FIFA World Cup 2018 is well underway, in the host country Russia, and soccer fans around the world are jubilant. All eyes are glued to TV screens, to watch competitive matches which started June 14 and will continue through to July 15; a month span, devoted to one of the most revered sports globally – football.

For those fortunate to be able to travel to this once communist Eastern European country, to support their respective national team, amidst the many thousands of other enthusiastic fans, there is one common factor that people should be mindful of during their visit to this highlighted event – safety.

Following the 2016 European Championship, in Marseille, France, reports stated that English fans, were attacked by approximately 150 Russian hooligans, who forcefully charged at the Brits, in a “prearranged” and targeted way. Needless to say, the concern of violence is problematic.

Claims that a Russian Hooligan Army, has been preparing physically to engage in brawls against rivals at the FIFA World Cup 2018, is something the federation are taking very seriously. The viscous attacks in Marseille, by the Russian thugs, are reported to have left two people in a coma. It was disclosed that the attacks were planned with well-trained precision in military style fashion, “with many of them sporting Martial Arts gloves”. Brice Robin acted as the Marseille Chief prosecutor. At least 50 perpetrator Russian fans were deported back to Russia and the team was given a suspended disqualification, together with a fine by the EAFA, Europe’s apex football body.

Law enforcement authorities are on high alert at FIFA World Cup 2018, despite the fact reports state the most notorious Russian football hooligans have been blacklisted and banned from attending. A fan ID system has been implemented to keep track of individuals in attendance and fans groups have been warned by the Federal Security Service, that imprisonment will be the only option, if extreme violence breaks out.

Security expert, Helmut Spahn , the Director of Security, FIFA, seriously has his mind on the threat of Radical Islam extremist terrorist suicide bomber attacks at football stadiums, as well as brutal hooligan fan issues, but he remains ever optimistic that security measures continue to remain strong with vigilant professional co-ordination between all security parties including intelligence, surveillance, police and armed forces.

It is without a doubt that the host country is doing everything it possibly can, security wise, to maintain a positive reputation, at a time when all the world’s eyes are closely watching.

Starting today June 19th, until Friday 22, in Nashville Tennessee, is ESX – Electronic Security Expo. This year’s 2018 event, according to their program, as revealed to the public online, aims to feature “insights from tech experts, a heartfelt panel on school security, and more”.

The ESX Expo is a “nation-wide event, open exclusively to the electronic security and life safety industry”. It is designed to allow interaction of professionals and those alike in the safety and security community.

Divided into topics of education, events & experiences, Expo and Non-for Pofit, the week’s activities promises to energize its attendees to re-think the future. Key-note speakers are invited to voice their opinions and experiences on security integration subject matters; some of these sessions are also interactive so the community may participate in discussions and brainstorming.

Alongside the business and networking opportunities are anything from breakfasts to cocktail receptions as well as various forms of entertainment; one such highlight includes a performance set to take place in the exhibit hall on June 20, by Kristen Merlin, a finalist on NBC;’s “ The Voice”.

The ESX Expo website also boasts of an upcoming Shark Tank style contest called TechVision Challenge, where contestants enter their creative concepts and are judged by a panel of impressive industry leaders.

It is an Expo that offers expert advice on its showcased products, and services. With a keen intent to help the gathering security integration enthusiasts learn more about installation training, merchandising, marketing and sales, exhibitors are on display throughout.

As stated publically, “ESX is owned by the industry’s leading professional associations. All profits made from the show are reinvested into programs and activities that help grow the industry”.

For more information: http://www.esxweb.com/Schedule/Full-Schedule

Honeywell is globally known for “inventing technologies that address some of the world’s toughest challenges in safety and security”. Their mission is “building a world that’s safer and more secure”. This is indeed proven as Honeywell focuses its attention to SAFE KIDS AT HOME PROGRAM RESEARCH.

In countries where household burns are prevalent, Honeywell’s Safe Kids at Home Program, is working with communities in creating preventative methods to help find positive solutions. Since 2015, Honeywell first introduced the program in Pune, India to inspire a “safety culture”. Together with civic agencies, it is growing in reach.

In compliance with the Indian government’s 100 Smart cities vision, the Safe Kids at Home Program consists of interactive educational training for children under the age of 14, in schools, alongside homework assignments, videos, games, songs and play. Through knowledge, training and awareness it has been developed to help prevent child injuries due to fires and burns.

Mr. Vikas Chadha, President, Honeywell India, recognized in 2017, “ Globally Honeywell understands the space of safety very well”. He proudly commented in an online portrayal of the program, “Honeywell can supply adequate products such as fire alarms, personal protection equipment which are aligned with the safety of a particular individual”

Safe Kids at Home aims to reach out to 25,000 students and 50,000 by mid 2018. This will happen via classroom sessions involving parents as well as caregivers and events with the communities at large. It is a positive initiative offering simple safety suggestions such as “Remember to blow out candles and turn off oil lamps before going to sleep”. In addition, the program includes distributing the correct contact information for first responders in case of an emergency.

