There’s a lot going on in the world of physical risk and vulnerability; it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the latest news and developments. We’ll keep you informed with the best content to keep your organization safe and secure. Check out the top news and headlines from the past month.
From the Associated Press: A curious toddler earned the title of one of the tiniest White House intruders on April 18 after he squeezed through the metal fencing on the north side of the executive mansion. U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division officers, who are responsible for security at the White House, walked across the North Lawn to retrieve the tot and reunite him with his parents on Pennsylvania Avenue. Access to the complex was briefly restricted while officers conducted the reunification. Officers briefly questioned the parents before allowing them to continue on their way. Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said officers “encountered a curious young visitor along the White House north fence line who briefly entered White House grounds.” The baby is the first successful intruder on the grounds since the new fence was installed in 2019, although older children do sometimes get stuck in the fence, according to the Secret Service.
Our take: Kids. You turn your head for a minute and they get everywhere… including into one of the most heavily-guarded sites in the nation. However, this was a good example of security doing its job. The alarm went off, the Secret Service responded, and no one was hurt. If nothing else, this is just proof that no house can truly be child-proofed, not even the White House.
From Autoblog: Car thieves have come up with yet another way to steal your car - through your headlights. The reason thieves have chosen this point of entry is because it offers them the easiest way to get hooked into a vehicle’s CAN bus system. Thieves are using this central nervous system to their advantage by executing an attack referred to as “CAN injection” using a tool (disguised as a JBL Bluetooth speaker and sold on the dark web) that when wired into a vehicle’s control CAN bus, can impersonate the vehicle’s key fob. The “play” button on the fake JBL speaker is programmed to unlock the doors. You turn the vehicle on in a similar fashion, and a thief can simply drive away with your car.
Our take: There is unfortunately no good way to protect your car from this sort of threat. Because headlights are smart, they’re an ideal place for thieves to plug in and hack your car. The one saving grace is that this sort of theft takes time. Thieves need to dismantle your front bumper to get at the light, and that takes time. Parking in a secure place and having cameras at home or work can help you catch a thief in the act.
From CarScoops: A New England theft ring that orchestrated the theft of some $2 million worth of catalytic converters and more is off the streets. Federal authorities allege that the group stole the valuable part from at least 471 vehicles across New Hampshire and Massachusetts between 2022 and 2023. Authorities say that the group often stole catalytic converters so quickly that they could accomplish the complete task in less than a minute and that on at least one night they believe the crew took a total of 26.
Our take: Catalytic converter theft is surging, thanks to the platinum, rhodium, and palladium in the car part. Unfortunately, thieves like the ones caught in Massachusetts have an excellent incentive to get good at cutting catalytic converters out of cars: they can get between $150 and $1500 at scrap metal yards for a single converter. The best way to prevent theft is secure parking, but if that’s not possible, tamper proof converter shields are also a good deterrent.
From NBC News: Food and beverage coming into port or in a warehouse is No. 1 on the list of products being targeted by freight thieves who are increasing their criminal activity across the national supply chain. It’s a sign of the economic times, and adding further pressure to the high prices faced by consumers during an elevated inflation environment.
Our take: Until the economy stabilizes, thieves will likely target food and beverages, and unfortunately, the easiest place to get at those commodities is when they’re on the truck, train, or in a warehouse. Much of the theft may be insider theft, so it’s critical that cargo and freight companies thoroughly vet their employees.
April Top Security Grants
Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP): The Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) is one of three grant programs that constitute the DHS/FEMA focus on enhancing the ability of state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as nonprofits, to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks. These grant programs are part of a comprehensive set of measures authorized by Congress and implemented by DHS to help strengthen the Nation's communities against potential terrorist attacks. Among the five basic homeland security missions noted in the DHS Strategic Plan, the HSGP supports the goal to Strengthen National Preparedness and Resilience. Grant closes: May 18
2023 Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP): The FY 2023 NSGP provides funding support for physical security enhancements and other security related activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack or other extremist attack. NSGP seeks to integrate the preparedness activities of nonprofit organizations with broader state and local preparedness efforts. Grant closes: May 18
2023 Port Security Grant Program (PSGP): The Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) is one of four grant programs that constitute DHS/FEMA's focus on transportation infrastructure security activities. These grant programs are part of a comprehensive set of measures authorized by Congress and implemented by the Administration to help strengthen the Nation's critical infrastructure against risks associated with potential terrorist attacks. The PSGP provides funds to state, local, and private sector maritime partners to support increased port-wide risk management and protect critical surface transportation infrastructure from acts of terrorism, major disasters, and other emergencies. Grant closes: May 18
Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP): The Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP) is one of four grant programs that constitute DHS/FEMA's focus on transportation infrastructure security activities. These grant programs are part of a comprehensive set of measures authorized by Congress and implemented by the Administration to help strengthen the Nation's critical infrastructure against risks associated with potential terrorist attacks. The IBSGP provides funds to intercity bus companies to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism. Grant closes: May 18
Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP): The Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) is one of four grant programs that constitute DHS/FEMA's focus on transportation infrastructure security activities. These grant programs are part of a comprehensive set of measures authorized by Congress and implemented by DHS to help strengthen the nation's critical infrastructure against risks associated with potential terrorist attacks. The TSGP provides funds to transit agencies to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism. Grant closes: May 18