Thursday, December 22, 2005

30-Second Update...

Nuclear Security

The Venezuelan government is searching for a stolen capsule of highly radioactive Iridium-192. Iridium-192 emits gamma radiation (the most dangerous type of radiation). The truck carrying the capsule was stolen Sunday night. This is in addition to two other Iridium-192 capsules that went missing back in March. One was recovered; authorities believe the other was dumped into Lake Maracaibo.

Fortunately, this could never happen in the U.S.


68 inches of used nuclear fuel rods are missing from a plant in Georgia. And it’s been missing for seven months. The material could be used to construct a “dirty bomb,” which is a ‘regular’ bomb with radioactive material added; it is not a nuclear weapon. The radioactive material affixes itself to the blast debris, much the way fallout does, but – because a “dirty bomb” uses conventional explosives – the overall blast effect is much smaller. Any explosion involving nuclear materials, however, would likely start a panic in the affected area.

“That’s SO Wrong… On So MANY Levels”

Guidance Software, which bills itself as the leading provider of software for diagnosing hacker attacks… has itself been hacked. Hackers stole about 3,800 customer records, including credit card numbers. Contrary to good security practices -- which should be especially important to a company in the security biz – Guidance stored the records in an unencrypted database and permanently retained the CVV numbers (that’s the three-digit extra security code on the back of Visa and Master cards. Both Visa and Mastercard require sellers (like Guidance) to encrypt customer credit card databases, and prohibit keeping the CVV codes after a specific transaction has been verified.

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