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1948 years ago in AD 63 an earthquake in southern Italy by the gulf of Naples seriously damaged the ancient city of Pompeii causing an undetermined number of deaths and spread out destruction, but the locals went to work rebuilding in the same spot until they were buried by the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano 16 years later in AD 79.



Galveston TX Hurricanes

Average Brushed or hit every 2.94 years
Average Direct hit every 8.63 years

The Great Storm of 1900 - Sep 8th 1900 - Pop: 42,000 residents
Category 4 @ 135 mph -Great loss of life between 6,000 and 12,000 individuals – officially 8,000

The 1915 Storm, August 17th, Category 4 @ 135 mph
42    people dead in the Galveston area
$60 - 1915 million dollars in damage

Ike Sep 13th 2008 - The third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States
Final landfall in Galveston Texas as a strong cat 2 with cat 5 equivalent storm surge winds extended 120 miles from the center.

Blamed for at least 195 deaths – 74 in Haiti and 112 in the USA 300 still missing. - Damages estimated at 24 billion (2008) US Dollars

Resulted in the largest evacuation in the state of Texas history and the largest search and rescue operation in US history


Nuclear Issues

Chernobyl, An Experiment Gone Wrong

On Saturday, April 26th, 1986 at 1:23 am, one of the reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded.
Ironically, the experiment consisted in testing how the power plant would respond in the event of an accident. The operators at the plant wanted to bring down the power output of the reactor to 25%, but over-confidence, poor training and poor knowledge of how a reactor works caused them to overdo it, and they ended up bringing down the power output to 1%. When they then tried to bring it up to 25%, the reactor overheated and exploded causing the worst nuclear accident in history.

Five U.S. nuclear reactors in earthquake zones
usatoday.com


Status of the Nuclear Reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant
NYTimes.com


How a Reactor Shuts Down and What Happens in a Meltdown
NYTimes.com


Hazards of Storing Spent Fuel
NYTimes.com


Timeline: Nuclear Plant Accidents
BBCNews.com


Why the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl
independent.co.uk


In graphics: Fukushima nuclear alert
bbc.co.uk


Fukushima victims: homeless, desperate & angry
reuters.com


Japan Panel: Fukushima nuclear disaster "man-made"
bbc.co.uk.com






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Terrorism: Cyber Terrorism
Posted on Thursday, April 26 @ 10:00:44 PDT by admin


A GROWING SENSE OF VULNERABILITY

Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyber-Terror, a book published in 2003 and written by Computerworld journalist and former intelligence officer Dan Verton, describes the 1997 exercise code-named "Eligible Receiver," conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). The exercise began when NSA officials instructed a "Red Team" of thirty-five hackers to attempt to hack into and disrupt U.S. national security systems. They were told to play the part of hackers hired by the North Korean intelligence service, and their primary target was to be the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii. They were allowed to penetrate any Pentagon network but were prohibited from breaking any U.S. laws, and they could only use hacking software that could be downloaded freely from the Internet. They started mapping networks and obtaining passwords gained through "brute-force cracking" (a trial-and-error method of decoding encrypted data such as passwords or encryption keys by trying all possible combinations). Often they used simpler tactics such as calling somebody on the telephone, pretending to be a technician or high-ranking official, and asking for the password. The hackers managed to gain access to dozens of critical Pentagon computer systems. Once they entered the systems, they could easily create user accounts, delete existing accounts, reformat hard drives, scramble stored data, or shut systems down. They broke the network defenses with relative ease and did so without being traced or identified by the authorities.

The results shocked the organizers. In the first place, the Red Team had shown that it was possible to break into the U.S. Pacific military's command-and-control system and, potentially, cripple it. In the second place, the NSA officials who examined the experiment's results found that much of the private business sector infrastructure in the United States, such as the telecommunications and electric power grids, could easily be invaded and abused in the same way.

According to Symantec, one of the world's corporate leaders in the field of cybersecurity, new vulnerabilities to a cyber attack are being discovered all the time. The company reported that the number of "software holes" (software security flaws that allow malicious hackers to exploit the system) grew by 80 percent in 2002.


