TSA checkpoint at Capital Region International Airport gets new credential authentication technology unit

A credential authentication technology (CAT) unit has been installed and is in use at the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Capital Region International Airport (LAN).

“The new credential authentication technology unit enhances our detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent ID documents and improves the passenger’s experience by increasing efficiency during the checkpoint experience,” said Michigan TSA Federal Security Director Steve Lorincz. “The CAT unit also reduces touchpoints at the checkpoint, which benefits both officers and travelers during this pandemic.”

Passengers will approach the travel document checking station at the checkpoint and listen to the instructions of the TSA officer, who will insert the personal identification into the scanner for authentication.

Passengers will not have to hand over their boarding pass (electronic or paper), thus reducing a touchpoint. Instead, they should have their boarding pass ready in the event that the TSA officer requests visual inspection. The CAT unit will verify that the traveler is prescreened to travel out of the airport for a flight that day; however, a boarding pass may be requested for travelers under the age of 18 and/or those without IDs or with damaged IDs.

“We are pleased that TSA is taking steps to enhance the technology to ensure the safety and security of our travelers here at the Capital Region International Airport (LAN),” said Nicole Noll-Williams, president and CEO of the Capital Region Airport Authority.

Even with TSA’s use of CAT, travelers still need to check-in with their airline in advance and bring their boarding pass to their gate agent to show the airline representative before boarding their flight.

This technology will enhance detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent documents at the security checkpoint. CAT units authenticate several thousand types of IDs including passports, military common access cards, retired military ID cards, Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler ID cards, uniformed services ID cards, permanent resident cards, U.S. visas, and driver’s licenses and photo IDs issued by state motor vehicle departments.

EU mobilises planes to tackle forest fires

Turkey, ravaged by unprecedented forest fires, activated the EU Civil Protection Mechansim. In an immediate response, the European Commission has already helped mobilise 1 Canadair plane from Croatia and 2 Canadairs from Spain. These firefighting aeroplanes are part of rescEU, the European reserve of civil protection assets.
Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said: "The EU stands in full solidarity with Turkey at this very difficult time. I thank all the countries which have offered help. Our thoughts are with the Turkish people who have lost their loved ones and with the brave first responders who are doing their best to battle the deadly fires. We stand ready to provide further assistance."
In response to Italy's request for assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to help in the fight against the ongoing wildfires in Sardinia, the EU is mobilising immediate support from France and Greece.
France and Greece are deploying two aerial forest firefighting planes (Canadair) each. The planes offered by France come from the European Civil Protection Pool, whereas the ones offered by Greece are part of the rescEU assets.
The wildfires have hit the area of Montiferru, in the centre-west of the island following high temperatures. Initial reports indicate that over 4,000 hectares have been burnt and 355 people evacuated.
The European Union's 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre is in regular contact with the Turkish authorities to closely monitor the situation and channe the EU assistance.

Digital solutions enhance seafarer safety

From time immemorial, seafarers and ships have provided vital links to keep the world connected.
Even today, as digital transformation brings far-flung communities together amid the COVID-19 pandemic, maritime trade and transport remain central elements in global connectivity.
Seafarers and their demanding missions, meanwhile, are changing with the times.
Connecting mariners to the rest of the world and providing them with the best technologies and services to keep them safe at sea is of utmost importance.
Connected seafarers
More and more connected ships mean increasingly huge amounts of data. Most importantly, we must ensure that nobody is left behind. In the maritime sector, this means helping seafarers understand the latest information and communication technologies (ICTs) well enough to extract real value from the resulting data.
Gathering and analyzing data in intelligent ways makes all of us in the maritime business more effective in our missions. I have seen firsthand how ICT adoption can help to build a safer and fairer work environment for seafarers, address global environmental concerns including warming oceans, biodiversity loss and rising sea levels, and, of course, optimize maritime fleet performance.
To take one example, key shipboard data can be transmitted securely thanks to emerging technologies like distributed ledgers.
At the same time, access to satellite data while at sea has never been easier. Seafarers can capture deep insights through a new-generation interface with their equipment. Ultimately, satellite-based meteorology has vastly improved our knowledge of the seas.
For those in peril
Safety has always been priority number one for seafarers. Yet the perils of the harsh maritime working environment are never far away. ICT uptake and standardization have greatly improved seafarer safety in recent years, with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) making vital contributions in this regard.
Take, for example, the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), the internationally agreed set of safety procedures, frequencies, types of equipment, and communication protocols developed by ITU and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). GMDSS has been saving lives for over 30 years now. It came as an especially welcome innovation back in 1988.
Today, ITU’s Maritime Manual, List IV (List of Coast Stations and Special Service Stations) and List V (List of Ship Stations and Maritime Mobile Service Identity Assignments) remain highly reliable sources of industry information. They equip our seafaring colleagues to anticipate navigational concerns and ultimately help bring ships and crews home safe and sound.
After many years of travelling the oceans, I appreciate the value of practical tech of seaborne users. My wish to leverage digital solutions and design user-first services is what led me to the next stage of my career. Now, at Opsealog, my mission is to provide crews and shore staff with dedicated tools and accurate advice for the best use of resources.
Evolving technologies, meanwhile, keep unlocking new possibilities. I can’t wait to help create the next generation digital tools for our beautiful maritime industry.
[source: ITU]

