Translate

6/15/17

Maritime & Port ISAO & Wapack Labs Advance Maritime & Port Critical Infrastructure Cyber Resilience

TITUSVILLE, Fla. - May 15, 2017 -  The Maritime and Port Security Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (MPS-ISAO) and Wapack Labs announce today a collaborative partnership to advance real-time access to sector-specific cyber threat intelligence for Maritime & Port owners and operators and the supply chains that support them.

The MPS-ISAO, a non-profit organization, officially launched in May 2016, is dedicated to a mission of enabling and sustaining Maritime & Port cyber resilience. This is accomplished through the availability of MPS-ISAO real-time cyber threat intelligence including Maritime & Port community contributed information and multi-directional (cross-sector) information sharing and coordinated response working in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the International Association of Certified ISAOs (IACI), and academic, technology and security strategic collaborative partners.

The partnership announced today with Wapack Labs expands access to sector-specific cyber intelligence, analysis of community data via strict information sharing protocols, and response capabilities for Maritime & Port stakeholders and their supply chains.

Deborah Kobza, MPS-ISAO Executive Director states, "The Maritime & Port sector is increasingly vulnerable and actively being attacked by a variety of adversaries including nation states, organized crime, hacktivists and insider threats focused on espionage, human trafficking, financial gain, supply chain disruption, identity and intellectual property theft, or to gain a competitive advantage. Many physical and cyber systems used in ports and maritime, such as navigation/GPS, physical security, communication, energy, environmental controls, industrial control systems (ICS), emergency controls, operations, cargo tracking, terminal operations, and cruise transportation, represent cyber attack targets. This partnership with Wapack Labs advances the capability of Maritime & Port stakeholders to move from a reactive to proactive cyber resilience stance."

Wapack Labs joined the MPS-ISAO's invitation-only webinar in March, "Interconnectedness in the Maritime Industry? First Let Me Tell You a Story.", to present their private research which identified a financially motivated cyber adversary who has compromised thousands of port and maritime organizations and over a million user accounts. The MPS-ISAO and Wapack Labs will use this cyber intelligence research as a jumping-off point to increase industry awareness and protection.

Christy Coffey, Director of Strategic Alliances, adds, "Wapack Labs is a perfectly suited partner for the MPS-ISAO. Their unique combination of cyber threat intelligence production with deep maritime and ports roots increases the level of early threat awareness that we can provide to our stakeholders. Wapack Labs have been tracking adversaries targeting this industry for a few years now, and so having them on our watch provides immediate gains."

Wapack Labs' bolsters the MPS-ISAO's ability to deliver Cyber Intelligence as a combination of industry-specific and personalized cyber threat intelligence, shared multi-directional sector and cross-sector information, advanced analytics, coordinated response, and training on topics of high interest. By participating in the MPS-ISAO, Maritime & Port stakeholders grow their understanding of vulnerabilities and risk so that they can proactively protect their organizations.

"We are excited to be working with the MPS-ISAO", said Jeffery Stutzman, a co-founder and CEO for Wapack Labs. It's imperative that we elevate cyber awareness in this important industry, and get ahead of threat actors. The MPS-ISAO - with the help of Wapack Labs' Cyber Threat Analysis Center (CTAC) are force multipliers - real game changers in Maritime and Port industry cybersecurity."

A 2016 report published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis (DHS/OCIA), "Consequences to Seaport Operations From Malicious Cyber Activity", states that a "cyber attack at a port or aboard a ship could result in lost cargo, port disruptions, and physical and environmental damage", and a disruption to U.S. ports can have a cascading affect to "Critical Manufacturing, Commercial Facilities, Food and Agriculture, Energy, Chemical, and Transportation Systems". This report includes a "Seaport Economics" section that details economic data points associated with sea trade.

About the MPS-ISAO: Headquartered at the Global Situational Awareness Center (GSAC) at NASA/Kennedy Space Center, the MPS-ISAO is private sector-led working in collaboration with government to advance Port and Maritime cyber resilience. The core mission to enable and sustain a safe, secure and resilient Maritime and Port Critical Infrastructure through security situational intelligence, bi-directional information sharing, coordinated response, and best practice adoption supported by role-based education. The MPS-ISAO is a founding member of the International Association of Certified ISAOs (IACI). More information at: www.mpsisao.org.