Dr. Cinthia Pinto, Program Director, Safe Kids Foundation, stated in one of her previous appearances that the Safe Kids at Home Program was one of the “first of its kind in India, on child injury prevention”.

The Honeywell partnered program works in close collaboration with hospitals, fire departments, police departments, burn units, schools and communities. As it stands today, the Safe Kids at Home Program has become a model for “fire safe schools and fire safe communities”.

Honeywell and Safe Kids Worldwide are dedicated to working with partners to protect children from preventable injuries, and are already implemented and established with their programs in India, China and the United States.

Safe Kids at Home Supported by Honeywell – the power of connected

A recent report issued by the United States of America, Department of Homeland Security, has been making serious efforts to focus on public security. On June 8, Bob Kolansky, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Infrastructure Protection, highlights the release of the DHS Soft Target and Crowded Places Security Plan Overview.

Unable to forget the horrific terrorist type attacks on soft targets that have taken place of late, the Department of Homeland Security strongly emphasizes vigilance and preparedness. Complacency is not an option.

Anyone who frequents crowded public spaces should turn their attention to the Security of Soft Targets and Crowded Places Resource Security Guide. The catalogue matrix includes advice in the way of tools and resources for businesses, government, and first responders, as well as the general public. It offers resource descriptions and links to understand the basics of security; how to identify suspicious behavior; forms of protection, and ready responsiveness.

“Soft Targets and Crowded Places (ST-CPs), such as sports venues, shopping venues, schools, and transportation systems, are locations that are easily accessible to large numbers of people and that have limited security or protective measures in place making them vulnerable to attack”.

The Department of Homeland security aims to work alongside other organizations and countries to ensure that all citizens are better protected.

“An informed and empowered public is DHS’s greatest ally in its work to enhance the security of ST-CPs”.

The Security of Soft Targets and Crowded Places Resource Guide was released in April 2018 and can be found via link:
https://www.dhs.gov/publication/securing-soft-targets-and-crowded-spaces

Recent media reports state that Twitter Inc, is urging its users to change their passwords due to an internal data glitch in the system.

Media has released information that a “bug” has affected the internal system of Twitter Inc, prompting the social media company to sound the alarm for an alteration on passwords.

In a blog post Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s chief technologist apologized. Normally passwords are protected by a technology that disguises the user passwords, not even allowing Twitter staff the ability to see them in form. Unfortunately, the bug caused the veil to be lifted and the passwords were unmasked, exposing personal codes.

Cryptographic techniques allow passwords to be stored on Twitter’s servers for the purpose of authenticating login. The codes are converted into a strand of characters known as a “hash”. The “bug” did not allow the “hash” process to fulfill its mission. Hacker’s could have had the opportunity to steal personal information, due to such exposure. There is no reports on precisely how many accounts were affected by this incident.

Seemingly, more than thirty three millions people use Twitter, and have been advised to change to a password that is unique and doesn’t match other services, as well as to create one that is heavily formulated with numerals, letters and symbols. It is best to avoid common passwords that include names, addresses or pet names.

To stay securely ahead, change passwords often and use paraphrases that can easily be remembered on all related devices.

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., and ZTE Corp are prominent Chinese companies that produce telecommunications equipment and mobile phones.

In a recent statement issued by the U.S. Pentagon, the devices manufactured by these companies “may pose an unacceptable risk” to U.S. military bases worldwide.

Senior level, U.S. intelligence officials are concerned the devices might be capable of spying on U.S. service personnel. According to media reports, Blackberry smart phones have also been ousted.

The potential threats have not been completely released, due to security reasons.

As the “Caravan” of individuals, noted to be from countries such as Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico, approach the southern border, to gain access into America, U.S. security officials step up their game.

President Donald Trump, in an effort to protect the United States from illegal crossings of the USA border, officially signed a memorandum to deploy National Guard to the Mexican border, at the beginning of the month.

Secretary of U.S. Homeland Security, Kirstjen M. Nielsen, and her staff are carefully monitoring the situation of individuals clamoring to enter the USA. The Trump administration are clear that enforcing immigration laws applies to persons whether “part of the “caravan or not”.

In her recent statement Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen highlights:

“If members of the ‘caravan’ enter the country illegally, they will be referred for prosecution for illegal entry in accordance with existing law. For those seeking asylum, all individuals may be detained while their claims are adjudicated efficiently and expeditiously, and those found not to have a claim will be promptly removed from the United States”.

In a statement recently released by Secretary Nielsen, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security are working together:

“DHS, in partnership with DOJ, is taking a number of steps to ensure that all cases and claims are adjudicated promptly – including sending additional USCIS asylum officers, ICE attorneys, DOJ Immigration Judges, and DOJ prosecutors to the Southern border”.

