most recent attacks the FFIEC has alerted the banks that they should keenly manage the risks that are related to the interbank messaging system. This is done to warn financial institutes again that they should go through the controls in IT and check their practices used in risk management. The institutes should particularly need to pay attention to the authorization, authentication, response management systems and other processes.

 

How can Banks Reduce the Risk?

The statement provides a list of steps that can be used whenever any bank is looking to mitigate the chance. The steps that can be utilized are as follows:

  • The institutes should conduct ongoing info security risk evaluations.
  • Around critical systems, the organizations should regularly enforce and assess controls.
  • The should perform risk mitigation, prevention and security monitoring.
  • Protection against any unauthorized access should be done.
  • They should improve awareness about information security and training programs.
  • Business continuity risks should be managed.
  • The institutes should take part in industry information-sharing forums.

The above seven steps are critical as the FFIEC is merely concerned about financial institutions. The steps can be adopted by any IT security team as they are very easy to implement. These seven steps can prove an excellent initiative for the audit committees that are working inside the companies to evaluate the enterprise’s security.

 

Conclusion:

Small countries are the focus of the attacks as well as the banks that are having tiny security in different parts that possess an IT environment.  As the attackers are refining their expertise and they are increasing their learning about the interbank messaging systems, they will not take much time to attack the larger financial institutions as well as the banks.

In Pennsylvania, Trump Exploits the Politics of Decline

industry-decline

By most checks, Donald Trump will win an unconditional triumph in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary election Recent surveys show him with twofold digit leads in every one of the five Northeast states voting.

Pennsylvania is by a long shot the biggest of those areas, and it is exceptional political and financial history has prepared voters there to discover support with Trump’s significant campaign ideas: movement change and exchange loan protectionism.

Therefore, when Trump says he is going to Make America Great Again, numerous voters in the Keystone State, particularly regular workers whites, think they recognize what that may resemble. They notice back to the times of King Coal and King Steel and think one approach to recover that fantasy is to revisit the times of exchange loan protectionism. Force duties on

Chinese steel imports. Reestablish the unions. Reconstruct the production lines by the help of the loans they might get if Trump gets the victory.

Protectionism has dependably run somewhere down in Pennsylvania, a state based on the industry of coal and steel. Despite the fact that many years of import standards did not spare Big Steel, Trump guaranteed a week ago that when he is the leader, steel is returning to Pittsburgh.

Due to poverty and excess of the loan, many of the areas in Pennsylvania have been struck with the heroin addiction and other illegal doings like the immigrations. Plenty of individuals have fed their addiction or have tried to make ends meet by accessing money through a loan company such as title loan businesses; using their cars or any property of value as collaterals.

Nevertheless, for every one of its issues with drug addiction and crimes and poverty because of loans, illegal migration is the means by which Hazleton got all the press attention.

The city had seen a consistent enhancement of lawful and unlawful foreigners, generally from Mexico and the Dominican Republic, and Barletta accepted and the procedure is still going on.

The local Pennsylvanians are disappointed. They were guaranteed that their groups would recover. However, they have not. On the off chance that they are bitter, it is not without cause. In addition to the fact that they were deserted by the Clinton and Bush organizations, they are no better off under the Obama organization. In addition to the fact that they were overlooked, once more, they were likewise taunted.

Trump comes to them as a sort of against Obama. Yes, you have been misled and disregarded. Yes, you are mad. You have a great motivation. None of it is your shortcoming. Nevertheless, keep your heart strong, as we will turn it around.

They are noticing. This is the thing that they need to listen to and shock and trust at the same time. The disgrace of it is that Trump cannot convey on the trust he got; he can just stir the wrath.

Americans Traveling to North Korea Detained

north-korea

Since 1996, 13 Americans have been detained by North Korea. This has worsened already strained relations between the two countries and made travel to North Korea precarious. Being part of an organized tour is no protection, either. What’s behind these detentions, and can visitors stay out of trouble in Kim Jong-un’s bailiwick?

 

Why Are Americans Detained?

Of the 13 Americans arrested in North Korea in the past 20 years, 5 were accused of entering the country illegally. Three were nabbed for various charges relating to the promulgation of religion in North Korea, which is not popular with a dictator who likes the worship for himself. Three more were charged with vague offenses such as “hostile acts” and “committing a crime.” All of them were released, mostly due to private intervention by ex-Presidents Carter and Clinton.

