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by CSO Contributor

Drill to Test Nations Nuclear, Bioterror Response Begins Today; Homicidal Rage Sparked By Apparent Website Hack; Stunned IRA Orders Security Review; Cuba Fears U.S. Invasion; E-Bay Fraud Hits Home

May 12, 20034 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Drill to Test Nations Nuclear, Bioterror Response Begins Today

A five-day drill spearheaded by the Department of Homeland Security is set to begin today in Seattle and Chicago. The two-city drill is aimed at testing the ability of local, state and federal authorities to handle terrorist attacks and will involve two separate simulated attacks—one nuclear, one biological—by two cells of a terrorist group. According to a CNN story today, the exercises will cost an estimated $16 million and involve more than 8,500 people from 100 federal, state and local agencies, the American Red Cross and the Canadian government. CNN reports that a detailed, 200-page scenario has been written for the drill, which officials said will be as realistic-looking as possible. Stand-ins will portray President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and even press secretary Ari Fleischer. Hundreds of evaluators will watch the exercise and report their findings for later study. Whatever lessons are learned will likely be applied to earthquakes and other natural disasters, as well as terrorist attacks, officials said. Homicidal Rage Sparked By Apparent Website HackRegister, Halder’s anger centered on university employee Shawn Miller, a school computer-lab assistant Halder believed had hacked his website, thereby destroying his life. The Register reports that he pursued Miller through the civil courts and in numerous complaints to the university president, the campus police, the Mayor of Cleveland, the FBI and even the U.S. House and Senate Judiciary Committees, but his pleas for justice were ignored at each turn. Tragically, the hacking victim killed a young postgraduate student at the university and wounded two others when he fired indiscriminately in an apparent fit of rage. Halder kept police at bay for seven hours until being wounded by gunfire and taken into custody.

A Cleveland man named Biswanath Halder took hostages at gunpoint on the campus of Case Western Reserve University on Friday. According to the

Stunned IRA Orders Security ReviewGuardian, the Irish Republican Army leadership today ordered an immediate review of its internal security but maintained a stunned silence over yesterday’s revelations that one of its top members, Alfredo Scappaticci, was the fabled British army spy known as Stakeknife. Scappaticci, who was deputy head of the IRA’s internal security unit that was responsible for hunting down and disposing of suspected informers within the organisation, had apparently been working for British intelligence himself since 1978. While shocking for the IRA, the revelations, leaked to several Irish papers yesterday—apparently by several British army agents who were dissatisfied at the Ministry of Defense’s treatment of them—also represent a major potential scandal for the British army, says the Guardian. Working with the IRA would be considered collusion with terrorists.

According to a story in the UKs

Cuba Fears U.S. InvasionOrlando Sentinel today, Cuba’s Foreign Ministry last week echoed Castros remarks, accusing the U.S. State Department of once again including Cuba on its list of countries that sponsor terrorism in an attempt to “create the right conditions for a possible military attack.” U.S. officials repeatedly have denied they are going to use military force against Cuba. On NBCs Meet the Press last Sunday, Secretary of State Colin Powell criticized Cuba as an “anachronism in our hemisphere,” but added “it would not be appropriate at this time to use military force for this particular purpose.” The expression at this time has caused some alarm in Cuba. From Cuba’s vantage point, the U.S. pre-emptive strike against a so-called rogue state is cause for concern, the Sentinel quotes Wayne Smith, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, but the story reports there is no sense of panic or doom in the streets of Havana.

In a May Day speech Fidel Castro warned that the Bush administration, emboldened by its victory in Iraq, was seeking a pretext for a Cuban invasion. According to a story in the

E-Bay Fraud Hits HomeWashington Post recounts his being kicked off of e-Bay for suspected fraud. The author, an e-Bay member in good standing for five years, posted an item for sale. His auction posting was hijacked by a phantom seller and posted on another auction site, giving that site an e-mail address that turned out to be at an Internet service provider in Jakarta. Although that person couldnt have delivered the item, nor received payment from an escrow account for it, the goal of Internet scam artists sometimes is making e-mail contact with bidders, so they can invite them to do business outside the auction format, offering private deals at “bargain” prices. The personal account of the authors efforts to reclaim his e-Bay membership is an interesting revelation of the customer-facing workings of the auction security business.

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