Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Short Takes – 12-12-23

FBI: Cyberattack against Aliquippa water authority was a targeted 'escalation' on overlooked technology. PostGazette.com article. Pull quote: “Full Pint Beer, the brewery affected by the Dec. 1 hack, manually overrode its PLC control system to keep its beer cold after the attack. The Aliquippa water authority took similar swift action to make sure water kept flowing to nearby townships.” A cyber attack on a brewery??? This means war…. (sigh).

Parts of Europe’s Chemical Sector May Hibernate This Winter. ChemicalESG.com article. Pull quote: “But in some corners of Europe’s chemical sector, including in Germany, there’s talk of way more extreme measures under consideration; where companies have to close down a plant for months, not days. And the rumblings about such a drastic action are not just about the odd company here or there.” There are all sorts of chemical safety and security implications here.

DHS seeks information for CISA analytics and machine learning project. FedScoop.com article. Pull quote: “In a fact sheet published in April, CISA said CAP-M’s artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities would ideally provide the agency with improved situational awareness and decision-making tools for cyber and infrastructure security missions, in addition to better preparedness in the face of evolving threats.” Response deadline: January 5th, 2024.

US Department of Labor cites Cartersville chemical manufacturer after 52-year-old employee suffers fatal burns. OSHA.gov press release. “Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined the Chemical Products Corp. employee — on the job just two months — opened an air intake valve to inspect a noise coming from a barium sulfide wash cone with a steam line that was left open the day before. A rush of cold air in the steam line created a bubble that pushed up heated sludge onto the worker, causing fatal burns. A second worker suffered second-degree burns across their upper body.”

Lawrence Livermore and Bay Area startup demonstrate large-scale, cryo-compressed hydrogen storage system for heavy-duty transportation. Newswise.com article.  Pull quote: “The system is compact enough that it can fit where diesel tanks are typically installed on a Class 8 truck--on the side of the truck between the wheels. In addition to a different tank design, the components and functionality were enhanced to handle this larger volume.

Blue Origin announces space launch next week, first since 2022 crash. Phys.org article. Pull quote: “The [FAA accident investigation] report said failure of an engine nozzle caused by higher-than-expected engine operating temperatures caused the New Shepard rocket to fall back to the ground shortly after liftoff, even as the capsule carrying research experiments escaped and floated safely back to Earth.

Harry Coker confirmed as White House cyber director. Politico.com article. Pull quote: “Why it could be hard: Coker comes to the role amid mounting conservative backlash to the Biden administration’s cybersecurity and disinformation efforts — which a growing number of Republicans allege has become a smokescreen to censor conservative voices online.”

Offshore Platform Tote Drain Nozzles At Risk. ISSSource.com article. Pull quote: “These incidents underscore the critical need for heightened awareness and precautions during lifting operations involving tote tanks. To ensure the safety of personnel, equipment, and the environment, it is imperative to implement necessary measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future.”

Agency Information Collection Activities: ReadySetCyber Initiative Questionnaire. Federal Register CISA 30-day ICR Notice. Collection background: “Consistent with CISA's authorities to “carry out comprehensive assessments of the vulnerabilities of the key resources and critical infrastructure of the United States” at 6 U.S.C. 652(e)(1)(B) and provide Federal and non-Federal entities with “operational and timely technical assistance” at 6 U.S.C. 659(c)(6) and “recommendation on security and resilience measures” at 6 U.S.C. 659(c)(7), CSD VM's ReadySetCyber initiative will collect information in order to provide tailored technical assistance, services and resources to critical infrastructure organizations from all 16 critical infrastructure sectors based on the maturity of their respective cybersecurity programs.” 

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