October 4, 2017

Intelligence has the ability to save lives and prevent disasters with the ultimate purpose of educating the public. This awareness bulletin transmits alerts regarding current and future threats to North America.

North Korea Reportedly Tried to Smuggle 30,000 Rocket Launchers to Egypt

North Korea Reportedly Tried to Smuggle 30,000 Rocket Launchers to Egypt – North Korea and Egypt

A disguised North Korean ship bound for Egypt was intercepted carrying more than 30,000 rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) in what the UN called the "largest seizure of ammunition in the history of sanctions against [North Korea]," The Washington Post reported on Sunday. According to a confidential report, US officials tipped off Egyptian authorities on the Jie Shun, a suspicious 300-foot-long freighter that set sail on an 8,000-mile voyage from North Korea on July 23, 2016. The ship was registered in Cambodia and flew a Cambodian flag, in an apparent attempt to avoid unwanted scrutiny. The Jie Shun also occasionally turned off its transponder, according to a February UN report. "The vessel's automatic identification system was off for the majority of the voyage," the report said, according to The Post, "except in busy sea lanes where such behavior could be noticed and assessed as a safety threat." But once US intelligence agencies notified Egyptian officials, the plan appeared to slowly unravel. When customs agents first boarded the vessel to inspect its goods, it appeared as if nothing was out of the ordinary. The manifest listed 2,300 tons of limonite — a type of iron ore. However, beneath the stones were 79 wooden crates that contained thousands of rocket-propelled grenades, estimated to be worth $23 million.

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Private Information of Two People Compromised in SEC Hack

Private Information of Two People Compromised in SEC Hack – United States

The personal information of two individuals was compromised in a recently uncovered hack of a Securities and Exchange Commission database, according to the agency’s chairman. Chairman Jay Clayton said in a statement Monday that additional forensic analysis had found that the Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and names of two individuals were made available to the hackers after they breached the SEC’s corporate filing system known as EDGAR. The agency is reaching out to those people and offering them identity theft protection services. Clayton had previously said no personally identifiable information had been accessed in the breach, which occurred in 2016. In his statement Monday, Clayton said the agency was still working to determine if additional individuals’ information may have been compromised. In addition, Clayton said the SEC is immediately hiring additional staff and outside technology consultants to review and improve its existing cybersecurity policies and practices. The agency is also reviewing its use of EDGAR, including reviewing the types of data companies can submit to it, as well as whether that database is the appropriate mechanism for gathering that sort of information.

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U.S. Escalates Response to Mystery Attacks on Staff in Cuba

U.S. Escalates Response to Mystery Attacks on Staff in Cuba – Cuba and The United States

Only days ago, the United States and Cuba maintained dozens of diplomats in newly re-opened embassies in Havana and Washington, powerful symbols of a warming relationship between longtime foes. Now both countries are poised to cut their embassies by more than half, as uncanny, unexplained attacks threaten delicate ties between the Cold War rivals. The Trump administration will ask Cuba on Tuesday to withdraw 60 percent of its diplomats from the U.S., officials have confirmed to CBS News. The request will come on the heels of last week's U.S. move to cut its own embassy staff in Havana by a similar proportion. A source familiar with the plans tells CBS News most of the Cuban officials asked to leave are known Cuban intelligence officers in the U.S., based in both Washington D.C. and New York. Not all of those asked to leave are "accredited diplomats" the American official said.

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