CISA and FBI Launch Operation Flashpoint to Raise Awareness about How to Prevent Bomb Making

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced a new pilot program called “Operation Flashpoint” to build awareness in communities across the U.S. about how to prevent bomb attacks.
At the pilot’s launch today at Revell Ace Hardware in Clinton, Miss., CISA and FBI officials highlighted the threat posed by domestic violent extremists and others who can build improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from common household items found at retail stores across the country. Approximately 250,000 businesses in the U.S. sell, use or distribute materials that can be used to build bombs.
IEDs pose a significant threat in the U.S. In 2020 alone, there were 2,061 total bomb threat, suspicious package and device-related incidents across the nation, according to CISA’s Office for Bombing Prevention TRIPwire report. Major bombings can cause mass casualty events and cost hundreds of millions of dollars or more.
The 90-day Operation Flashpoint pilot, which will include events in other cities including Columbia, S.C.; Louisville, Ky.; and Orlando/Tampa, Fla., encourages businesses and the public to voluntarily report suspicious activities, such as buying large amounts of chemicals and materials (or a combination of these) that can be used to build bombs.
“Operation Flashpoint is a major milestone in implementing U.S. policy to thwart bomb threats,” said Dr. David Mussington, Executive Assistant Director for CISA’s Infrastructure Security Division. “It shows the strong unity in the federal government, between the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, to safeguard citizens and critical infrastructure.”

TSA Could Better Monitor Its Efforts to Reduce Infectious Disease Spread at Checkpoints

Within TSA, approximately 46,000 TSOs stationed across the nation's commercial airports perform screening and other activities that often require close interaction with passengers. As a result, both passengers and TSOs may be at an increased risk of infection during pandemics such as COVID-19.
The CARES Act included a provision for GAO to conduct monitoring and oversight of the federal government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This report identifies 1) what steps TSA has taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at passenger screening checkpoints; and 2) how TSA is monitoring TSOs' implementation of amended safety and screening procedures, among other objectives.
GAO analyzed TSA data on TSOs' use of paid leave, reviewed documentation on policies and procedures, and interviewed TSA officials at headquarters and eight U.S. airports. We selected these airports to reflect diversity in the number of COVID-19 cases among TSOs, airport size, and geographic region. In addition, for six of these airports, GAO reviewed closed circuit television footage to observe how TSOs were implementing COVID-19 procedural changes.
To reduce the spread of COVID-19 at passenger checkpoints, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials issued amended safety measures to require that Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) use surgical masks and face shields, change gloves after pat-downs, and physically distance themselves from coworkers and passengers as practicable. TSA also adjusted some screening procedures, such as asking passengers to remove more items from carry-on baggage to reduce the potential for alarms that require bag searches. In addition, TSA modified the use of certain checkpoint screening technologies, and granted TSOs additional paid leave. In January 2021, TSA began an employee vaccination program, and is in the process of vaccinating TSA employees, including TSOs.
TSA's monitoring and analysis of its measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is limited. For example, supervisors' operational checklists do not specifically include the revised COVID-19 procedures, and the data that TSO monitors collect (e.g., on whether TSOs are properly wearing masks or changing gloves) reflect implementation at a point in time rather than throughout a shift. Conducting more complete monitoring would help TSA ensure that its TSOs are properly implementing COVID-19 procedures. In addition, TSA field leadership analyzes available monitoring data for different subsets of airports to understand how COVID-19 procedures are being implemented. However, TSA headquarters officials said they had no plans at the time of our review to analyze this data across all airports nationwide to identify common implementation problems, such as incorrectly wearing face shields and challenges with maintaining physical distance. Analyzing monitoring data across all airports would help TSA identify and address any system-wide deficiencies in implementing COVID-19 procedures, so that it may better protect its workforce and the traveling public.