IS OUR GOVERNMENT PREPARED?
A study conducted by the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology shows some alarming results. More than half the federal agencies surveyed received a grade of D or F. The Department of Homeland Security, which has a division devoted to monitoring cybersecurity, received the lowest overall score of the twenty-four agencies surveyed. Also earning an F was the Justice Department, the agency charged with investigating and prosecuting cases of hacking and other forms of cyber crime. Commenting on these results, Rep. Adam H. Putnam (R-Fl.), chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, declared that "the threat of cyber attack is real. . . . The damage that could be inflicted both in terms of financial loss and, potentially, loss of life is considerable."


SUMMARY:
In the past minute there have been approximately 54,000 serious computer attacks reported to hackerwatch.org! Five percent of businesses estimate the cost of systems disruption would be over $5 million an hour and 60% of businesses do not know how much computer attacks cost them. Only 1% of business continuity plans address cyber attacks and only 3% address computer viruses. In a recent study conducted by the Computer Crime Research Center, 90% of respondents detected computer security breaches within the last twelve months.

We have no cyber-terrorism early detection system in place. We only react after an attack is discovered and experts will not hazard a guess as to the number of cyber-attacks that go undetected or unreported. The threat cannot be ignored nor denied. And as a new, more computer-savvy generation of terrorists comes of age, the danger seems set to increase.


FACTS:

1. According to the FBI, terrorist groups are increasingly adopting the power of modern communications technology for planning, recruiting, propaganda purposes, enhancing communications, command and control, fund raising and funds transfer, information gathering, and the like. Computers are used in more than 50% of the crimes committed today.
2. Experts believe that a significant cyber attack will occur within the next 18 to 24 months.
3. We are currently under cyber attack. Using statistics form hackerwatch.org in the last minute, 54,000 serious computer attacks have been reported.
4. It is believed that an established group in South America has been funded to create and distribute malicious code to exploit software vulnerabilities which are routinely reported by the software industry.
5. Protecting the U.S. against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes is the #3 priority of the FBI.
6. Cyber attacks to date, by terrorists, or persons affiliated with them, have largely been limited to relatively unsophisticated efforts such as the email bombing of ideological foes or the publication of threatening content.



SOURCES:

Cyber-Terrorism Defined www.Search Security.com Brandon, Hactivists Help Humans Rights, Bit By Byte, Chicago Tribune, Nov 21st 2002.
Hess, Cyber-Terrorism and Information War. 2002
Weimann, Cyberterrorism: How Real Is the Threat?, United States Institute of Peace, Special Report No.119, December 2004.
Center for Strategic and International Studies – Cyber-Terrorism www.csis.org/goc/rc/cyber.html Weimann, Cyberterrorism: How Real Is the Threat?, United States Institute of Peace, Special Report No.119, December 2004.
Denning, Cyberterrorism – Testimony before Committee on Armed Services, U.S. House of Representatives. Available at: www.cs.georgetown.edu/~denning/infosec/cyberterror.html
Lewis, Assessing the Risks of Cyberterrorism, Cyber War, and Other Cyber Threats. Center for Strategic and International Studies – Cyber-Terrorism www.csis.org/goc/rc/cyber.html
Institute for the Advanced Study of Information Warfare www.psycom.net/war.1html
Coleman, Cyber-Terrorism. Vol 11, No.54 December 2006. www.spy-ops.com
Weimann, Cyberterrorism: How Real Is the Threat?, United States Institute of Peace, Special Report No.119, December 2004.
Coleman, Cyber-Terrorism. Vol 11, No.54 December 2006. www.spy-ops.com
Denning, Cyberterrorism – Testimony before Committee on Armed Services, U.S. House of Representatives. Available at: www.cs.georgetown.edu/~denning/infosec/cyberterror.html
Greenspan, Cyberterrorism Concerns IT Pros, Internetnews.com, August 16, 2002.
Verton, Black Ice, Computerworld, August 13, 2003.
Weimann, Cyberterrorism: How Real Is the Threat?, United States Institute of Peace, Special Report No.119, December 2004.
Coleman, Cyber-Terrorism. Vol 11, No.54 December 2006. www.spy-ops.com
Weimann, Cyberterrorism: How Real Is the Threat?, United States Institute of Peace, Special Report No.119, December 2004.

 
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