Two more, Kim Dong Chul and Otto Warmbier, are currently being held. Chul is a Korean-American with business interests in North Korea and has been accused of espionage. Warmbier is a student who was sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor for stealing a poster, a prank he most certainly now regrets.

 

What Happens When Americans Are Arrested?

What happens when you’re arrested in North Korea? Nothing good. The North Korean government uses show trials and harsh sentences to put pressure on the U.S. government. Minister Robert Park even claims he was tortured and is currently attempting to sue. The accused, paraded around publicly, usually admits guilt and begs for forgiveness; when it’s denied, an important American public figure comes and negotiates a release. It’s a successful power play and propaganda victory for Kim Jong-un.

 

What’s It Like For Americans To Be Detained?

The conditions of detention for Americans are a toss-up. They probably won’t go to the abusive camps North Korean offenders are subject to. However, Korean-American Kenneth Bae had to work on a farm 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, until his release. He lost 60 pounds from the ordeal. Euna Lee, a journalist, was interrogated 8 hours a day every day but Sunday. She was often threatened, and the interrogations went on for a month.

The most common scenario for American detainees is to be held in a hotel room and guarded. They’re generally not allowed out of the room, although they may get an occasional walk outside. Meals are rice and broth, and the plumbing and electricity are usually not working. The worst of it is never knowing when or if you’ll be released.

 

The Current Status of Otto Warmbier

Otto Warmbier, who stole a poster, is currently starting his 15 years at hard labor. Former U.N. ambassador Bill Richardson, who negotiated the release of a detainee in 1996, has asked the North Korean government to do the same for Warmbier. But tensions are high between the U.S. and North Korea, and Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said North Korea is using Americans as “pawns.” North Korea is firing missiles in response. The situation does not look promising for Warmbier.

The State Department has now issued a warning against travel to North Korea, citing “the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention…for actions that in the United States would not be considered crimes”. It’s a warning travelers should take seriously.

Navy Seal Killed in Firefight

seal

Hearing the news about a military death is never an easy thing for anyone involved, be it the American public or fellow service members. It is even worse when that member was lost during combat. Unfortunately that is the current situation this month. A United States Navy Seal was recently killed in a firefight against ISIS forces in Iraq. The Navy Seals were there attempting to assist the Kurdish Peshmerga troops who had already been fighting the ISIS militants for roughly an hour before service members arrived to assist and hopefully drive back the militants. It was during this firefight that the currently unnamed service member was shot and killed by small arms fire believed to be an AK-47 rifle.

This newest unfortunate death is not the first that has occurred within Iraq during this long and ongoing fight against the militants. This is actually the third American military death that has occurred in the ISIS fight in Iraq alone. The first death occurred back in October of 2015 when Delta Force Master Sgt. Josh Wheeler was killed during a fight. He was acting in a very commendable situation that is currently credited with freeing as many as 70 hostages. The second military personnel that was killed was U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin in March of 2016. He was killed in a rocket attack on a firebase.

This tragic death of a Navy Seal came shortly after more troops were recently deployed to both Iraq and Syria. These additional troops totaled about 450 which was approved by President Obama. The United States currently has the most troops dedicated to this fight with a little more than 4,000 troops dedicated to this cause. The country that follows is France with just 1,000 military personnel dedicated to the fight. All of the other countries that have dedicated any military to this fight have no more than 400 military members dedicated to this particular fight. The severe differences in numbers are hard to overlook.

Although this cause is undeniably a just cause, there does not seem to be an end in sight and higher ranking military do not see an end to the fight within this calendar year. The little bit of good news is that this most recent skirmish seems to have dealt a considerable blow to the militants. It is reported that the militants suffered a not inconsiderable amount of loss of fighters. Beyond the unfortunate loss of the American serviceman, there were several injuries among the Christian fighters as well as the Peshmerga troops.

While the news of the service member’s death is terrible news, it is good to hear that the militants suffered such a critical blow. It is also good to hear that the service members that were fighting alongside the still unnamed service member did not stop fighting until they began to run low on ammunition. This dedication is impressive and speaks well for our side during the rest of this long and drawn out ordeal.

The Cyber War Against ISIS

cyber attack

While the private realm has been waging an admittedly less than successful war against the extremist Islamic State for some time now, it’s only been recently that the US government has publicly talked about cyberattacks against ISIS. But what does the cyber war against ISIS really entail?