European Parliamentarians set out to strengthen disaster resilience

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Regional Office for Europe and UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Ms. Mami Mizutori, together with Members of the European Parliament Ms. Sirpa Pietikäinen, Ms. Lídia Pereira and Ms. Monica Silvana Gonzalez, held a discussion on building greater resilience in Europe and beyond.

Members of the European Parliament play a key role in leading the change towards a resilient future in the face of growing climate impacts felt worldwide. This is important as the latest figures show that in the last 20 years both the number of recorded disasters and resulting economic losses almost doubled. The discussion highlighted the urgent need to invest in prevention to save lives and looked at how the EU is actively implementing the Sendai Framework priorities.

MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen highlighted that comparing the cost of investing in disaster risk reduction (DRR) to that of inaction is crucial to understand the importance of investing in prevention. A science-based approach should be adopted when it comes to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (Sendai Framework).

MEP Lídia Pereira emphasised that economic growth needs to address climate adaptation and disaster resilience. Infrastructure investments in particular need to be resilient. With the $80 trillion to be invested in infrastructure globally, the investments must go through a robust screening process to ensure they are disaster resilient.

MEP Monica Silvana Gonzalez underlined that people and communities can better resist disasters if the risk of their occurrence and vulnerabilities to impacts are reduced, a point she stresses in her report on the impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations in developing countries. She further noted that a greater commitment to the Sendai Framework is necessary and that it is important to look at how EU resources can be better invested in disaster risk reduction.

MEP Dragoș Pîslaru, from his point of view as rapporteur of the EU recovery instrument to COVID 19 (Recovery and Resilient Facility), reflected that the Sendai Framework is important for recovery policies and noted that it is important to cooperate to make sure we are better prepared in the future.

Ms. Mami Mizutori, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for DRR, emphasized that now is the moment when we can put words into action, to build a more resilient future, so that every decision you make in forming policies and investing are risk-informed and have a “think resilience” approach. The participating Members of the European Parliament all expressed support to continue this momentum and work together towards building a more resilient future.

Autonomous driving systems: A long road ahead

Substantive regulatory progress has been made since last year, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic that paralyzed supply chains in some industries around the world and shifted the mobility landscape considerably.
Still, progress towards fully autonomous driving has been slow. Five levels have been established within the industry for assisted, automated and autonomous driving. Fully autonomous driving is represented by only Level 5.
SAE levels of automation
Here are the top three takeaways from the recent Symposium on the Future Networked Car 2021:
1. Regulatory efforts are advancing in preparation for Autonomous Driving Systems (ADS)
The past year has seen considerable progress at the global, regional and national levels. The shared nature of most transport infrastructure and automotive supply chains means that common standards and interoperability in the manufacture and communication capabilities of different types of vehicles will be vital.
At the global level, two new regulations were introduced recently from United Nations’ Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on Cybersecurity (UN Regulation 155) and Software Updates (UN Regulation 156). A new UN Regulation 157 on Automated Lane Keeping Systems for highly automated driving up to 60 kph on motorways was recently approved.
Regulatory preparedness is mostly being developed at the regional level, with vehicle type approval, product liability and general product safety, and roadworthiness tests developed by the European Union and also in the Asia-Pacific region.
At the national level, developments include liability, traffic rules, regulatory mandates, trials, and infrastructure. For example, Finland has authorized Level 5 driving, and Germany has already authorized the use of automated vehicles on its motorways.
2. Fully Autonomous Driving Systems (ADS) are still a long way off
Currently, mainly only Level 2 vehicles are available on the market (other than autonomous shuttles and an autonomous taxi service operating in Phoenix, Arizona, the United States since October 2020). However, Honda recently announced its first Level 3 driving system, due to be launched later this year.
The car industry, highways agencies and transport regulators are working together to overcome the significant challenges introduced by autonomous driving. Chief among these are safety considerations – and what constitutes ‘acceptable risk’ for car occupants, as well as the broader public.
Data challenges also persist, from the capture and preservation of data to its interpretation and protection. Improving the physical environment with markers to make a more intelligent environment for automated, let alone autonomous, vehicles is another challenge, as well as collaboration that would enable intelligent vehicles to function across borders.
Other major challenges include the introduction of self-learning artificial intelligence (AI) systems in automated driving systems, as well as cybersecurity considerations – how to prevent unauthorized or illegal intrusions into connected cars or their networks.
3. The communication and data demands of ADS will be enormous
The changes driven by the advent of ADS are many and large. Even cars already on the road today are said to be running over 150 million lines of code. Many participants emphasized the changes needed in physical infrastructure, such as 5G masts and improved road markings, as well as the information needs and data demands, for mapping and object identification, for instance.
5G will be instrumental in improving automated driving and its communication needs like smart parking, but also V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) and V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) communications. A host of innovations and improvements are needed throughout the vehicle ecosystem to help create an optimal real-world environment for automated driving systems. ITU is working with all stakeholders to help realize these innovations in the interests of smarter and safer mobility.
[Source: ITU]

