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by CSO Contributor

Congress, Energy Department Document Lost Radioactive Material, Terror Concern; U.S. Homeland Security: Tech Partners Needed; Michigan Men Hacked Lowes Store Computers, FBI Alleges

Nov 11, 20032 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Congress, Energy Department Document Lost Radioactive Material, Terror Concern

According to an AP story in the Maryville, Tenn. Daily Times, federal investigators have documented 1,300 cases of lost, stolen or abandoned radioactive material inside the United States over the past five years and have concluded there is a significant risk that terrorists could cobble enough together for a dirty bomb. The FBI repeatedly has warned law enforcement over the past year that al Qaeda was interested in obtaining radiological materials and creating a dispersal bomb, most recently after authorities received an uncorroborated report a few weeks ago that al Qaeda might be seeking material from a Canadian source, the story says.U.S. Homeland Security: Tech Partners NeededIDG News Service reports that agency representatives said Monday. DHS has begun to solicit the private sector for technologies to combat biological and chemical weapons, and the agency will look for more technology partners in the future. The budget for the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) is US$874 million. About 85 percent to 90 percent of HSARPA’s funding will be spent on current or soon-to-be emerging domestic security problems, with only about 10 percent to 15 percent going to futuristic, “blue-sky” technology projects, IDG News Service reports.

Private companies can play a role in national security by pitching technology projects to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other agencies,

Michigan Men Hacked Lowes Store Computers, FBI AllegesDetroit Free Press, two men, Paul Timmins, 22, and Adam Botbyl, 20, repeatedly hacked into the Lowe’s home improvement chain’s national computer system, getting access to credit card and other information, the federal government says. They allegedly sat in a car in the parking lot of a Lowe’s store in Southfield, Mich., and used a wireless network to enter the computer system for two weeks starting Oct. 25. Once in the system, the intruders gained access to Lowe’s stores in six states plus the headquarters system, an FBI agent said. They may have been engaged in “wardriving,” or cruising around with a specially equipped laptop and an antenna searching for unsecured wireless networks hooked to the Internet. They are charged with causing damage to a protected computer system, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to a story in todays