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Security threat of unattended items in centre

Published: 17:00 Saturday 19 August 2017

Unattended items are to be removed from the city centre in the interest of safety and security. Peterborough City Council said the risk of a terrorist attack needed to be reduced following recent incidents in Manchester and London. And the authority countered suggestions rough sleepers may be adversely affected by the policy, stating that any impact is likely to be minimal as items will only be removed when they are considered abandoned. A council report states: The local authority continues to receive complaints and concerns from businesses and city centre residents relating to unattended items including sometimes hazardous waste.

Approval of this policy will allow for council officers to respond effectively to complaints from the public and businesses in the city. This will in turn improve fire safety, reduce security threats and improve the physical appearance of the city. The report adds: Unattended items may also pose a security risk which cannot be overlooked, particularly in light of the recent terrorist events in Manchester and London.

Whilst the police assessment of the risk of a terrorist incident occurring in Peterborough remains low, we nevertheless cannot be complacent and need to take all reasonable steps to reduce any risks. The council said it will speak to rough sleepers about the policy before it is implemented . Items which are considered abandoned will be removed by the council s waste management contractor Amey for collection and storage at its depot in Fengate. A note will be placed where the items have been taken to inform their owner and advise them where the items can be collected from .

They will then be stored for a month.

Trump, national security team head for Camp David

Many inside Trump’s administration watched the remarks with dismay . His top military brass — including the chiefs of five branches of the armed services — posted messages online that denounced racism and the hate groups that Trump initially declined to condemn . The messages didn’t mention Trump by name, but were nonetheless viewed as a rare rebuke of the commander-in-chief. Despite the internal strife, there have been no resignations from Trump’s aides or underlings . The White House said Thursday that Gary Cohn, Trump’s chief economist who was enraged at having to stand alongside Trump as he delivered his remarks, would remain in his role.

Others inside the White House, including chief of staff John Kelly1, have also worked to push forward with the President’s agenda, despite near universal condemnation of the President, including from members of his own party.

Trump, who returned to his New Jersey golf club a day after his news conference, will fly Friday morning to the presidential retreat Camp David, nestled in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains 60 miles northwest of Washington. The White House said Trump would meet there with members of his national security team — including Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R . McMaster — to discuss strategy in South Asia.

The talks come after months of disagreement within the administration 2over the best path forward in Afghanistan and the border regions of Pakistan . Trump has resisted calls from military leaders to send additional US troops there, questioning the value of continued American presence after sixteen years of war.

But alternate options, including a full-scale withdrawal or a plan to send more private contractors to Afghanistan, have also been met with skepticism. Speaking Thursday, Defense Secretary James Mattis said a decision about Afghanistan was imminent.

“We will move this toward a decision,” Mattis said at a meeting with his Japanese counterpart held at the State Department. “We were coming very close to a decision, and I anticipate it in the very near future.” The Afghanistan debate has divided members of Trump’s team, leading to heated arguments during meetings in the White House Situation Room between McMaster and Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, a staunch nationalist who formerly worked as the chief executive of Breitbart. The dispute spilled into the open when right-wing news outlets began questioning McMaster’s loyalties; McMaster’s allies blamed Bannon for the attacks .

Kelly steered Trump toward issuing a public statement of support for McMaster, though the assault continued into the next week.

Complicating the twisted web of alliances and allegiances in Trump’s circle, Bannon was quoted in a liberal magazine this week contradicting Trump’s own claims about military action in North Korea 3— claims that members of Trump’s national security team spent days defending after the President vowed to rain “fire and fury4” on the country if its threats against the US continue.”There’s no military solution (to North Korea’s nuclear threats), forget it,” Bannon told The American Prospect5. “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.”It wasn’t clear whether Bannon planned to attend Friday’s talks at Camp David . Originally a member of the National Security Council, Bannon was removed from the panel at McMaster’s urging 6in April.

Camp David, which Trump has visited once as President, offers a pristine setting for Friday’s discussions . It’s previously been the site of high-stakes national security sessions, including negotiations on Middle East peace under President Jimmy Carter and the annual Group of 8 summit (now the G-7) under President Barack Obama.