IAEA Helps Romania Enhance Exercises on Transport Security

Strengthening the security of nuclear and other radioactive material in transport, and developing practical skills for planning, conducting and evaluating transport security exercises was the focus of a recent IAEA workshop held in Romania.
“Nuclear and other radioactive material is regularly transported from one place to another for various uses, such as for medical applications, agriculture, nuclear power and scientific research,” said Elena Buglova, IAEA Director of Nuclear Security. “When this material is in transport, whether nationally or internationally, it is potentially vulnerable to security threats, for which we need to be vigilant.”
The four day workshop included classroom presentations and field demonstrations, as well as a virtual exercise in which participants watched a simulated event involving an attempted malicious interception of a vehicle transporting a radioactive source, and practiced evaluating the situation and developing an appropriate course of action in a realistic and interactive way. These actions included summoning additional response forces and executing evasive and protective maneuvers to prevent the adversaries from achieving their objective.
“Romania experiences a high number of nuclear and other radioactive material shipments both within and across its borders,” said Sorin Repanovici, Senior Expert at the Romanian National Commission for Nuclear Activities Control (CNCAN). “Ensuring that our response plans are effective and that all national stakeholders are fully trained to rapidly respond to a nuclear security event during the transport of these materials is of utmost importance.”
“By practicing scenarios during exercises and assessing our capabilities, we can establish good practices, as well as identify areas needing improvement, so we can then make targeted efforts to strengthen our national nuclear security regime,” he added.
It is estimated that worldwide, around 20 million shipments of radioactive materials are transported every year. The IAEA assists Member States to enhance their capabilities to help ensure both the safety and security of nuclear and other radioactive material during transport. Safety, in this context, refers to protecting the public from the radioactive contents of a package, whereas security refers to guarding nuclear and other radioactive material with locks, seals and other technologies and methods to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.
Nineteen participants from national stakeholder organizations involved in nuclear security took part in the workshop, including nuclear security response forces, the national regulator, and nuclear facility operators and carriers. Discussions focused on the need for robust coordination among stakeholders and the importance of conducting and learning from regular transport security exercises, in order to properly evaluate the readiness of response forces to deal with a nuclear security event during transport.
The workshop was conducted in a hybrid format, which included in-person presentations from local and IAEA instructors, as well as virtual contributions from experts in the United Kingdom and the United States. The Romanian Horia Hulubei National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering and the General Inspectorate of the Gendarmerie provided a practical demonstration of a radioactive material transport vehicle and the physical protection equipment used by response forces. The virtual transport security exercise was conducted remotely with the assistance of experts from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States, who used newly developed innovative exercise software to portray the hypothetical nuclear security event using advanced high-resolution satellite imagery.

ITU Handbook update: Wireless guidelines to support intelligent transport

As the world’s population approaches 8 billion, with more and more people migrating to ever-expanding cities, life and work are also becoming increasingly mobile.
But while these long-term trends can boost quality of life and create new communities, they also bring unprecedented traffic congestion, air pollution, and road safety challenges.
Managing these negative impacts calls for new levels of intelligence and responsiveness in the world’s transport systems.
Since most of us rely on some form of transport in our everyday lives, a tremendous number of people stand to benefit from smarter mobility.
What are ITS?
Intelligent transport systems (ITS) combine computers, communications, positioning, and automation technologies to improve the safety, management, and efficiency of terrestrial transportation.
Systems using wireless communications, sensors, and computer and control technologies are well placed to ease traffic congestion and reduce incidents. Communication standards ensure interoperability and make ITS easy for anyone to use.
Land Mobile Handbook updated
Growing ITS use increases the need for well-informed digital infrastructure planning, especially in relation to wireless-based land mobile systems. To strengthen decision-making in this area, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has published an updated volume of a key reference guide, the Handbook on Land Mobile (including Wireless Access), whose fourth volume deals with ITS.
The Handbook is designed to assist in training engineers and planners in regulating, planning, engineering, and deploying these systems, especially in developing countries.
The new Volume 4 replaces the 2006 edition. Development of the multi-volume Handbook began in the late 1990s, aiming to help developing countries build state-of-the-art land mobile services of all kinds.
The five volumes published to date are:
• Volume 1: Fixed Wireless Access
• Volume 2: Principles and Approaches on Evolution to IMT-2000
• Volume 3: Dispatch and Advanced Messaging Systems
• Volume 4: Intelligent Transport Systems
• Volume 5: Deployment of Broadband Wireless Access Systems
Volume 4 summarizes the current and developing use of wireless communications in ITS around the globe, including ITS architecture and applications. Despite rapid uptake, ITS remains in its infancy as a technology.
The new volume gives an overview of wireless communications used in ITS globally by 2020.
It also includes chapters on ITS applications, ITS communication architecture, radio technologies for ITS, and international and national standardization. The final chapter describes radio frequency usage for ITS systems.