It has been emphasized that anyone entering the USA illegally, has broken the law and shall be prosecuted accordingly. For those seeking asylum, it is encouraged the individuals “seek protection in the first country they enter”.

Secretary Nielson, in her mission to secure America, is appealing to U.S. Congress, for legislations to be passed “to close legal loopholes that prevent us from securing our borders and protecting Americans”.

The United States Department of Homeland Security recently released documentation accusing Russia of attempting to attack U.S. infrastructure such as critical manufacturing sectors, aviation, water, commercial facilities, nuclear and energy sectors.

Evidence has shown the Russian government has the capability of sabotaging power plants and electrical systems, through cyber attacks. Unidentified hackers have found a way to enter into critical control systems. As far back as June 2017, the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security alerted utility companies to these perpetrations.

With multiple Russian cyber operations, at large, American intelligence officials are keenly aware that Russian invasion is problematic not only to the United States but other European nations.

According to forensic analysis experts, Russian spies are aggressively preparing themselves for ways to infiltrate into crucial infrastructures within the United States, that could cause serious damage to the country.

Cyber security professionals from companies such a Symantec and Cylance, have confirmed that Russia has the capable espionage to sabotage industries within the USA.

Sanctions have been strongly placed upon Russia, as their behavior continues to be troubling. Two entities highlighted include, “FSB, and GRU intelligence agencies”.

Senior national officials are pushing back in meaningful ways. The determined motive of the attacks have been characterized as “multi-stage intrusion campaign by Russian cyber actors”. Their intent, “to gather details on computer management systems in the U.S. energy grid”

For confirmation on this article visit:

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA18-074A

 

 

 

According to a popular cyber security firm, GEMINI ADVISORY, 125,000 credit card and debit card numbers are for sale on the dark web, following a Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off Fifth and Lord & Taylor breach that has caused an impact on at least 5 million shoppers.

This data has been stolen from customers while personally shopping in 3 retail stores; it is not yet confirmed whether online shoppers to these department stores have been affected.

The retail stores which are owned by Hudson Bay Company, have guaranteed to consumers that it has “taken steps to contain the breach”, and assures customers shopping at their stores, “it no longer poses a risk”.

In a public interview, cyber security expert and author Eric Cole, remarks that even though credit cards are encrypted with chips, “these retailers are still storing their data in a back end data base, which negates or takes away any of the security protection within the chip”.

It has been said by many experts that companies do not do enough to protect the consumer’s personal details as it enters a pool of public data. The system is failing individuals who place their trust in businesses to respect private information. The customer is vulnerable to fraud activity and cyber attacks.

Extra security measures need to be taken to prevent such occurrences happening again, to the individual consumers shopping at these stores. The following steps are advised:

  1. Ask credit card providers to send text to mobile phone and ask permission before any purchasing transaction is activated.

2.  Use a payment security service that holds all personal information securely.

3.  Contact financial institutions to have new cards issued, to prevent unauthorized use of  the card.

    4.  Change passwords on that service which was compromised and any other services that share same password.

5.  Change passwords on all personal social media platforms.

Investigations are underway to explore this cyber invasion, while at the same time the company is offering free identity protection services and credit and web monitoring to its customers.

 

 

 

Over fifty million users have had their data harvested through social media platform Facebook. Following the crisis of Cambridge Analytica, CEO Mark Zuckerberg admits the data scandal was a “major breach of trust”, and has publicly apologized. He has agreed to testify in front of U.S. Congress, and states in a public interview that Facebook has “a basic responsibility to protect people’s data”. He promises a full forensic audit to investigate who is improperly using private data of Facebook users.

Although Zuckerberg, has pledged to restrict access to app developers moving forward, there is still  concern regarding Android users and how data has been collected by Facebook from their mobile devices, without given permission. Fears of privacy invasion on Facebook is at its greatest, although Facebook highlights that two of the Android apps have opt-in/out features with prompts.

Apple iOS mobile devices do not allow access into the users’ calls and texts data unless a certain protocol is followed, therefore iPhones and iPads, are slightly more protected. The architecture of Android is different and not so secure.

There is a growing concern in some circles, that social media platforms could face strong government regulations in the aftermath of these incidents. There may even be a decline in activity since users are also likely to become skeptical, due to privacy protection concerns. This will in turn affect advertisers.

Facebook’s most valuable asset is the user, and the ability to follow the user track. the company monitors pages clicked on, as well as posts tagged and liked. By sharing this information, Facebook makes over 90% of profits on advertising, which according to research is in the realm of close to 40 million dollars.

Zuckerberg, has spoken of a commitment to 20,000 employees, working on security and content review, by the end of the year. In a recent public interview the Facebook guru states, “security isn’t a problem that you ever fully solve; you can get to a level where you are better than your adversaries and then continue evolving”.

Stocks and shares have already plummeted, with a loss estimated around $80 billion in market value. Consumers are now being extra cautious. After-all, no-one wants a “peeping Tom” in their phone.

To read a full report visit Ars Technica.