BP Fined $87 Million

bpBP (Beyond Petroleum laf!) has been fined a record $87m (£53m) for failing to correct safety hazards at its Texas City refinery in the U.S. The $87m fine is the largest in OSHA’s history. An explosion in 2005 at the Texas plant killed 15 people and injured 180 more. The safety violations found "could lead to another catastrophe", US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said.

Call For National Standards To Report Data Breaches

uscert2The Homeland Security Department should establish a national standard to encourage companies and individuals to report data breaches to federal authorities, helping them gauge the intensity of cyberattacks and investigate cybercrime, security professionals said on October 28. Federal agencies are required to report data breaches to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which is part of DHS. Reporting requirements for companies, however, vary by state.

Antibiotiotics Becoming Ineffective

biohazardThe growing ineffectiveness of a popular and widely requested antibiotic has Chattanooga doctors emphasizing the importance of responsible antibiotic use. Chattanooga physicians say between one-half and two-thirds of the most-common bacteria — streptococcus pneumoniae — is showing resistance to azithromycin, the generic name for the antibiotic Zithromax. The antibiotic often is dispensed in a packet called the “Z-pak.”

Unprecedented Cyber-Security Powers

legislationThe Cybersecurity Act of 2009 introduced in the Senate would allow the President to shut down private Internet networks. The legislation also calls for the government to have the authority to demand security data from private networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access.

Conficker Heart Uncovered

wormSecurity experts have made a breakthrough in their five-month battle against the Conficker worm, with the discovery that the malware leaves a fingerprint on infected machines which is easy to detect using a variety of off-the-shelf network scanners. The finding means that, for the first time, administrators around the world have easy-to-use tools to positively identify machines on their networks that are contaminated by the worm.

NORAD Move Raises Security Concerns

noradBefore I even get started with this post, I'm going to editorialize with a sub-title:
WTF's Going on with Cheyenne Mountain?
There is just somthing about this news that strikes me as disturbing.

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the high-tech facility responsible for monitoring the skies over North America, faces continuing security problems at its new location inside an office building on an air base in Colorado Springs.

psyb0t Worm Targets Linux Routers

wormUsers of Linux-based routers are being warned of a new worm in the wild which attempts to take control and add their device to a growing botnet. As reported over on vnunet.com on March 25, the ‘psyb0t’ worm was first spotted by security research group DroneBL recently, but may have been spreading since the start of the year.

Designed to brute-force the password of routers running Linux compiled for the RISC-based MIPS chip, including ones running custom OpenWRT and DD-WRT firmwares, the worm takes control of poorly secured devices and joins a botnet which the DroneBL group estimates may have grown to as large as 100,000 compromised devices so far.

Source of Food: Unknown!

weaklinkGovernment investigators testing the nation’s food tracing system were able to follow only five out of 40 foods all the way through the supply chain, according to a report released. 

An investigation by the Health and Human Services inspector general’s office found that the records many companies keep are not detailed enough. And one-quarter of the company managers were totally unaware of record keeping requirements. The inspector general recommended that the FDA consider seeking stronger legal powers to improve the tracing of food.

Missing Plutonium?

plutoniumAn Energy Department investigation has alleviated fears that a significant amount of plutonium was missing from a national laboratory, but it has also heightened concerns about flaws in the system for controlling the U.S. stockpile of weapons materials. The investigation began in February, shortly after a routine inventory at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico found a plutonium shortage estimated at 2.2 pounds, setting off a frantic national effort to determine what happened to the material.

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Pragmatic Journey is Richard (rich) Wermske's life of recovery; a spiritual journey inspired by Buddhism, a career in technology and management with linux, digital security, bpm, and paralegal stuff; augmented with gaming, literature, philosophy, art and music; and compassionate kinship with all things living -- especially cats; and people with whom I share no common language.