al Qaeda Plotting Multiple Attacks on US-Israel-bound Airliners
Western anti-terror agencies have warned that a large group of 15-20 al Qaeda terrorists, trained in Pakistan and Algeria to hijack and blow up airliners, deployed secretly in at least six European and Middle East countries in early July. They are reported to be standing ready to carry out multiple terrorist attacks.
DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources report the first specific red alert on Saturday, July 4, referred to the possible hijack of Turkish Airways planes taking of from Turkish airports for US destinations or Tel Aviv.
Government Agencies, Washington Post Targeted in Cyberattack
A widespread and coordinated cyberattack during the past few days has targeted Web sites operated by major government agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security and Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, according to several computer security researchers.
The attacks involved thousands of computers around the globe infected with rogue software that told them to repeatedly attempt to access the targeted sites, a tactic aimed at driving up traffic beyond the sites’ normal capacity and denying access to legitimate users, according to the researchers, many of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they are helping with the investigation.
Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said that the agency was aware of ongoing attacks and that the government’s Computer Emergency Response Team had issued guidance to public and private sector Web sites to stem the attacks.
Cyber Attack Hits South Korean Web Sites
A number of South Korean government Web sites were inaccessible on Wednesday, apparently taken offline by a large cyber-attack that had earlier hit U.S. government sites.
The Web site for South Korea’s president, the Blue House, and those for the National Assembly and Ministry of National Defense were all offline at Wednesday lunchtime. Also inaccessible was the home page of the Grand National Party and the Chosun Ilbo national newspaper
The Korea Internet Security Center’s security index was set at “substantial,” which is the middle of its five levels and signifies regional Internet security problems and advises all Internet users to take urgent security measures.
Local press reports said around 25 sites had been hit since late Tuesday including those of major banks including Shinhan Bank and Korea Exchange Bank and major portal Naver. All three appeared to be operating normally at Wednesday lunchtime but a prompt on the page of Shinhan Bank referenced a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack and advised users to download security software.
Swine Flu Testing To Grow After Resistant US Case
ATLANTA (AP) -- U.S. health officials are stepping up testing of swine flu cases for Tamiflu resistance.
The action comes after an American teen was diagnosed with a resistant strain. The San Francisco teenager was diagnosed with swine flu last month after arriving in Hong Kong, and has since recovered.
Officials on Tuesday confirmed the 16-year-old lived in San Francisco and likely was infected in the United States.
She's just the third person in the world known to have a strain resistant to Tamiflu, the main weapon against swine flu.
Military Chief Mullen Says Clock Ticking On Iran Nuke
The top U.S. military officer warned on Tuesday that time is running out for dialogue with Tehran to avoid either a nuclear-armed Iran or a possible military strike against the Islamic Republic.
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it is critical for diplomatic efforts to reach a solution before Iran develops a nuclear weapon or faces an Israeli or U.S. strike to turn back its nuclear program.
“That window is a very narrow window,” Mullen told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.
Federal buildings get 'F' after bombs smuggled in
Plainclothes investigators sent to test security at federal buildings in four U.S. cities were successful in smuggling bomb components through guard posts at all 10 of the sites they visited, according to a government report.
End Iran's 'security atmosphere,' reformists say
Iran's three top reformist leaders are calling for an end to the "security atmosphere" in the country, referring to what they say is the government's heavy-handed response to those who protested the results of last month's presidential election.
China Tries To Stem Ethnic Clashes
China's official Xinhua News Agency says there have been "sporadic standoffs" today between protesters and security forces in the western region of Xinjiang.
Paramilitary police have flooded the region's capital in an effort to keep Han Chinese and minority Muslim Uighurs apart. They have been guarding roads leading into Uighur neighborhoods. Rioting and street battles between the groups have left 156 dead since the weekend.
China's President Hu Jintao has cut short his trip to the G-8 summit to deal with the ethnic tensions.