Trump has spent most of the past two weeks away from the West Wing, which is undergoing renovations .

He’s expected back in Washington on Sunday, though he is planning a western trip 7at the beginning of next week, including a campaign rally in Phoenix.

References

  1. ^ John Kelly (www.cnn.com)
  2. ^ months of disagreement within the administration (www.cnn.com)
  3. ^ contradicting Trump’s own claims about military action in North Korea (www.cnn.com)
  4. ^ fire and fury (www.cnn.com)
  5. ^ The American Prospect (prospect.org)
  6. ^ was removed from the panel at McMaster’s urging (www.cnn.com)
  7. ^ is planning a western trip (www.cnn.com)

Carbon Black denies its IT security guard system oozes customer …

Security firms are, understandably, quite sensitive about claims that their products are insecure, so accusations of this sort tend to cause a kerfuffle. On Wednesday, security consultancy DirectDefense published a blog post1 claiming endpoint security vendor Carbon Black’s Cb Response protection software would, once installed for a customer, spew sensitive data to third parties . This included customers’ AWS, Azure and Google Compute private keys, internal usernames and passwords, proprietary internal applications, and two-factor authentication secrets, allegedly. Jim Broome, president of DirectDefense, said the problem stems from the way Cb Response patrols corporate file systems, and transmits data out to third-party malware scanners to check whether files are legit or infected with nasties . If the Cb Response installation doesn’t recognize a document or executable, it can punt it out to multiple scanners to see if they have come across the binaries before, and if they’re safe or need quarantining.

“This means that files uploaded by Cb Response customers first go to Carbon Black (or their local Carbon Black server instance), but then are immediately forwarded to a cloud-based multiscanner, where they are dutifully spread to anyone that wants them and is willing to pay,” he explained.

“Welcome to the world’s largest pay-for-play data exfiltration botnet.”

Broome said that his team had discovered this flow of data while working for a client last year, and have since found multiple organizations using the Cb Response system . He said his team went public with its findings to warn people without informing the vendor and put out a press release2 to highlight the supposed danger. However, Carbon Black has fired back with a blog post of its own, claiming DirectDefense got its facts wrong . It’s not a bug causing the data emissions it’s a feature.

Bug ? Feature?

“This is an optional feature, turned off by default, to allow customers to share information with external sources for additional ability to detect threats,” said3 Michael Viscuso, cofounder of Carbon Black.

“In Cb Response, there is an optional, customer-controlled configuration (disabled by default) that allows the uploading of binaries (executables) to VirusTotal for additional threat analysis .

This option can be enabled by a customer, on a per-sensor group basis . When enabled, executable files will be uploaded to VirusTotal, a public repository and scanning service owned by Google.”

He pointed out that even with the information sharing feature turned on, users can customize exactly what data is sent out of the network . There’s also a popup warning page telling admins that they are sending data outside the company network. He also notes that DirectDefense could have contacted them about this before creating a big fuss about it, and Carbon Black would have explained the issue. A spokeswoman for DirectDefense told The Register that they didn’t tip off Carbon Black about the issue because it didn’t consider the data transmission a vulnerability, instead describing Cb Response as suffering “a function of how the tool is architected” in the original blog.

“Yes, we’ve seen this feature setting in the product and in the manual that stated this is off by default,” the firm said in a followup blog post4.

“However, the recommendations or messaging from Carbon Black’s professional services team during the course of installing the product is to turn this feature on to help accelerate the analysis of the file scans.”

So DirectDefense decided to “educate users” about the issue, albeit in somewhat alarmist terms .

Education or PR stunt that backfired you decide.

Sponsored: M3: Machine Learning & AI conference brought to by The Register5

References

  1. ^ blog post (www.directdefense.com)
  2. ^ press release (www.businesswire.com)
  3. ^ said (www.carbonblack.com)
  4. ^ blog post (www.directdefense.com)
  5. ^ M3: Machine Learning & AI conference brought to by The Register (go.theregister.com)