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by CSO Contributor

Anti-Terror Drills Not Reassuring; Commission Chair Says 911 Could Have Been Prevented; Delta Airlines Tests RFID on Baggage; Hacker Pleads Guilty to Stealing Customer Information

Dec 19, 20032 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Anti-Terror Drills Not Reassuring

A classified Bush administration report has found that the largest counterterrorism exercise conducted by the federal government since the Sept. 11 attacks was marred by communications problems, serious shortages of medical supplies and hospital rooms and confusion over where the residue of a radiological attack would spread, according to a story in the New York Times. The story reports that the five-day exercise last May in Chicago and Seattle, known as Topoff 2, tested the response of federal agencies and local governments to nearly simultaneous terrorist attacks using biological agents and a so-called dirty bomb, a crude radiological device.Commission Chair Says 911 Could Have Been PreventedThe chairman of the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks said he believes that the strikes could have been prevented, a claim that President Bush’s spokesman rejected yesterday, according to a story in the Washington Post. The story reports that a joint panel of the House and Senate intelligence committees also concluded last summer that the attacks of Sept. 11 “could have been prevented if the right combination of skill, cooperation, creativity and some good luck had been brought to task.” Delta Airlines Tests RFID on BaggageComputerWorld reports that Delta Air Lines last month tracked 40,000 passenger bags equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags from check-in to loading on an aircraft in a test with an accuracy level that ranged from 96.7% to 99.8%, far better than the 80% to 85% rate achieved with bar code scanners. The story reports that despite the RFID success, a Delta spokesman warned that the airline and others in the cash-strapped industry would need to proceed slowly with any systemwide rollout of the bag tags.Hacker Pleads Guilty to Stealing Customer InformationAn Ohio man could face a prison term and court-ordered restitution for his admission in court that he looted an Arkansas-based company’s computer system of customer information, according to a story in the Boston Globe. The story reports that Daniel J. Baas admitted that he stole the data between January 2001 and January 2003 from Acxiom Corp. and stored the information on computer disks at his home. The company claims that the hacking cost them $5.8 million.