2018 Winter Olympics Open, Officials Take Down Major Cybercrime Forum, Libyan Mosque Struck By Bombers, And More

2018 Winter Olympics Open, Officials Take Down Major Cybercrime Forum, Libyan Mosque Struck By Bombers, And More
  • ​​​The 2018 Winter Olympic Games officially opened today, and security is on high-alert at the games in Py​eongchang, South Korea. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued warnings to Americans to be vigilant about their cybersecurity, due to the possible threat of Russian retaliation for a ban on its athletes. The New York Times reports that “cybersecurity researchers said the Olympic Games—more digitized than ever—are ripe targets for hackers searching for embarrassing information on everyone from athletes to organizers or simply looking to cause trouble by manipulating scoring or lighting systems.”

  • Officials took down a cybercrime forum this week, indicting at least 36 people accused of acting as administrators, moderators, and sellers of fraud and hacking services on the forum Infraud. “The indictment accuses those dozens of defendants, located from Moldova to the Ivory Coast to Bangladesh, of trading in stolen credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, compromised accounts, and materials to create counterfeit cards,” WIRED reports.

  • A twin bombing at a mosque in Benghazi, Libya, killed two people and wounded 55 others, following a similar bombing two weeks ago in Benghazi. “Friday’s explosions occurred during prayers at a small mosque located in the Majouri district,” according to Reuters. “The devices, placed in bags at the mosque doors, appear to have been activated remotely using a mobile phone, a military source said.”

  • DHS and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) met with government watchdogs to discuss challenges related to responding to incidents involving individuals with mental illness. Based on those discussions, the U.S. Government Accountability Office assembled a report identifying five main challenges that law enforcement officers and agents face in responding to these situations, including identifying whether an individual has a mental illness, operating with limited access to mental health resources, and frequently encountering the same individual.

  • A major security operation is underway in Egypt as Egyptian forces target an Islamic insurgency affiliated with ISIS on the northern Sinai Peninsula. The operation, according to army spokesman Colonel Tamer el-Rifaai, is targeting “terrorist and criminal elements and organizations,” U.S. News reports. 

  • The U.S. federal government was temporarily shut down overnight until Congress reached a deal and passed a two-year spending measure. The deal funds the government for six weeks until March 23, when it will be required to have passed legislation to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.

  • In other news, a major winter storm hits Chicago, Turkey rolls out a competitor to WhatsApp causing surveillance concerns, Colombia and Brazil tighten border security as the situation in Venezuela worsens, and some universities are adding classes on cryptocurrencies.