 

An Ongoing Operation

 

At the forefront of the Department of Defense’s operations seem to be focused on social media. Encrypted messaging apps are used by the Islamic State to recruit and distribute propaganda, and with messages that aren’t captured or monitored, the US is looking first to establish back doors to apps with end-to-end encryption.

 

Operations launched out of Fort Meade, Maryland, began in early 2016 at the prompting of Defense Secretary Ash Carter. At this point, though, the DoD is being decidedly quiet on the details of their actions. Statements from officials have had the sentiment of trying a number of things to see what works and what doesn’t. This is not to say that there is not a plan in place, only that those behind the operation are being decidedly and perhaps necessarily tight-lipped about the planned attacks.

 

In addition to attempts to disrupt social media, other plans seem to focus on preventing the Islamic State from conducting financial transactions or setting up logistics. Though seemingly the lower priority (or perhaps just the less discussed one), it is here that DoD and partnering agencies may have the potential to do more. ISIS has proven incredibly adept from the onset with their use of technology to recruit and motivate. With other battles still circulating in the public sphere regarding the government’s access to encrypted technology, working in areas external to those apps may show more promise.

 

An Internal Battle

 

Some are left wondering if the cyber war is too little too late as Carter waited months before bending to the pressure to do more against the Islamic State’s virtual presence. Carter’s big concern, he claims, is that attacks might disrupt intelligence officers’ ability to find warning or indications of the group’s current activity.

 

There is also worry that attacks on the infrastructure that allows ISIS to distribute virtual information will also impact civilian networks and systems needed for critical operations in the nations targeted.

 

One of the more striking points to come from the announcement of this self-proclaimed aggressive attack is how unequipped the US seems to be to conduct offensive attacks on a technological level. Overseeing organization Cyber Command only began operations in 2010, and has been largely defensively focused up to this point. A more comprehensive team is underway with the Pentagon, but will not see full numbers until 2018. There is little talk of how operations are going to be approached prior to the completion of team building and training. Until then, the cyber war against the Islamic State is set to continue under the same unclear policies and practices with which it was launched. What good it does, if any, will likely not be known for some time to come.

Will Bloomberg Actually Run In 2016?

While the nation is still months out from the 2016 general election that will determine the 45th President of the United States, but campaign season is already in full swing and has been for near a year. That makes former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s announcement that he is considering running in 2016 an especially unique statement. With candidates already running on established platforms and clear front-runners established with the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, would Bloomberg have a viable campaign this late in the game?

 

Bloomberg As A Politician

 

Thus far, the former Mayor has only stated that he is considering all his options, but his entry into the race at this late point has the potential to cause a stir in both parties if he is able to campaign hard.

 

Bloomberg’s run would be distinct as an independent bid. A registered Democrat before seeking office, a Republican on the ballot, and an Independent by the time of his third term, Bloomberg tends to lean to the left, but has garnered both respect and resentment for his willingness to shift on the political spectrum from all sides.

 

Bloomberg comes with a unique set of credentials, as well. Like many of the candidates, he has made a career in politics and has shown that he knows how to play the political game. He shares something with wildcard favorite Trump in that he is also a household name outside of politics. The billionaire founder, CEO, and owner of data and media company Bloomberg L.P., if he is clever, could cash in on his time external to the political game to give him the raw appeal that candidates like Trump and Carson depend on.

 

Having seen the city of New York through the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Bloomberg also has a patriotic appeal that allowed him three terms as mayor and an approval rating of 49%, higher than either President Obama or President George W. Bush at the ends of their terms.

 

A Bloomberg Campaign

 

So there’s potential in Bloomberg as a candidate. The question still remains as to whether or not he would successfully be able to run this late in the game. That largely comes down to whether he can deliver something that the other candidates cannot. Sanders’ sweeping victory in New Hampshire and Trump’s constant presence on the campaign trail prove that people want something different, and Bloomberg would have to carefully walk the line between the cries of the people and the expectations of the politicians.

 

It would have to be done on his own time and his own dime. His financial resources are already in place, but the process of securing a ballot spot as a late comer and an independent candidate is a labor intensive process, and one that requires support at the public level. To that end, Bloomberg has limited time to make his decision, and even then there is no guarantee of success. If no announcement comes very soon to stir the silent majority, a Bloomberg campaign will be a no-go, either because he chooses not to run or because he simply could not get the support in time.