“Thank You For Asking”

DHS Braces For ‘Potential EMP Attack’ As Presidential Election Nears 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a new report warning about a “potential” electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack against the U.S.

DHS’s warning published Thur. (Sept. 2), or about 60 days until the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 3, indicates there are “evolving threats against the American homeland, most recently highlighting efforts to combat an Electromagnetic Pulse attack which could disrupt the electrical grid and potentially damage electronics.”

The department released an EMP status report via the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) that said the “key actions to address known EMP-related vulnerabilities to critical infrastructure.”

CISA said an EMP attack could “disrupt, degrade, and damage technology” embedded in critical infrastructure systems. Widespread blackouts could be seen if an EMP was to damage the nation’s electrical grid, resulting in additional flare-ups of socio-economic turmoil.

“EMP attacks are part of the emerging threats against our nation and demand a response,” said Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli.

“That is why DHS is taking these contingencies very seriously, working diligently to mitigate our risks and equipping our state and local partners with the resources they need to do the same. We’ve made significant progress and look forward to work ahead,” Cuccinelli said.

CISA Director Chris Krebs said top priorities of the agency is to mitigate threats associated with EMPs:

“Over the past year, we have worked with interagency and industry partners to identify the footprint and effects of EMP threats across our National Critical Functions, and are developing sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective approaches to improving the Nation’s resilience to EMPs,” Krebs said.

To combat these emerging threats, President Trump signed an executive order in March 2019, delegating power to the White House for EMP preparedness.

We recently quoted Peter Vincent Pry, ex-chief of staff of the Congressional EMP Commission, who wrote an op-ed that said the virus pandemic from China has “exposed dangerous weaknesses in U.S. planning and preparation for civil defense protection and recovery, and those weaknesses surely have been noticed by our potential enemies: China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and international terrorists.”

Pry warned that “China has been planning to defeat the U.S. with an EMP and cyber “Pearl Harbor” attack for a quarter-century.”

DHS nor CISA gave any more information on ‘evolving EMP threats’ on the American homeland. There was not mention of whether the threat could be from a solar storm or EMP weapons. However, the EMP status report did mention DHS is currently running EMP pilot tests to assess EMP vulnerability on infrastructure:

“Finally, DHS is partnering with other federal departments and agencies, state, local, tribal, and territorial entities and the private sector to field test a more resilient critical infrastructure. There are a number of field demonstration (or pilot) projects planned and underway by both DHS and DOE to assess EMP vulnerability and then deploy, evaluate, and validate EMP mitigation and protection technologies.

“One such pilot is the San Antonio Electromagnetic Defense Initiative, designed to show how an entire region can become resilient against an EMP. These pilots are multisector, multifunction efforts, seeking to ensure key capabilities continue to function in a post EMP environment and that by maintaining those key functions we can expedite a full recovery. Working with federal interagency partners, DHS will play a major role in ensuring communications systems remain operational and, by ensuring key systems which are protected against EMP, are also protected against other threats such as cyber-attacks.” – EMP status report

One EMP-expert and friend-of-the-site summed up the report perfectly:

“We recognize the threat and we’re working on it and you don’t need to know any more than that, thank you for asking…”

The warning comes just two months before the U.S. presidential election…

from:    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/dhs-braces-potential-emp-attack-presidential-election-nears?utm_campaign=&utm_content=ZeroHedge%3A+The+Durden+Dispatch&utm_medium=email&utm_source=zh_newsletter

Hacking Your Pacemaker

Medical Devices Vulnerable to Hackers, New Report Says

By Tanya Lewis, Staff Writer   |   September 24, 2013 11:00am ET
heart technology, biotech
 X-ray image of a pacemaker.
Credit: khuruzero | Shutterstock

In an episode of the television series “Homeland,” a terrorist organization assassinates the vice president of the United States by wirelessly hacking into his pacemaker. Although the scenario was fictional, the underlying premise is not.

Life-saving medical devices abound in today’s world, and many of these devices are connected wirelessly to hospital networks, making them vulnerable to cyberattacks. For example, a malicious person could hack into a pacemaker, causing the device to apply lethal electrical stimulation, or an insulin pump, causing it to deliver a deadly dose of the hormone.

“Just like any other piece of Internet technology, medical devices are susceptible to the same cyberthreats you hear about all the time on the news,” said Russel Jones, a partner at the consulting firm Deloitte, which released a report Monday (Sept. 23) on the subject of cybersecurity in medical devices.

As more and more medical devices go online, device manufacturers and health care organizations will need to address security issues to keep patients and their health information safe. [Image Gallery: The BioDigital Human]

So far, there have been no known incidents of a hacked medical device injuring or killing a person, but researchers have demonstrated that these events are possible “with the right level of skill and understanding,” Jones told LiveScience.

In the Deloitte study, consultants interviewed representatives from nine health care organizations, in areas spanning from information technology to clinical engineering. The participants answered questions about the regulation, risk management and security of networked medical devices.

The majority of organizations surveyed felt their organizations had strategies and frameworks for managing cybersecurity risks. However, there were differences in the degree of preparedness and approaches for handling cyberthreats.

One way to protect information sent to or from a medical device is to encrypt it. The problem is, encryption takes up valuable processing time on the device. The challenge, Jones said, is to develop encryption that addresses cyberrisk without impacting the functionality of the device.

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released draft guidance for cybersecurity concerns. The FDA’s previous guidance from 2005 was pretty vague, but the new draft lays out specific concerns that must be addressed when applying for FDA approval for new devices.

Ensuring cybersecurity in medical devices will require collaboration, Jones said. “This is going to be a problem that’s jointly solved by health care systems, providers, device manufacturers and the FDA,” he said.

from:    http://www.livescience.com/39889-medical-devices-vulnerable-to-hackers.html