Interfor’s Weekly Security & Covid Digest – January 24, 2023
Global Security Matters
- Eleven people were killed and ten injured in a mass shooting inside a Monterey Park dance studio in Torrence, CA. The attack occurred on Lunar New Year’s Eve close to where thousands gathered for the Lunar New Year festival. Authorities are still not clear on a possible motive for the attack but are investigating an incident that occurred 20 minutes after the shooting at another dance studio where the attacker was fought off. Authorities announced that the shooter was 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot.
- At least five people were killed and sixteen injured in a bomb attack near the Mogadishu Mayor’s office. Al Shabaab fighters set off the bomb and then stormed a government building housing the mayor’s office. Al Shabaab has increased its attacks since August, when President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s government launched an offensive against the group.
- A study found that threat actors are most likely targeting media apps. The testing company Software Secured found that apps used in media are more than four times as likely than the average to have critical vulnerabilities. The study also found that attacks using malicious code to manipulate databases rose 250% in 2022. Software Secured’s study highlights that the media industry is the most vulnerable to cyberattacks.
- The US Department of Defense announced a new aid package to Ukraine valued at $2.5 billion. The newest military aid package includes dozens of armored vehicles, ammunition, and air defense systems. The package will provide Ukraine with additional armored capability and help Ukraine counter a range of threats to its air defense.
- Pakistan was hit by a major power cut. After a breakdown of its national grid, millions in major cities such as Karachi and Islamabad were left without electricity. The power minister attributed it to frequency variations in southern Pakistan. Due to the power cut, rapid transit trains in Lahore and the driverless Orange Line metro were suspended.
Total Deaths: 6,716,108 (1,099,866 in United States)
US Hospitalization Rate: 13 % decrease in the past week
- The US marks three years since its first Covid-19 case was confirmed.
- In his New Year address, China’s President Xi Jinping admitted that its recent Covid surge had been fierce and fast. It is estimated that 80% of China’s population has been infected with the virus, yet Chinese health officials confirmed only about 80,000 Covid-19 deaths.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to consider an annual schedule for a coronavirus vaccine, akin to how flu vaccines are administered.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) said there is no evidence that Covid-19 mRNA vaccines increase the risk of strokes in older people, responding to recent concerns about the safety of the mRNA booster shots.
- Japan announced plans to downgrade the legal status of Covid-19 to the equivalent of seasonal influenza in the spring, a move that would further relax mask wearing and other preventive measures as the country seeks to return to normalcy.
- Hong Kong will scrap its mandatory isolation rule for people infected with Covid-19 as part of its strategy of return to normalcy.
- U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories
- CISA: nation-state cybersecurity threats and other resources for cybersecurity matters.
- CDC Covid-19 Travel Guidelines
- CDC Covid-19 facts page
- Our most recent blog post looks at the LastPass breach and what it means for the future of password managers.
Check out this Op-ed in The Hill about the George Santos due diligence failures, penned by our own Don Aviv and Jeremy Hurewitz.