About Wapack Labs Corporation: Wapack Labs located in New Boston, NH is a privately held cyber intelligence company delivering in-depth strategic cyber threat activities, intelligence, analysis, reporting and indicators. Products are delivered through collaborative portals, private messaging and email, in multiple human readable and machine-to-machine form. Since 2011, Wapack Labs' have focused on tracking and profiling cyber adversaries, their tools, targets, attack methods, and delivering to subscribers in a way that can be quickly applied to the protection of computers, networks, and business operations. More information at: www.wapacklabs.com.

5/19/17

Jackson’s “One Lake” project: Pearl River flow and nutrient pollution problems

Picayune Item Staff Report:

There is a pending permit application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dam the Pearl River and build a 1,500 acre lake in the Jackson, Mississippi metro-area. The proposed “One Lake” project is moving rapidly and begs for close scrutiny from all interests that rely on the Pearl River to safely and legally discharge their regulated wastewater.   
In Mississippi alone, 98 industries, businesses and municipalities have wastewater discharge permits affecting the Pearl River and its tributaries. Twenty municipal sewage plants depend on the Pearl River in Mississippi. Jackson, West Rankin, Picayune, Poplarville and Columbia are capable of a combined discharge of 92.5 million gallons per day of treated sewage. Terry, Byram, Mendenhall, New Hebron and Monticello, combined, can add another 1.5 million gallons per day. 
In Louisiana there are dozens of permit holders in Washington and St. Tammany Parishes, including Bogalusa International Paper mill, and the towns of Bogalusa, and Pearl River. They all need stable flows and adequate dilution on the Pearl and its tributaries.
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) issues permits requiring permit holders to treat their wastewater before releasing it into the Pearl or a tributary. Because there are other sources of wastewater going into the Pearl, like runoff from parking lots, farms and septic systems, the Pearl River is on the MDEQ Impaired Waters List. Too much nitrogen and phosphorus is ending up in the Pearl, so limits on the amount of these pollutants put into the Pearl have been written into permits held by industry, business and municipalities.  Too much of nitrogen and phosphorus compounds cause excess algae and plankton to grow, and too much algae and plankton choke the life out of a river.  Abundant algae and plankton growth, plus high summer temperatures rob the water of oxygen and can cause fish kills.  Permit limits for nitrogen and phosphorus manage this risk to public health and the environment, but they also add costs to permit holders, which are passed on to customers and taxpayers.
There must also be adequate water in a receiving stream to mix with and dilute the wastewater. Pollutant limits are important, but so is the flow of the river where the waste mixture is being released.  Permit holders run into problems when stream flows are reduced and proper waste dilution isn’t possible.  Reduced flows in our rivers happen each summer and fall when rainfall amounts are seasonally low. But there are other threats to flow, like the kind of dam being proposed for the Pearl.  Dams threaten to limit flow, and limiting flow makes it tough to comply with wastewater discharge permits. The Pearl River is under such a threat now.
On top of limiting flow with a dam, the surface area of an impounded lake evaporates much more water than the surface of a flowing river. More evaporation can affect flow and the dilution of pollutants. In 2013, the St. Tammany Parish engineering department examined evaporation predictions for this 1,500 acre lake project and calculated a possible reduction of 90 cubic feet per second of flow at their end of the Pearl River. That kind of reduction can have a significant impact on permits, and on the health of the river downstream.
With water being evaporated now off of the Barnett Reservoir, and more evaporative loss from the surface of a second lake, the permit holders downstream should consider how a new lake will affect them.
The “One Lake” sponsors claim that harmful changes to flow from a new lake and dam won’t hurt downstream interests on the Pearl.  But once 1,500 acres are dredged, dammed and developed, it will be too late. The Drainage District sponsoring the project received permission from Congress to self-fund the required studies and environmental impact statements. This “self- funding” involved state money:  the Mississippi Development Authority provided a $1 million Industry Incentive grant in 2013.   Downstream permit holders must do their homework and closely examine the draft Environmental Impact Statement and feasibility studies that are expected to come out in the next few weeks. More changes in Pearl River flow will make complying with permit limits more difficult and more expensive. The Pearl River needs restoration, not more dams.
By Andrew E. Whitehurst
Water Program Director
Gulf Restoration Network
Reprinted with permission from the Picayune Item