The Security Week That Was: A Recap - Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2006

SIW Editor Geoff Kohl gives a weekly surveillance of news shaping your profession


True or False: Terrorism doesn't happen at your regular office environment unless you're in an icon-type building like the Trade Center towers were.

The correct answer: Unequivocally false -- as proven Halloween evening at eBay's PayPal network operations center in San Jose. An explosion, which law enforcement authorities say was deliberately set, blew out a window and forced the evacuation of the office. While no threats were made prior to the explosion, and although the explosion has been classified as an "isolated" incident, this story underscores the realities of modern threats.

Fremont, again?
Lawsuit over the process to verified response continues to churn

When Fremont, Calif., went to a verified response policy, it was a painful time. The city, faced with budget shortfalls, had to find a place to cut. And cut they did, creating an ordinance whereby police would only respond to burglar alarm calls if the incident was verified as "real". The process was contentious and a milestone for those tracking these types of ordinances.

However, one Fremont insurance salesman doesn't think the ordinance is reasonable or that the process by which it was created was legal. Dennis Wolfe was given the OK to proceed with a lawsuit that alleges that proper protocol regarding open meetings was not followed in the 2005 passage of this verified response. Could it mean that the ordinance might be overturned? That's not very likely, but the Appeals Courts decision at least indicates that these types of ordinances can't be shot through city councils without following proper procedures to make sure the public is informed.

On the gangplank
The MS-13 gang -- mobile, growing and very dangerous

We picked up a story out of Dallas about the Mara Salvatrucha 13 gang, best known as MS-13. Developed from a Salvadoran gang, the group has been spreading into the United States, and is creating problems to enforcement agencies due to the challenge that the gang blends in among mobile immigrant communities. No doubt you've already heard of an atrocity committed by this gang (brutal actions of murder and violence are part of their lineage); this article offers input on where this gang is today.

Losing their bearing
GSA ends BearingPoint HSPD-12 contract, sending services contract back out to bid

BearingPoint argues that they've done nothing wrong -- in fact they released a statement announcing the quality of support they've given for HSPD-12 implementations -- but that didn't have much sway. The company, a leading government services provider, had been contracted with the GSA to assist in HSPD-12 roll-outs...and by all accounts, the company was fulfilling its task. But the GSA unexpectedly ended BearingPoint's contract early. Insiders believe that the contract is being rebid (and BearingPoint can certainly bid) because competitors complained that BearingPoint was given favoritism and that the contract was almost predetermined.

Security at financial institutions
SIW to make discussion from financial security symposium in Florida available live on the Web

In less than two weeks, SecurityInfoWatch.com is going to bring you a really unique education program. We've partnered with ADT Security Services, which is holding its sixth annual Financial Security Symposium near Palm Beach. Security Technology & Design editor Steve Lasky is going to speak as part of a panel discussing security convergence in the banking/financial services industry. The panel will also feature top level security and IT leaders, including:

- Gareth Webley, CSO, National City (panel leader)
- Ryan Buckley, VP Information Security, Citizens Financial Corp.
- Adam Stanislaus, First Data Corporation, VP Corporate Security
- and John Maya, ADT, Group Director, Information Technology

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