Earlier today I came across a press release by the US Department of Homeland Security, outlining how researches had recently disclosed more than half of the applications currently used to connect first responders together in the event of an National emergency possessed security flaws – theoretically leaving our communications systems vulnerable to exploitation, disruption or interference by hackers and malicious actors alike.
The revelations come as a result of a test pilot programed called “Securing Mobile Applications for First Responders,” a three month Federal initiative aimed at testing for security flaws and vulnerabilities within our nations emergency response systems, infrastructure and protocols. As was first reported by Catalin Cimpanu, security researchers at the DHS discovered “18 of 33 first responder apps were affected by security flaws” and that “32 of the 33 apps featured various privacy issues, such as the app gaining access to permissions it did not need or used, such as the ability to send SMS messages, access the phone camera, and the device’s contacts list.”
— BleepingComputer (@BleepinComputer) December 28, 2017
It is important to note that every vulnerability the DHS uncovered has since been fixed, and the agency only released their report earlier this week in the name of transparency and to make the information part of the public record. Amusingly enough, it allegedly only took one hour on average for Government officials to patch each individual security vulnerability they found. Meaning that it literally took less than one day to fix problems it took 3 months to uncover.
Why Did The DHS Start This Program To Begin With?
Upon reading the report from BleepingComputer.com referenced above, something I found particularly interesting was the timing of this investigation. For example, the DHS officially launched their pilot program for the first time just 3 months ago at the end of September – do you know what else happened around the same time? In September of 2017 Russia had just finished wrapping up their Zapad Drills, a series of “War Games” and military drills played out by Russia’s Armed Forces.
It just so happens that this years Zapad Drills focused heavily on electronic Warfare, including the deployment of surveillance drones, hacks on telecommunications systems and signal jamming on the enemies front-lines. As these War Games concluded, as part of a much larger report on these drills at the time, I specifically remember reporting how “from the end of August into September, Latvian officials believed the Russian military was behind a recent string of disruptions on the countries emergency services hotline.” The article also quoted U.S. Army Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, head of US Armed Forces within Europe, whom explained how Russia now “has ability to intercept signals and jam civilian networks within a significant radius and with relative ease and therefore, poses a serious risks for NATO communications and radars.”
With this in mind, do you really think that the timing and relevance of the DHS’s investigation with the conclusion and information revealed by Russia’s latest military drills was any coincidence?
Read More – Russia Deploys Previously Unseen “Cyber Weapons” During Recent War Game Drills: https://legacymedi4.com/2017/10/11/russia-unveils-previously-unseen-cyber-weapons-during-newest-war-game-drills/