Category: NATIONAL NEWS

Mohave County Prepared for Ebola Outbreak

Supervisor Buster Johnson attended several meetings this past week with healthcare providers, emergency management personal and local law enforcement from around the county to discuss what an Ebola outbreak would look like should one arise in Mohave County.  “Although every city has a plan in place for a disaster, if an outbreak of Ebola were to occur the statutory responsibility would automatically be transferred to our Mohave County Health Department Director Patty Mead,” Supervisor Johnson stated.  “The County’s Health Department and Emergency Management Division have practiced many times for a pandemic, but an Ebola outbreak would involve many key players from around the county,” Johnson continued. According to Johnson, the meetings put together by the County’s Health Department involved first responders, hospital staff, doctors and the county’s Emergency Management Division.  “These meetings brought everyone together to update them on the latest information from the Center for Disease Control and the Texas incident and also to review our plan,” Johnson stated.  “With a virus like Ebola, health officials have to worry about more than just treatment of the patient.  They also have to protect the general public along with putting protocols in place to ensure the safety of our first responders so they can continue to provide service to the community,” Johnson explained.  The Mohave County Health Department has plans in place for the quarantine along with plans to ensure...

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Mandatory “Black Boxes” Can Track a Driver’s Every Move

On September 1, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) quietly approved a new regulation that requires automakers to install event data recorders (EDRs) in all new vehicles.  According to the NHTSA, EDRs are essentially a car’s “black box” that record information related to vehicle crashes or accidents.  “The amount of data that these devices can record is astonishing,” Supervisor Buster Johnson stated.  Although roughly 96% of all car manufactures already install these black boxes on new vehicles, Supervisor Johnson is concerned that there isn’t enough safe guards put into place to protect the data that is produced from these boxes.  “If we are going to mandate EDRs, there needs to be regulations put into place so the information obtained through them are not used to harm the American people,” Johnson said. EDRs were first introduced to the auto industry in the early 1970s.  General Motors installed them into airbags to capture information on why airbags deployed.  It wasn’t until the late 1990’s that the NHTSA completed a study to see what further information could be compiled from these devices.  EDRs became popular in the early 2000s when car manufactures started developing full-fledged “black boxes” to capture more data from various places throughout the car not just the airbag.  Numerous attempts have been made to enact legislation that would mandate EDRs.  In fact, the NHTSA held back on mandating...

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Supervisor Johnson Warns of Spying through Android Based Flashlight Apps

 Supervisor Buster Johnson would like to warn the public of a new cyber threat affecting mobile devices.  According to a threat assessment report done by SnoopWall, an international counter surveillance security software company, the top 10 free flashlight apps in Android’s Google Play store contain malware that allow hackers to spy and gather personal information.  “Nearly half a billion installations of these apps have occurred causing major concern,” Supervisor Johnson, 1st Vice Chairman of the National Association of Counties Cyber Security Task Force Team, stated.  “While these apps may be a great convenience for users who need to find their house keys in the dark, they are posing a great security threat to every user who installs them,” Johnson continued. According to the report, users who install these apps are unknowingly giving hacker’s permission to locate them through GPS, read their personal information stored on the device, view personal photos and videos and even gain access to their financial information.  “Users who have installed the flashlight app and do mobile banking through their device are at a greater risk for exposure because of the vulnerability found in these apps,” Johnson said.  According to SnoopWall CEO, Gary Miliefsky, the average size of a flashlight app should be no more than 72 kilobytes.  The size of these flashlight apps are ranging anywhere from 1.2 to 5 megabytes.  “These hackers are embedding...

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Buster Johnson’s Cyber Security Tip of the Day: Creating a Secure Password

Developing good password practices will help keep your personal information and identity more secure. Below are some suggestions for developing better passwords:   Passwords should have at least eight characters and include upper case (capital letters) and lowercase letters, numerals and symbols. Avoid common words: some hackers use programs that try every word in the dictionary. Don’t use personal information such as your name, children’s name, birthdates, etc. that someone might already know or could easily obtain. Change passwords regularly — at least every 90 days. If you believe you system has been compromised change passwords immediately. Use different passwords for each online account you access (or at least a variety of passwords). If you must write down passwords, under no circumstances should you store them in a document on your computer. Keep them in a secure location away from your...

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Buster Johnson’s Cyber Security Tip: Encrypt Your Data

With major data breaches being reported all too frequently, organizations are now placing increased emphasis on security of personal, private and sensitive information. One method of increasing security is through data encryption. Encryption is the process of scrambling a message or data so that no one but the sender and the intended recipient can read it. Encryption solutions generally encompass two types: hardware and software. Examples of hardware encryption include a pre-encrypted USB device or hard drive; software encryption consists of a program installed on a machine that encrypts some or all of the data on the system.  A variety of encryption tools are available on online.  It is important to note that any solution you implement should be compliant with accepted industry standards. It is recommended that you should minimally employ a 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) solution. For more information on data encryption, please check out the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center website at: http://msisac.cisecurity.org/newsletters/documents/2012-09MSISAC.pdf...

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