Thursday, November 20, 2008

China DOD Hack, DHS Appointee, Russia Sub.

China's hackers stealing US defence secrets, says congressional panel
China is stealing sensitive information from American computer networks and stepping up its online espionage, according to a US congressional panel.
Beijing's investment in rocket technology is also accelerating the militarisation of outer space and lifting it into the "commanding heights" of modern warfare, the advisory group claims. The strident warning, which may have a chilling effect on relations between the two Pacific powers, comes in the annual report of the US-China economic and security review commission due today.
A summary of the study, released in advance, alleges that networks and databases used by the US government and American defence contractors are regularly targeted by Chinese hackers. "China is stealing vast amounts of sensitive information from US computer networks," says Larry Wortzel, chairman of the commission set up by Congress in 2000 to investigate US-China issues.
The commission, consisting of six Democrats and six Republicans, says in its unanimous report that China's military modernisation and its "impressive but disturbing" space and computer warfare capabilities "suggest China is intent on expanding its sphere of control even at the expense of its Asian neighbors and the United States."

A Napolitano Nomination Could Signal Shift in Focus at Homeland Security

The potential appointment of Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano to lead the Homeland Security Department could signal a shift in focus away from the war on terror and toward domestic concerns, especially immigration.
As governor of a border state, she has been on the frontline of the simmering debate over illegal immigration.
"From a policy standpoint, if I were to guess, she would want to do a pretty serious and systematic review of the border strategy at this time and whether it's achieving its goals," said Doris Meissner, head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service under President Bill Clinton and now a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute.
"Of all of the parts of the immigration system, more money has flowed into the border enforcement part of the system than by far in any of the rest of it. Any leader or new group of leaders needs to ask if we are getting the payoff that is commiserate with the investment," Meissner said.
A focus on immigration would necessarily entail a swing away from the department's focus on counterterrorism, but with the disparate DHS portfolio, the next secretary will not be able to ignore other issues.

"Operation Sweat Socks"
Full-scale anti-terrorism drill in Tucson Thursday
Units from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base will join crews from Pima County and the Tucson Fire and Police Departments in an anti-terrorist drill on Thursday.
"Operation Sweat Socks" will evaluate current response plans for a terrorist incident.

New generation Russian nuclear attack sub ready in 2010: report
The first of a new class of multipurpose Russian nuclear attack submarines currently in construction will be operational by 2010, a Russian news agency reported Wednesday.
The Severodvinsk "will be operational in 2010," Ria Novosti said citing naval official Nicolas Kalisstratov.

Medvedev's Venezuela, Cuba trips set to rile U.S.
State prepares forpandemic flu
NORFOLK,Va - Imagine the chaos if a pandemic flu, one that threatened the lives of every human being, hit Virginia.
It's the state health department's job to be prepared, so this week they're practicing.
"Every time we practice it, it's to make sure that we can do it efficiently during real world situations," said Hampton Health Department Assistant Planner, Jennifer Lupin.
In Hampton, inmates sat down for immunizations allowing staff to practice mass vaccinations


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