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by CSO Contributor

U.S. Government Plans Internet Security Ads; Defense Department Wants RFID Tags on Everything; Solar Burst Could Scramble Phones, Power Lines; Washington State Gets 3-Tiered Ferry Security System

Oct 24, 20033 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

U.S. Government Plans Internet Security Ads

A nationwide media blitz is being crafted by the Department of Homeland Security and a group of high-tech companies to educate home and small business computer users about the importance of using firewalls and anti-virus software, as well as defending against online fraud. According to a story on The Washington Posts, the $1.8 million program is the brainchild of officials at the Homeland Security Department and the National Cyber Security Alliance, a group of more than 50 technology companies. So far, the alliance has raised more than $500,000. It announced today that the Homeland Security Department will match contributions up to $650,000. The matching funds will come from the department’s 2004 budget, the Post reports.Defense Department Wants RFID Tags on EverythingThe Register today, by January 2005 the U.S. Department of will require all suppliers to place RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags on their goods, with the exception of bulk materials like sand and gravel. The feds hope this technology will help it keep track of massive inventories and improve transaction speeds. To help contractors get up to speed on the new policy, the DoD will hold an RFID summit in February 2004. It then plans to finalize the RFID strategy by June 2004, giving suppliers plenty of time to tag their kit.

Or almost everything. According to a story in

Solar Burst Could Scramble Phones, Power Space weather forecasters typically alert industries that might be affected by solar activity, such as electricity generation or airlines (for their navigational instruments). Satellites are perhaps most affected by the solar activity, which could have repercussions on TV, telephone, banking transactions and more. Solar activity is rated, similar to the system for hurricanes or earthquakes, on a scale of one to five, with 5 as the most intense. Friday’s activity is expected to be a 3, or moderate, says.

Space weather forecasters say a moderately powerful ejection of magnetic material from the sun was detected Wednesday morning at 3:00 a.m. EDT. It is expected to reach Earth about 3:00 p.m. EDT today, and its effects could last 12 to 18 hours, according to a report on

Washington State Gets 3-Tiered Ferry Security SystemSeattle Post Intelligencer, ferry riders won’t have to worry about constant airport-style security searches under the new federal maritime security rules, announced yesterday by Homeland Defense Secretary Tom Ridge. Washington has the nation’s largest ferry system, carrying more than 26 million passengers a year, including about 75,000 commuters each day in the Puget Sound region. The government started working to increase ferry security after the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001. Under the new rules, the PIreports, ferry security will have three different levels, corresponding to the Coast Guard’s security levels, which differ from the Homeland Security Department’s alert levels. Low: Screen a percentage (the exact percentage will be up to ferry authorities to decide) of people, bags and vehicles. Medium: Increase the percentage of people, bags and vehicles being screened and limit waterside access to ferries. That may include boat patrols. High: Screen everyone and every bag. Armed guards patrol ferries.

According to a story in the