Building a Resilient Railway Infrastructure

2021 has been chosen as the European Year of Rail by the European Commission. The European initiative aims to highlight the benefits of rail as a sustainable, smart and safe means of transport to support the delivery of its European Green Deal objectives in the transport field.
Cybersecurity is a key requirement to enable railways to deploy and take advantage of the full extent of a connected, digital environment.
However, European infrastructure managers and railway undertakings face a complex regulatory system that requires a deep understanding of operational cybersecurity actions. In addition, European rail is undergoing a major transformation of its operations, systems and infrastructure due to digitalisation, mass transit and, increasing interconnections. Therefore, the implementation of cybersecurity requirements is fundamental for the digital enhancement and security of the sector.
ENISA, the EU Agency for Cybersecurity, and ERA, the EU Agency for Railways, have joined forces to organise a virtual Conference on Rail Cybersecurity.
Policy
The European Commission has proposed the revision of the Network Information Security Directive (NIS2) to strengthen the cybersecurity measures to be adopted by the Member States and applied, among others, by European railway undertakings (RU) and infrastructure managers (IM).
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) also encourages awareness-raising of railway stakeholders by promoting the use of its Land Transport Security platform. A cybersecurity toolkit was also developed and shared with the participants. Cybersecurity is now a major concern for National Safety Authorities. The French rail safety authority, l’établissement public de sécurité ferroviaire (the EPSF) compiled the related challenges in a white paper, jointly with the French IM and main RU, the French Cybersecurity Agency, ANSSI and ERA.
Standardisation & Certification
The Working Group 26 of the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC) delivered the promising Technical Specification 50701 on cybersecurity for railways, now under review by the National Committees. A published version of the technical specification is expected before the summer. A voluntary reference to this standard will be made through the application guides developed by ERA. Railway stakeholders expect the technical specification to lay the foundations of a common risk analysis methodology. As demonstrated by the case study proposed by the Italian railway stakeholders, such methodology will link the security analysis to the safety case.
Research & Innovation
Shift2Rail the Joint Undertaking has gained maturity, and the Technical Demonstrator 2.11 on cybersecurity will soon demonstrate the applicability of their findings on specific projects such as Automatic Train Operation or Adaptable Communication Systems.
Technical interoperability standards for EU railway automation are being proposed for consideration in the railway regulatory framework, proposing "secure by design" shared railway services. In addition, The International Union of Railways (UIC), recently launched a Cyber Security Solution Platform, taking a pragmatic approach in building a solutions catalogue to risks and vulnerabilities identified by railway users.
Information Sharing & Cooperation
The European Railway-ISAC is attracting an increasing number of participants willing to share concerns or even vulnerabilities to trusted members and ensuring a collective response to the cybersecurity challenge. An open call by Shift2Rail, namely the 4SECURERAIL project, is developing a proposal for a European Computer Security Incident Response Team, allowing for identified threats to be instantly shared with targeted railway stakeholders.
With such developments, the railway industry, represented by the European Rail Industry Association (UNIFE), discussed how ready the sector is to increase the level of cybersecurity. UNIFE highlighted several priorities, such as: the approval and usage of the TS 50701, the need for adequate certification schemes on product level,the need for specific protection profiles on interface-specific devices and subsystems. This would allow for a more harmonized approach for manufacturers and system integrators.
Conclusions
The participants voted topics for future conferences and these include, among others:
- new technologies;
- cyber risk management for railways;
- cyber threat landscape;
- the update of Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI);
- cyber skills and training and cyber incident response.
Both agencies are paying very close attention to all the developments in the field of railway cybersecurity.
The success of the online conference of the last two days shows how railway stakeholders can benefit from close cooperation to ensure that both the cybersecurity and the railway regulatory framework are cross-fertilised.
1 2 3 4