Hass and Associates: Missile Attack on Syria

The cyberattacks carried out by Syria last week were much more broad than initially reported, and they amounted to a warning shot of the retaliation the U.S. could expect if it should attack. Subsequent attacks would most likely go after U.S. infrastructure, and given how fragile it is and the likelihood Iran or North Korea would help out, the result could be massive.


As I write this, the U.S. has deployed a battle group to Syria in preparation for a missile strike against the government there, and Russia has deployed what appears to be a counter force. What most seem not to be factoring in is that Syria has already fired its warning shot with attacks on Twitter and The New York Times, at least.


I say “at least,” because reporting of attacks isn’t comprehensive, and other attempts may have failed, so Syria’s first strike may have been far larger than initially reported. (Download)


The U.S. has a tendency to overreact, and it is clear there’s insufficient preparation for the infrastructure collapse that could occur when Syria responds to a missile attack — and Russia exists as a wild card that could cause the conflict to spread rapidly out of control.


It’s been common knowledge for some time that the U.S. infrastructure is vulnerable to outside attack and that governments like Syria and China have been probing it and probably know exactly where and how to do the most damage. There’s a very real likelihood that this time the U.S. won’t go unscathed, and it may be prudent to have a plan in place should things go very, very wrong. Details


For Taiwan Highlights Need For Open Source Data About Disasters



Taiwan is bracing for Typhoon Soulik, which is scheduled to hit the island country late Friday. The arrival of the storm–now classified as a super typhoon–coincides with Google’s launch of Public Alerts for Taiwan yesterday. Severe weather alerts for typhoons and floods, and evacuation instructions if necessary, will appear on the page as well as on Google Search, Google Maps and Google Now on smartphones.


Google.org engineering director Eric Chu says the launch of Google Public Alerts for Taiwan just days before the anticipated arrival of Typhoon Soulik was a coincidence, as the company’s goal had been to make it available in time for typhoon season from mid-summer to early fall. Google.org’s goal is to encourage governments to adopt international standards of Web data such as the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) for publishing and sharing alerts and the Keyhole Markup Language (KML) for geographic data.


Hass Associates Online Cyber Review


After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Google.org Crisis Response Team begin to look at the process of gathering and sharing data about natural disasters from official sources. A key challenge is that government agencies is often store information in closed formats like PDF files or JPEG images, making it difficult for researchers to share and analyze data.


Taiwan is the second Asian country after Japan to get Public Alerts, Google’s open data platform for emergency alerts and disaster information, which launched in the U.S. in January 2012 and is also available in Canada.


Hass Associates Cyber Security


In 2009, residents of southern Taiwan were caught off-guard by the unexpected severity of Typhoon Morakot, which resulted in more than 500 deaths. The government was heavily criticized for its slow response, especially in rural areas where entire villages were swept away by landslides.